A. Sherrod Blakely's Truth and Rumors

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A. Sherrod Blakely's Truth and Rumors

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

Having returned to the United States to have a growth removed from his right leg, there is a school of thought that says Allen Iverson may not return to play for Besiktas Cola in the Turkish league.

Yahoo! Sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowski had a Tweet earlier this week indicating that Besiktas attempted -- and failed -- to sign a potential replacement for him in Sundiata Gaines. They have since moved on and will sign former Celtics guard Oliver Lafayette.

Even if Iverson were to return, Besiktas is starting to realize what all 30 NBA teams realized this summer.

Iverson's game hasn't just slowed down.

It's come to a damn near screeching halt.

The idea that he might not return to Besiktas isn't all that surprising.

When he was traded from Denver to Detroit in 2008, he got hurt after struggling on the floor.

Near the end of the season, both sides decided that he would be best away from the team.

Iverson resurfaced in Memphis, and that didn't end any better.

The best thing for Iverson right now is figure out what his life after basketball will consist of.

The more you watch him, the more clear it becomes that his days as pro basketball player are numbered.

Perk technically OK for now
Only four games into his return to the lineup, and Kendrick Perkins has already picked up two technical fouls.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers isn't worried, because Perkins has a 43-game cushion.

While the technicals may not tally up to where he'll miss games, technicals in games by nature tend to make players try to be more under control emotionally.

Perkins?

Under control emotionally?

I don't like the way that guy plays, and neither will the Celtics.

Just like the rest of the Celtics had to work through the ''respect for the game'' edict handed down by the league this season, so does Perkins.

He'll get better.

Because if he doesn't, he won't be nearly as effective as he should be -- and the Celtics will suffer.

Rondo in a slump
We saw Rondo have back-to-back games with single-digit assists totals, and a third straight seemed in order after a one-assist total in Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Then halftime came, and Rondo was never the same as he ripped off 15 second-half assists.

Here's the thing about Rondo.

As much as we talk about him being the catalyst for this team, so much of his play is dictated by the play of those around him.

And we're not just talking about making shots, either.

Rondo is at his best when he has the ball in his hands, in transition.

The problem of late has been the Celtics big men either 1) not getting enough rebounds or 2) getting rebounds but not getting the ball in Rondo's hands quick enough.

That results in a lot of walking the ball up against set defenses, which, to some degree, takes a little bit away from what he does best.

Every now and then, the Celtics need a reminder of sorts as to what they do well, and how Rondo sets the tone for stellar play.

They got away from that a little bit at Portland, and a little bit more in Friday's loss at Phoenix.

We'll see if the win over the Lakers, and the way it came about with Rondo doing what Rondo does best, will be enough of a wake-up call for them moving forward.

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

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Rough start for Al Horford

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Rough start for Al Horford

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of tonight’s game between the Boston Celtics and the Detroit Pistons in which the Celtics lead 54-50.

 

STARS

Isaiah Thomas

At the half he led all scorers with 16 points coming on 6-for-10 shooting from the field.

Reggie Jackson

The former Boston College star has been a main cog in the Pistons’ offense tonight, leading them with 15 points on 5-for-9 shooting with five assists.

 

STUDS

Marcus Morris

He was relatively quiet most of the first half, but came up with a last-second 3-pointer that sent the Pistons into the half with some momentum to cap off a 15-9 run to end the quarter.

Jaylen Brown

Boston is looking for a steady No. 2 scorer to compliment Isaiah Thomas, and Brown was that guy throughout most of the first half. He finished with nine points on 4-for-5 shooting to go with three rebounds.

Amir Johnson

The former Piston looked very much at home around the rim in the first half, scoring just four points but grabbing seven rebounds in addition to dishing out two assists.

Andre Drummond

He had six points and six rebounds in the first half, but didn’t really dominate the way you would expect from the best big man in the building. Boston didn’t give him too many looks at the basket, and when they did they fouled him. He went to the line for five free throws in the half, and missed all of them.

 

DUDS

Al Horford

Boston has made getting him the ball tonight a priority, and the four-time All-Star is simply not finishing off plays. Credit Detroit’s defense which has contested most of Horford’s shot attempts. That said, he has to deliver more offensively than the two points he scored while missing eight of his nine field goal attempts.

Pistons to honor Hamilton, who had impact on several Celtics

Pistons to honor Hamilton, who had impact on several Celtics

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons will retire the jersey number of former UConn star Rip Hamilton tonight, an instrumental figure in the Pistons’ success in the early 2000s that included an NBA title in 2004.
 
Although Hamilton never played for Boston, his impact can be felt within the Celtics locker room.
 
Boston’s Amir Johnson spent his first four NBA seasons as a teammate of Hamilton's in Detroit.
 
In that time, Johnson acknowledges how many of the positive things folks associate with him come from lessons he learned from Hamilton.
 
“He was so relentless when he ran,” Johnson told CSNNE.com. “I remember working out with him one summer. For him to even get his shot off, he sprints full court, goes back down shooting shots, and he just kept doing this over and over and over again, full court sprinting . . . To see that as a young kid, and at his age, just working hard like that, it was great to see.”
 
James Young grew up in nearby Rochester Hills, Mich., so he watched Hamilton’s scoring prowess up close and personal.
 
And as he continued to evolve as a player, Young would see Hamilton during the summer months while attending Hamilton’s basketball camps.
 
“I was there every year, won MVP a few times,” Young told CSNNE.com. “He’s a great guy, a great player.”
 
And, like Hamilton, Young has a lanky frame for an NBA player, which was among the many reasons Young acknowledged Hamilton as being one of his first significant basketball influences as a youth.
 
“For sure,” Young said. “His mid-range game was crazy, great shooter. He was always consistent.”
 
And that consistency has paid off in the highest honor an NBA franchise can bestow upon a player.
 
“That’s big time,” Johnson said. “He’s a champion, great father, great baller. To have his jersey retired is an honor. To see the success he had in the league, and to see his jersey retired with the greats, it's definitely an honor. I’m glad I’ll be there to see that. Kudos to him. He’s a hard worker. Had a great career. I had my high school jersey retired, but to get your NBA jersey retired, that’s great.”
 
Hamilton played 14 seasons in the NBA, nine of which were with the Pistons. A career 17.1 points per game score, he averaged 18.4 with Detroit and was named an Eastern Conference All-Star three times (2006-2008).
 
Although he is known as one of the greatest mid-range shooters of his era, Hamilton began to expand his range over time. During the 2005-06 season, Hamilton shot 45.8 percent from 3-point range (most of them being corner 3’s), which led the NBA that season.