Celtics-Bulls preview: Too many missed jumpers for C's

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Celtics-Bulls preview: Too many missed jumpers for C's

BOSTON NBA teams are no different than other professional clubs.

When it comes to developing a formula for winning, they tend to lean on what they do best.

For the Boston Celtics, that means shooting jump shots - a lot of jump shots, actually.

It has proven to be both a blessing and a burden at times for the Celtics who come into tonight's game against Chicago having won six of their last seven.

The one setback in that span, a 90-78 loss to New Orleans on Wednesday, was a night in which the Celtics' shooters couldn't make shots. They shot 45 percent for the game, but only 30.4 percent in the decisive fourth quarter.

"We shot a lot of jump shots, but that's what we do," said Celtics guard Rajon Rondo. "You know Courtney (Lee), JT (Jason Terry), P (Paul Pierce), Kevin (Garnett), Brandon (Bass), they're all jump-shooters."

But as Rondo pointed out later, they all have the ability to score driving to the basket as well.

Finding an ideal balance between the two remains a challenge at times for the C's.

"There's nothing wrong with taking jump shots if you're making them; if you're open and you're making them," said C's coach Doc Rivers. "But you have to have some kind of regulator of your team and yourself if they're not going in, you have to go to the second or third option and look for a better shot."

While that might appear as though it places the blame on the shoulders of point guard Rajon Rondo, Rivers is quick to clarify that was not the issue.

"It's on everyone," Rivers said. "Rondo is the leader of that to get guys into stuff, but in transition it's his job to throw the ball ahead. We're throwing the ball ahead, they're jacking shots up, it's tough on him. We have to be better."

They will get that opportunity tonight against the Chicago Bulls as the C's try to cap off their five-game homestand with a victory. Here are some of the keys to tonight's matchup.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Joakim Noah controlled their last matchup in just about every way imaginable, finishing with a triple-double of 11 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Limiting his impact to one or even two of the major categories will be huge for the Celtics.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Paul Pierce vs. Luol Deng: Deng's length tends to force Pierce to work a lot harder for good looks than he usually has to. But after struggling against Deng's defense last year (Pierce shot 21-for-59 in the four games against the Bulls), he comes into tonight's game having shot 6-for-10 against Chicago earlier this season.

PLAYER TO WATCH: The trade rumors early in the season about Carlos Boozer have died a slow death, courtesy of him putting together a long string of strong performances. In nine of Chicago's last 10 games, Boozer has had at least 15 points and 10 rebounds. Only three other players (Artis Gilmore, Michael Jordan and Elton Brand) in Bulls history have done that over a 10-game span.

STAT TO TRACK: The C's would do well to keep the free throw differential relatively close. New Orleans had almost twice as many free throw attempts (31) as the C's (16). And tonight, they face a Chicago team that's ranked in the top-10 in free throws made per game (18.3).

Celtic draftees make first foray into community with presentation to Ohrenberger School

Celtic draftees make first foray into community with presentation to Ohrenberger School

WEST ROXBURY, Mass.  -- It was the last day of school for some band students at Ohrenberger School, many of whom were packed inside the gym eagerly awaiting the four newest members of the Boston Celtics basketball family. 
 
As eager as the students were to finish off the school year, for the Celtics rookies Wednesday’s appearance to unveil the school’s revamped “Music Zone” was just the beginning of their time with the Celtics.
 
Getting into the community has become an annual rite of passage for incoming Celtic rookies, with Wednesday’s event being part of the seventh annual Players’ Choice Grant.
 
The four-pack of Celts was headlined by Jayson Tatum, who was selected by Boston with the third overall pick. Joining him were second-round picks Semi Ojeleye, Kadeem Allen and Jabari Bird.
 
“Working with the kids is always fun,” Tatum said. 
 
The charitable arm of the Celtics, the Shamrock Foundation, provided a $50,000 grant to a charity that was chosen by the players from the 2016-17 season.
 
Players were greeted by a gym full of middle schoolers who conducted a question-and-answer session with the players, with some students coming away with a basketball signed by all the players. 
 
“I really enjoyed getting to know the fans, the kids,” said Jabari Bird, who was drafted by the Celtics with the 57th overall pick out of Cal.
 
The “Music Zone” received 17 new MacBooks which contained musical software, with several instruments, a portable stage and additional furniture.

Report: Celtics expected to part ways with Kelly Olynyk

Report: Celtics expected to part ways with Kelly Olynyk

With the Celtics clearing the way to make a run at big names such as Paul George and Gordon Hayward, there will inevitably be salary-cap casualties.

But we'll always have Game 7 against the Wizards, Kelly Olynyk.

Olynyk, 26, averaged nine points and 4.8 rebounds last season, and will forever be remembered for his astonishing 10-for-14 shooting performance off the bench when he scored 26 points in the second-round series clincher over Washington at TD Garden.

After four seasons in Boston, the 7-footer and former first-round pick from Gonzaga is currently a restricted free agent and would surely turn down a Celtics' qualifying offer of a little more than $4 million. Until the C's renounce his rights, he counts for $7.7 million against the cap. 

That's money the Boston will need in its pursuit of George and Hayward. So, it's so long, Kelly O.