Friday FT's: Shaq vs. Canseco; Barkley on Big Baby

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Friday FT's: Shaq vs. Canseco; Barkley on Big Baby

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's still plenty of hoops to talk about.

Would you want to go toe-to-toe with Shaquille O'Neal? Jose Canseco does.

On November 12, Shaq tweeted, "What up Dana white I wanna fight Jose conseco hook it up.

11 days later later, Canseco responded on his own Twitter account. I accept shaqs challenge to fight him let's get it on ., he wrote. He added, Shaq tell ur girlfriend Dana white to make Thu fight happen.

ONeal has yet to respond, but thats not to say this is the end of their twitter chatter.

Barkley Curious About Big Baby

During a recent interview with ESPN Radio Chicago, Charles Barkley was asked which NBA player he thinks will be the most overweight and out of shape when the lockout is over. He predicted it would be a big man, and then expressed curiosity in a certain player who has donned green and white for the past four seasons:

Thats a great question. I will promise you this its probably going to be a big guy, because big guyslike guards like to go shoot around and play, guards love that. But big guys, theyll go lift some weights and do stuff like that, but theyre not going to go run up and down the court. So its going to be a big guy. Thats a great question.

I tell you what I want to see Big Baby Davis when he comes back. I want to see Big Baby Davis. I love that kid, he works his behind off, but playing basketball everyday, thats going to be interesting.

Read more about how Glen Davis is adjusting to life during the lockout here.

What Does Metta World Peace Miss about Hoops?

Metta World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest) took to Twitter this week to list his thoughts on the NBA. Among them, I miss Shannon dunking on ray Allen like the rim was 8 ft. He also challenged Michael Jordan to a game of one-on-one to end the lockout (which he says he would win under some challenging circumstances, Dallas Mavericks owner Marc Cuban to an arm wrestling match, and Jay-Z to a rap battle.

Celtics Tweet of the Week

@Aabradley11: Haven't had a thanksgiving with my family since 3rd grade... I'm so thankful... Happy thanksgiving everybody !!

This Week in Celtics History

On November 19, 1992 the Celtics waived Joe Wolf. ... The C's waived Larry Sykes and signed Thomas Hamilton as a free agent on November 24, 1995. ... On November 25, 1996 the Celtics waived Nate Driggers. They also waived Kevin Pritchard on the same day in 1991.

Celtics Birthdays of the Week

Former Celtic Marcus Banks turned 30 on November 19. Banks was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies and traded to the Celtics with Kendrick Perkins in exchange for Troy Bell and Dahntay Jones in 2003. ... The late Reggie Lewis was born on November 21, 1965. He would have been 46 years old. Two-time champion Cedric Maxwell turned 56 on the 21st. He won titles with the Celtics in 1981 and 1984. ... Former Celtic Vin Baker turned 40 on November 23. Baker was traded from the Seattle SuperSonics to Celtics in July of 2002 and was released in February of 2004. ... Hall of Famer Dave Bing turned 68 on November 24. He played the final season of his career with the Celtics in 1977-78, averaging 13.6 points, 3.8 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game. ... Erick Strickland turned 38 on November 25. He played 79 games for the Celtics during the 2001-02 season.

Young getting on floor more for Celtics, including key fourth-quarter stints

Young getting on floor more for Celtics, including key fourth-quarter stints

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – For most of his life, basketball has come easy to James Young.
 
So, the idea that in training camp he wasn’t just fighting to get playing time but also to stay in the NBA, was a jarring eye-opener.
 
To Young’s credit, he rose to the challenge and beat out R.J. Hunter for the Celtics' final roster spot.
 
And while Young’s playing time has been sporadic, he has done a much better job of maximizing his opportunities.
 
So, as the Celtics roll into Detroit to face the Pistons, Young finds himself playing his best basketball as a pro, good enough to make coach Brad Stevens not hesitate to put him in the game in the fourth quarter of a close matchup.
 
“It’s exciting to come back home,” Young, who grew up in nearby Rochester Hills, Mich., told CSNNE.com. “A lot of my family will be there. I’m not thinking about me. I’m just trying to do what I can to help the team.”
 
And lately, he’s getting an opportunity to do just that beyond being someone who helps in practice.
 
