Friday FT's: Call Pierce the Big Three Four

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Friday FT's: Call Pierce the Big Three Four

Welcome back to Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of the most interesting news, notes, and information that have not made the headlines but are still worth a read. In spite of the NBA lockout, there are still plenty of hoops to talk about.

Paul Pierce is picking up where Shaquille ONeal left off.

If you thought the Big Shamrock, Big Leprechaun nicknames left Boston when Shaq retired, think again.

Pierce turned 34 on Thursday and took to Twitter on his special day.

New Nik name for me this year The BiG Three Four, he tweeted.

Pierce also wrote, 34 is my number special thing r gonna happen for me this year . Let's get this lockout ova so I can show ya.

The Celtics captain shares the same birthday as Jermaine ONeal and Doc Rivers (he tweeted a birthday shoutout to them). ONeal turned 33 on October 13 while Rivers turned 50.

Pierce was one of 12 players born in 1977 playing in the NBA last season (James Posey, Jeff Foster, Vince Carter, Brian Cardinal, Peja Stojakovic, Manu Ginobili, Ime Udoka, Morris Peterson, Nazr Mohammed, Jason Terry, Kenyon Martin).

Rondo a Big Man on Campus

Rajon Rondo is one of several NBA players who has been spending time working out at the University of Kentucky during the NBA lockout. On Media Day, Wildcats head coach John Calipari gushed about the former UK guard. His praise included:

Rondo, by the way, is outstanding. I mean this guy, he is working, and he's, I told him, and I told Nazr (Mohammed) the same thing. When they are done if they want to come back and join this staff and finish up their degrees, they are welcome. They are great young people who want other people around them to get better and they are not afraid to share their knowledge and their experiences.Right now I can't tell you how hard Rondo is working, it's incredible. As this thing comes back, Rondo will have a knock out year, no question in my mind. They are going to look at who the heck is this guy in Boston because of when I'm seeing, how hard he's working.

This month Rondo is featured on the cover of Red Bulls Red Bulletin Magazine. The November issue includes the article, Style Point, and a full-page headshot of Rondo with the caption, "He pulls off his look because the only person he's out to impress is himself." Click here for more on the article.

You Dont Hang Hype in the Rafters

San Francisco Giants pitcher (and New England native) Brian Wilson showed his Celtics Pride for a recent NBA 2K12 promotion, and now hes going head-to-head with music superstar Drake in the latest round of videos. The two debated the greatest NBA team of all time, with Drake arguing in favor of the Miami Heat and Wilson, still in his green garb, defending the Cs. Some of Wilsons talking points? You dont hang hype in the rafters and Bird didn't need to dunk. He laid it up ... like a real man.

Celtics Tweet of the Week
@iambaby11: "Let us play!!!!!!"

Celtics Birthdays of the Week

Kenny Anderson, who played over four seasons with the Celtics, turned 41 on October 9. Former Celtic Bill Walker also turned 24 the 9th. He averged 4.9 points and 2.0 rebounds for the New York Knicks last season. Hall of Famer Arnie Risen was born on the same date in 1924. He played the last three seasons of his career with the C's. ... Kenny Battle, who played for the Celtics in the early 1990's, turned 47 on October 10. ... Paul Pierce, Jermaine ONeal, and head coach Doc Rivers shared a birthday on October 13 (see above) 2008 championship team member P.J. Brown, who played the final season of his 15-year career on the Celtics, turned 42 on October 14. Dwayne Schintzius, who played 16 games for the Celtics in the final season of his career, turned 43 on the same date. Ray Williams also celebrated his 57th birthday on the 14th. He played 23 games for the Celtics during the 1984-85 season.

This Week in Celtics History

On October 8, 1996, the Celtics signed Brett Szabo as a free agent. The 6-11 center averaged 2.2 points and 2.4 rebounds in his only season with the Celtics - and in the NBA. On October 13, 2006, the Celtics acquired Luke Jackson in exchange for Dwyane Jones. Jackson was waived less than two weeks later.

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."