Friday Free Throws: Rondo gets animated, Perks got milk

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Friday Free Throws: Rondo gets animated, Perks got milk

Welcome to the return of Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of the most interesting news, notes, and information about the Boston Celtics that have not made the headlines but are still worth a read.

Lets start off this week with the world of video games getting Rondod.

NBA guard Baron Davis has formed the mobile gaming company 5 Balloons Interactive. Davis featured Rondo in the companys first game, Getting Buckets, which also includes Davis, Brandon Jennings, Steve Nash, and Candace Parker.

According to the games description on iTunes, players will, Dribble through the streets of four US basketball hotbeds with Baron Davis, Steve Nash, Rajon Rondo, Brandon Jennings and Candace Parker! Collect buckets on your run while jumping over and sliding under barricades. Avoid Hack and Swat...the Ds on the street that are looking to take you down. Jump over or dribble around Hack and duck or dive under Swat as he's jumping in the air looking to stomp on you!

For those on Rondo headband watch, he is wearing the sweatband in the game.

Perks Got Milk

What goes together better than a fierce scowl and a glass of ice cold milk? Oklahoma City Thunder centerformer Boston Celtic Kendrick Perkins is the face of a milk campaign for the Oklahoma Nutrition Information and Education Project that announces, Low-fat Milk Has Perks!

Check out Perkins' "Lactoid Factoids" -- including, 1 low-fat milk is not watered down whole milk. Anyone saying otherwise deserved a technical foul -- and his acting performance in the dairy aisle.

Stiemsma Makes Minnesota Debut

Former Celtics big man Greg Stiemsma was introduced as one of the newest members of the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday. After a breakout rookie season in Boston, the Wisconsin native is returning closer to home for his second year in the NBA.

During his press conference, Stiemsma gave credit to his former teammates, including Kevin Garnett. KG was great for me," he said, according to TwinCities.com. "He more or less took me under his wing. He was willing to teach me all season."

Stiemsma will wear number 34 for the Timberwolves.

Celtics Birthdays of the Week

Carlos Arroyo, who played for the Celtics during the 2011 season, turned 33 on July 30. Seven-game Celtic (1992 season) Tony Massenburg turned 45 on July 31.

This Week in Celtics History

On July 31, 2007, the Boston Celtics acquired Kevin Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a blockbuster trade that also included Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, Ryan Gomes, and Theo Ratliff. Garnett won an NBA championship his first season with the Celtics.

Celtics blow out the Bulls in Game 6, move on to face the Wizards

Celtics blow out the Bulls in Game 6, move on to face the Wizards

CHICAGO – The Boston Celtics were at a crossroads just two games into their first-round series against Chicago.

Down 2-0, something had to change – and change fast – if they were going to avoid being remembered as one of the worst number one seeds in NBA history.

“We didn’t have a meeting, but it was a reality check for us,” said Boston’s Avery Bradley who talked about how the team was “humbled after losing two games.”

They had a choice.

They could feel sorry for themselves and continue to struggle, or as Bradley put it, “come here (Chicago) and make history.”

The Celtics did just that, becoming the first number one seed in the best-of-seven series era to lose the first two games at home, and respond by winning the next four which includes a 105-83 Game 6 win to eliminate the Bulls.

Boston’s blowout victory was fueled in large part by a furious third quarter in which they dominated the Bulls in every way imaginable, outscoring Chicago 34-16 in the quarter which gave them a decisive 88-59 lead going into the fourth.

The 29-point lead after three quarters was a historical moment. It now stands as the largest lead the Celtics have had in a road playoff game after three quarters of play.

Boston moves on to the Conference semi-finals where they will face the Washington Wizards with Game 1 expected to be at the TD Garden on Sunday.

Fourth-year coach Brad Stevens advances past the first round of the playoffs for the first time, while the Celtics franchise is in the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

And in the final game of the series, the Celtics’ depth proved to be just too much for the injury-riddled Bulls to overcome.

Former Celtic Rajon Rondo, who led the Bulls to wins in Games 1 and 2, suffered a fractured right thumb injury in Game 2 and was unable to return in the series.

And while Jimmy Butler had a strong 23-point performance in Game 6, he was hampered to some extent by sore knees which more than anything, seemed to take something away from his explosiveness both as a scorer and to defend at a high level.

