Rondo finds his shooting stroke in San Antonio

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Rondo finds his shooting stroke in San Antonio

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

SAN ANTONIO It was one of those games that Boston Celtics fans likely couldn't help but find themselves saying something they probably never thought they'd say: "Rondo, keep shooting the jump shot."

And the end result was an impressive 22-point, 14-assist night in helping the Celtics defeat the San Antonio Spurs, 107-97.

"Today, we kept moving the ball and Rondo kept taking shots," said coach Doc Rivers. "It was terrific. They just found the shots, and Rondo stepped up and took shots."

Rondo was 11-for-20 from the field, with seven of his made baskets being at least 13 feet away.

If he's knocking down those shots, and still managing to get his teammates involved, he becomes nearly unstoppable.

The Spurs' strategy against Rondo wasn't all that different than what most teams employ.

Rondo is at his best in transition, both as a scorer and as a distributor.

So defensively, you want to make it more of a half court game and force him to become a shooter.

The Spurs did just that -- and did he ever make them pay for it.

And when you factor in that Rondo is often on the floor with four other players who are even better shooters than he is, Rondo's ability to knock down jumpers makes the Celtics offense even more lethal.

"It gives them another scorer around the court," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "He did a great job of knocking down shots tonight."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Jerebko shoots, and shoves, and will get a chance to do both in Game 4

Jerebko shoots, and shoves, and will get a chance to do both in Game 4

CLEVELAND -- Back in 2009, a team official with the Pistons was trying to sell me on the idea that Jonas Jerebko, selected by Detroit in the second round that year with the 39th overall pick, was different. 
 
Big men from Europe back then had a reputation for being more finesse than forceful when on the floor, guys who would rather shoot than shove. 
 
“This kid, he’s different,” the official told me at the time. “He doesn’t mind mixing it up.”
 
While he is often praised for his ability to help stretch the floor with his long-range shooting, Jerebko’s desire to be physical at both ends of the floor is one of his strengths. 
 
As for those who don’t know that’s a big part of his game, Jerebko says, “They probably haven’t seen me play enough.”
 
That may change beginning with Game 4 against Cleveland. 
 
Boston’s Amir Johnson suffered a right shoulder injury after Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson appeared to have tugged on it while both were going for a rebound in Game 3. Johnson told CSN that he will meet with medical officials sometime today, and is questionable for Game 4.
 
If Johnson is unable to play, coach Brad Stevens will likely consider putting Jerebko in the starting lineup. 
 
Stevens made a similar move in the first round of the playoffs last season against the Atlanta Hawks, and the Celtics went 2-2 with Jerebko starting. 
 
 “I like to compete. I hate to lose, I love to win,” Jerebko told CSN. “So whatever it takes. If you have to play hard, you play hard. You got a lot of tough players out there. You gotta be one of them.”
 
He was just that in Game 3 as he came off the bench to score 10 points on a perfect 4-for-4 shooting display that included a go-ahead basket in the final minute of play.
 
“My job is to stay ready,” Jerebko said. “That’s all I can do; control what I can control and stay ready, be in the gym on a day like this and try to get better. Just stay in the gym and always be ready.”
 
His preparation in advance for big moments made the final minute of Game 3 just another game for him. 
 
Coming out of a time-out with 36.3 seconds to play, Avery Bradley penetrated deep into the paint, which sucked in four Cleveland defenders. 
 
At the last second, he kicked it out to a wide-open Jerebko, whose 22-footer with 30.3 seconds to play put the Celtics ahead 108-106.
 
“I wasn’t the first option but I knew I was going to be open,” Jerebko said. “I saw Avery looking at this corner and I saw my defender go in so I knew I would get a good shot. I was hoping Avery would kick it out and he did. It felt good.”
 
And his play has been good for the Celtics, seemingly whenever he has been called upon. 
 
Johnson has seen first-hand how Jerebko has handled his inconsistent role on the eve of him becoming an unrestricted free agent this summer. 
 
“You just have to do nothing but salute him,” Johnson told CSN. “Of just being professional, staying ready and that’s what veterans do; they stay ready and he gave us a big game in this playoff series. You have to respect his professionalism. I’m proud of him.”

Report: C's first-rounder Yabusele expected to miss Summer League

Report: C's first-rounder Yabusele expected to miss Summer League

It’s early for Celtics fans to be looking ahead to summer league play, but the C’s know at least one of their prospects likely won’t be there. 

Guerschon Yabusele, the second of Boston’s three first-round picks in the 2016 draft, recently had surgery to remove bone spurs from the top of each of his feet, according to ESPN.com’s Chris Forsberg. As such, Yabusele is not expected to play this summer.

A 6-foot-8 power forward from France, Yabusele was taken 16th overall in last year’s draft. He began this season playing in China before finishing the season with the Maine Red Claws of the D-League.