Celtics invade Fenway for a chemistry lesson

Celtics invade Fenway for a chemistry lesson

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

WALTHAM -- Rajon Rondo has pulled off memorable moves over the years with the Celtics, but this time he hit it out the park.

On Friday, the Celtics spent the day playing softball at Fenway Park. Rondo came up with the idea to coordinate a team game and the Red Sox organization gave them access to the field. General Manager Theo Epstein was even in attendance.

"It was a dream come true," said Kevin Garnett. "I felt like I was 10 years old."

MVP honors went to Rondo, according to Doc Rivers. He wasn't the only one to impress, either. In spite of being drafted second-to-last, Jermaine O'Neal emphasized that he "went yard," and noted Von Wafer did as well.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge, who played in the major leagues with the Toronto Blue Jays from 1979-81 before switching from baseball to basketball, also made a standout play.

"Danny Ainge took a dive," said O'Neal. "It was a Gold Glove moment where the ball was hit extremely fast and he dove for it and actually caught it to try to make a play at first . . . Even though he was drafted, 30 years later you don't expect him to make that kind of play. It was funny because he made the play and then made it look easy."

The softball game is yet another addition to the ever-growing list of team-building activities the Celtics have arranged this preseason. From movie nights to Duck Boat rides to team dinners, the players are jelling thanks to these off-the-court experiences.

"That was one of the best days of my life, actually," said Paul Pierce. "It's all team chemistry, it's all team bonding. It's fun. We have a great group of guys and that's one thing you see. That's why we do things like that. From top to bottom, everyone likes one another and it's fun when we do activities like that because all it's doing is building our chemistry and our team bonding."

Echoed Garnett: "It certainly doesn't hurt. I think the more you do together, the more activities you have together, the more you get to know one another, the more one-on-ones you have with each other -- I think this group is just trying to sort of ease the competitive job which we're used to playing against each other and coming together for this common goal. So far, so good."

After a fun day on the baseball field, the Celtics were back to basketball at practice on Saturday.

"We're going to challenge the Red Sox now on the basketball court," joked Rivers. "Because baseball, I don't think we're going to win."

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcamerato

Tyronn Lue says Celtics harder to defend than Warriors: 'They're running all kinds of s---'

Tyronn Lue says Celtics harder to defend than Warriors: 'They're running all kinds of s---'

The Golden State Warriors are the least of Tyronn Lue's worries, Cleveland Cavaliers coach explained Tuesday.

Even though Lue and the Cavs are up 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals, he is apparently overwhelmed with the Boston Celtics to the point where he isn't even thinking about Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and the 67-win Warriors.

"We're just focused on Boston," Lue said of the Warriors following the Cavs' Game 4 win, via ESPN.com. "The stuff they're running, it's harder to defend than Golden State's [offense] for me, as far as the actions and all the running around and all the guys who are making all the plays, so it's a totally different thing."

No, seriously.

"Like, they hit the post, Golden State runs splits and all that stuff, but these guys are running all kinds of s---," Lue said of Boston coach Brad Stevens' schemes. "I'll be like, 'F---.' They're running all kinds of s---, man. And Brad's got them moving and cutting and playing with pace, and everybody is a threat. It's tough, you know, it's tough."

Without Isaiah Thomas, the Celtics finished Game 4 with four players who had 15 points or more. They also had six players who scored double digits in Boston's Game 3 win. Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, Kelly Olynyk, Jae Crowder and Al Horford have made heavy offensive contributions. And they not just scoring. The Celtics are working hard off the ball by setting screens and cutting to the hoop to pressure the Cavaliers defense.

The Celtics may not have the Warriors' star power -- but Stevens and Boston are still managing to leave Lue in a state of clear befuddlement after a win.

LeBron James praised Stevens more directly when discussing how the Celtics "run different things" after losing Thomas to injury.

"So they had to kind of reshape, and that’s the beauty of having Brad Stevens as your coach," James told reporters. "You’re able to reshape what you do offensively and still be in a good rhythm. It’s been challenging for us to kind of — plays out of time-out, kind of been killing us on ATOs and keeping us off balance, but in the second half we kind of got a little bit of rhythm, and think we’ll be better in Game 5."