Rondo believes Lee will provide big boost


Rondo believes Lee will provide big boost

WALTHAM -- On a revamped Boston Celtics squad where several new additions could have breakout seasons, Rajon Rondo believes one of his backcourt counterparts will turn heads.

Courtney Lee, whom the Celtics acquired in a three-team trade this summer, was a lesser known acquisition in comparison to players like former Dallas Maverick Jason Terry and the re-signed Jeff Green, who missed last season due to heart surgery. After a solid rookie season on the Orlando Magic, Lee was traded to a dismal New Jersey Nets club and played the last two seasons for the Houston Rockets. He comes to Boston this season with his first real shot at a title since his first year in the league.

"A lot of people don't know that Courtney, I think, was second behind number 20 (Ray Allen) last year as far as three-point field goal percentage (from the corner)," he said.

Last season Lee shot 48.5 percent (50-of-103 3PGA) from the corner, as well as 40.1 percent from beyond the arc overall and 43.3 percent from the field. He can also attack the basket, shooting 58 percent in the restricted area (76-for-132 FGA).

"I look forward to him stretching the floor," said Rondo. "He's going surprise a lot of people with his athleticism. But like I said, he's a great defensive player as well."

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 "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."