The player benefiting most from Butler’s less-than-ideal status health-wise, was Avery Bradley.

After scoring a playoff career-high 24 points in Boston’s Game 5 win, he got off to a fast start in Game 6 with nine of his 23 points scored in the first quarter.

Bradley’s scoring, primarily from 3-point range, was indicative of how the game began for the Celtics.

They opened with a 9-4 run, with all nine points coming from 3-point range.

Chicago got a couple shots to go down, but Boston went on an 8-2 spurt that gave them their first double-digit lead 21-11, after back-to-back dunks by Gerald Green and Al Horford, respectively.

Boston’s control remained strong as the first quarter ended with the Celtics ahead 30-23.

And the Celtics’ second unit picked up where the starters left off by scoring eight of the first 10 points of the second quarter to lead 38-25.

Boston’s second unit helped push the Celtics’ lead to as many as 17 points in the second before the Bulls began to chip away at it.

A lay-up by Chicago’s Paul Zipser capped off an 8-0 run by the Bulls that cut Boston’s lead to 42-33 with 5:50 to play in the first half.

Boston continued to play with in the double-digit neighborhood before closing the quarter by scoring nine of the last 13 points to lead by 13 at the half.

Halftime stars, studs and duds: C's showing heightened sense of urgency

Halftime stars, studs and duds: C's showing heightened sense of urgency

CHICAGO – Only 24 minutes of actual basketball time stand between the Boston Celtics moving on to the Conference semi-finals after a strong start which set the tone for the Celtics’ 54-41 halftime lead over the Chicago Bulls in their Game 6 elimination matchup.
 
A victory tonight will move Boston on to the second round of the playoffs for the first time under fourth-year coach Brad Stevens and the franchise’s first trip since 2012.
 
And while it wasn’t an absolute must-win game for the Celtics, they certainly played with a heightened sense of urgency.
 
Indeed, Boston showed no signs of taking the Bulls for granted as they opened the game with a 9-4 spurt.
 
Minutes later, the Celtics went on an 8-2 run to take their first double-digit lead of the game, 21-11, following back-to-back dunks by Gerald Green and Al Horford, respectively.
 
Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, who is dealing with some knee soreness that impacted his play in Game 5, didn’t have the usual bounce to his game but was still an effective scorer nonetheless with 10 points in the first quarter.
 
Despite Butler’s strong start, the Celtics countered with a balanced scoring attack led by the hero of Game 5, Avery Bradley, who was key to Boston leading 30-23 after the first quarter.
 
The Celtics’ second unit picked up where the starters left off by scoring eight of the first 10 points of quarter to lead 38-25.
 
Boston’s second unit helped push the Celtics’ lead to as many as 17 points before the Bulls began to chip away at it.
 
A lay-up by Chicago’s Paul Zipser capped off an 8-0 run by the Bulls that cut Boston’s lead to 42-33 with 5:50 to play in the first half.
 
Boston continued to play with in the double-digit neighborhood before closing the quarter by scoring nine of the last 13 points to lead by 13 at the half.
 
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of Game 6 between Boston and Chicago.
 

STARS
 
Jimmy Butler

Major props to Butler who was extremely productive despite being a little more dinged up than most players this time of year because of sore knees. He led all scorers at the half with 17 points.
 
Isaiah Thomas

He continues to show that he’s more than just a guard who can get buckets; but one who can get his teammates good shots as well. He only scored seven points in the first half, but dished out an impressive five assists.

 

STUDS

Avery Bradley

The 6-foot-2 Bradley continued his strong play at both ends of the floor. In addition to playing good defense against Jimmy Butler, Bradley also had 10 points.
 
Robin Lopez

It was a solid but far from spectacular first half for Lopez who tallied eight points to go with four rebounds.
 
Gerald Green

The Bulls continue to have no answer for Green who tallied 10 first-half points on 4-for-6 shooting.

 

DUDS
 
Dwyane Wade

A near triple-double in Game 5 must have taken more out of Wade than we thought. He was absolutely abysmal in the first half, struggling defensively in addition to missing six of his seven shot attempts with just two points at the half and a plus/minus of -18. Ouch!