We saw that in the 107-97 loss at Toronto on Friday. Young came off the bench to play four minutes, 36 seconds in the fourth quarter with only two other Celtics reserves, Marcus Smart (8:39) and Jonas Jerebko (5:10) seeing more action down the stretch.
 
“It means a lot,” Young said. “He’s starting to trust me a little bit more. That’s a good thing. I’m just trying to do little things; rebound, get defensive stops and score when I get a chance.”
 
The fact that his scoring is just starting to take shape helps shed some light on why he has been buried so deep on the Celtics bench.
 
For his first couple seasons, Young seemed a hesitant shooter physically overwhelmed by opponents too strong for him to defend as well as too physical for him to limit their effectiveness.
 
But this season, he has done a better job at holding his own as a defender while making himself an available scoring option who can play off his teammates.
 
Young is averaging just 2.9 points per game this season, but he’s shooting a career-high 48.9 percent from the field and 41.7 percent on 3’s, which is also a career-high.
 
Getting on the floor more often has in many ways provided yet another boost of confidence to Young.
 
“I’m getting used to the flow of the game playing more consistently,” Young said. “I know what to do. It’s slowing up a little more and it’s getting easier.”
 

Blakely: Raptors newcomers show Celtics what they're missing

Blakely: Raptors newcomers show Celtics what they're missing

TORONTO – It’s far too soon to say if the Celtics’ decision to stand pat at the trade deadline was a mistake.
 
But the early returns aren’t encouraging.
 
Their 107-97 loss Friday night to the Toronto Raptors wasn’t because of Kyle Lowry (right wrist), who didn’t even play, or DeMar DeRozan, who played out his mind while scoring a career-high 43 points.
 
The game will be remembered by the new guys Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker, both acquired at the trade deadline by the Raptors.
 
Ibaka, who was a bad fit, and on most nights a bad player, in Orlando, looked like the O-K-C Ibaka while scoring 15 points to go with seven rebounds against the Celtics – numbers that were better than his two games combined against the Celtics this season with the Magic when he scored a total of just 12 points while grabbing eight rebounds.
 
And then there was Tucker, who got a crash video course on Raptors playbook just hours before the game, and proceeded to show the kind of toughness at both ends of the floor that has made him one of the league’s more underrated defenders as he finished with a near double-double of nine points and 10 rebounds.
 
It was their first game with their new team, but you would have thought they had been with Toronto all season long with how seamless they seemed to fit in.
 
Ibaka draining jumpers, Tucker causing chaos defensively, while absolutely crushing the Celtics on the boards...their play was a painful reminder of what could have been for the Green team.
 
Both were rumored to have been in the Celtics’ crosshairs prior to the Thursday 3 p.m. trade deadline. The Celtics were lukewarm at best on Ibaka (they didn’t want what would have been a 25-game rental) and just couldn’t quite strike a deal and cross the finish line for Tucker.
 
It’s too soon to hit the panic button and rip Danny Ainge for not getting a minor deal done like adding Tucker or Ibaka.
 
Still, his players have to embrace the truth behind what transpired this trade season.
 
Ainge went big-game hunting, focusing most of the team's efforts on landing a major difference-maker, a la Jimmy Butler or Paul George.
 
When that didn’t work out, he settled for the next best thing, which was to keep this group together.
 
The onus is now on them to prove that trust Ainge has in them, was well-placed.
 
Putting too much stock in the first game after the break is a risky proposition that no one should subscribe to.
 
But in the loss, it revealed many of the concerns and weaknesses of this roster that tend to get magnified in defeat while glossed over when they manage to win despite those flaws.
 
Isaiah Thomas may be the best scorer in the fourth quarter, but he’s human.
 
There will be games when Mr. Fourth Quarter can’t get it done.
 
Friday night was that kind of game for him. He scored just four of his team-high 20 points in the fourth.
 
And as the Raptors blitzed him repeatedly with two and three defenders, his teammates failed to step up when the opportunity was there to make impactful, game-altering plays down the stretch.
 
Watching the Celtics’ defense in the second half was painful.
 
DeRozan got whatever he wanted, when he wanted it.
 
And when he missed, the Raptors controlled the boards, got all the 50/50 balls and repeatedly out-worked Boston.
 
It exposed Boston in a way that’s painful to see, especially when those inflicting the greatest amount of damage could have been in the Celtics huddle and not the one on the other sideline.