Keyon Doolings first season with the Boston Celtics has been hampered by injuries. But while he hasnt been able to contribute consistently on the court, he has been giving back to the community.
Earlier this week Dooling participated in a Black History Month event with 30 students from the C.A.S.H. High School in Dorchester. The event, hosted by the Celtics and Massachusetts Army National Guard, took place at the Celtics practice facility in Waltham.
Through activities including a Slammin Trivia game, Dooling and the students discussed monumental events in African-American history. They also created an interactive human timeline representing important happenings with skits, performances, and lectures.
Taking part in an event like this is a lot of fun and very educational at the same time, Dooling said in a statement. Its important for these students to recognize the hard work African-American leaders put in to fight for equal rights. I hope that this afternoons experience leaves a lasting impression on them that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Dooling also recently worked with the Gametyme Foundation to provide food and necessities to families in need. He held two food drives in the Boston area last weekend. Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Chris Wilcox, and Marquis Daniels also participated.
(Photos courtesy of the Boston Celtics)
BOSTON – There are many factors you can point to in the regular season as indicators of what may happen when two NBA teams meet in the playoffs.
You don't have to be inside the Chicago Bulls' locker room to know that when it comes to the Celtics, they were fully prepared to face a team that took a lot of 3's but wasn’t necessarily shooting them at a high percentage.
That reality has certainly come into focus in Boston’s first-round series against the Chicago, one the C’s lead 3-2 as they continue to try and 3-point shoot their way on to the next round – without giving a damn how many long-range shots it takes to get the job done.
In five playoff games, Boston is shooting 45.3 percent from the field, which puts them in the middle of the pack (eighth overall) among the 16 teams that qualified for the postseason.
But when it comes to the long ball, they are on the back-nine of playoff teams, ranking 10th while shooting 32.4 percent from 3-point range while leading all postseason clubs with 38.7 3-point attempts per game.
In the regular season, the Celtics ranked 16th in field-goal percentage (.454) and 14th in 3-point shooting (35.9 percent) while attempting 33.4 3's per game, which trailed only Houston (40.3) and Cleveland (33.9) this season.
Boston's shooting from the field mirrors what it did in the regular season, but they know all too well that their shooting percentage in this series should be much higher due to the high number of open shots they have missed.
Take a look at Game 5.
In the 108-97 win, the Celtics shot an impressive 53.1 percent when their shots were contested.
But let the Bulls have a defensive breakdown like a failed switch, or a guy gets beat for what turns into a great opportunity for Boston to score with no resistance, and instead of burying the open shot, the Celtics have consistently blown those opportunities. That’s evident by the C’s connecting on just 30.8 percent (12-for-39) of their uncontested field-goal attempts in Game 5.
Even the usually reliable Isaiah Thomas had issues making uncontested shots in Game 5 and this series as a whole.
He had 24 points and shared game-high scoring honors with Avery Bradley on Wednesday night, but Thomas probably should have led everyone outright in scoring when you consider he had five open shots and wound up missing four of them.
That’s why when it comes to Boston’s offense, the last thing Thomas or any of his teammates complains about is getting the shots they want.
“I’ve been getting good open looks,” he said. “My teammates have been getting me open. We just got to knock down the shots. Coach [Stevens] keeps saying one day soon we’re going to knock down the open shots that we are missing and it might be [Game 6].”
CHICAGO – Jimmy Butler was outplayed by Avery Bradley.
It’s a bold statement, one co-authored by both Bradley and Butler after the Celtics’ 108-97 Game 5 win over the Chicago Bulls.
Only time will tell if we’ll see another chapter added to what was one of the more surprising narratives to develop in this series.
“I didn’t win the matchup,” Butler, visibly dejected, said after the Bulls’ loss.
Bradley confirmed his individual victory when asked about it after the game, and then added, “I’m trying to make it hard on him. Butler is a very good player and my job for our team is to go out there and defend, try not to foul, and make [Butler] work for every shot and make him work on both ends of the floor. That’s what I tried to do [in Game 5].”
The 6-foot-2 Bradley will have a similar game plan on Friday as the Celtics try and close out the series with a win and move on to Conference semifinals for the first time since 2012.
While Butler isn’t one to make excuses in good or bad times, there was a report in CSNChicago.com that raised the possibility that Butler might be dealing with some kind of knee injury.
In Game 5, Butler had 14 points on 6-for-15 shooting while taking just two shots from the field in the decisive fourth quarter after drilling a last-second 3-pointer that put the Bulls ahead 81-79 going into the fourth.
“"I'm good,” Butler told reporters after the loss. “Everyone's a little nicked up; I'll be all right."
Healthy or not, there was no getting around the job Bradley did against Butler at both ends of the floor.
In addition to doing a better-than-average job defensively, Bradley also had a career playoff-high 24 points on an efficient 11-of-19 shooting.
The job that Bradley did in Game 5 speaks to why Stevens has reiterated time and time again just how valuable he has been to the Celtics’ success in recent years.
“Avery’s really important to our team; we’ve said that all year,” Stevens said. “He’s played great the last couple of games and I think that Jimmy Butler’s a hard guy to guard, Dwyane Wade’s hard to guard – you’re not going to stop those guys but you just try to make it as hard as possible, and I thought all our guys did a pretty good job when they switched on to Butler [in Game 5]. But certainly Avery is the guy that starts the game on him, and has played a lot of minutes on him, and has done a really good job.”
Butler took 15 shots from the field, 12 of which were contested (most by Bradley) with only four of those makes.
Meanwhile, 13 of Bradley’s 19 field goal attempts in Game 5 were contested. But that didn’t stop him from knocking down eight of them, which was more made contested shots than any other player in Game 5.
But in the end it was Bradley’s defense that ultimately led to him winning the head-to-head battle with Butler and even more important, the game.
The importance of Bradley in matching up with Butler can be seen in a number of statistical areas, none of which is more telling than the minutes played by both players.
Butler logged a team-high 39 minutes, 17 seconds, while Bradley was on the floor for 39 minutes, 44 seconds.
Stevens acknowledged part of Boston’s game plan was to try and keep Bradley on the floor with Butler as much as possible, but still be flexible enough to switch when needed.
“As long as Wade and Butler were on the floor, yes, I felt that way,” Stevens said. “But I trust our other guys to guard [Butler].”
And they trust Bradley, a first team All-NBA defender last season who has shown himself to be up to the challenge of not just holding his own against Butler but also displaying the ability to outplay him on any given night – like Game 5.