Celtics' Big Three blueprint doesn't work for all teams

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Celtics' Big Three blueprint doesn't work for all teams

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

NEW YORK When the Boston Celtics added Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to a roster that featured Paul Pierce back in 2007, no one knew for sure how this Big Three unit would mesh.

During the season, they dominated. And while they had their share of ups and downs in the playoffs that season, the end result - Banner 17 - proved that you could indeed mesh three great talents to form one great team.

Well, that blueprint has been copied in Miami and most recently, here in New York.

So far?

Let's just say things haven't quite worked out the way most anticipated.

The Miami Heat did not steamroll through the league the way many predicted.

In fact, they have been at their worst against the best teams and are currently third in the East behind Boston and Chicago.

And the New York Knicks have shown little to no improvement in terms of wins and losses, since adding Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey to a team being led by Amar'e Stoudemire.

The Celtics' Big Three have said many times that the way they came together so quickly, doesn't necessarily mean it'll happen like that all the time.

"It's going to be a process for them," said Paul Pierce, speaking about the Knicks. "That's why they're inconsistent. You can't just put a team together and go out there and say, 'Play well,' regardless of the talent. They have to develop chemistry, a feel for one another. Where you like the ball, where you like to get help at defensively. It's a process."

Making that more difficult, Pierce added, has been the fact that the Knicks and their Big Three came together just a few weeks ago.

In 2007, Pierce along with Allen and Garnett had an entire training camp to get familiar with how to play with one another.

"You don't know when that day will come when everything will click and things are running smoothly," Pierce said. "You have to continue to work, practice and eventually the light will turn on eventually."

While Celtics coach Doc Rivers acknowledges that it does take time, the success of joining three superstars ultimately falls on the players - at least, that's how it worked with his Big Three.

"At the end of the day, they wanted it work," Rivers said of Boston's Big Three. "They wanted it to work. You hear it a lot, but I don't know if everyone means it."

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

Isaiah Thomas won't make trip to Oklahoma City for Sunday game

Isaiah Thomas won't make trip to Oklahoma City for Sunday game

BOSTON – Facing Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook with a fully healthy squad is tough. 
 
Doing so without your leading scorer makes the challenge all that much greater. 
 
That is where the Celtics find themselves heading into Sunday night’s game against the Thunder without Isaiah Thomas, who did not travel with the team when they left for Oklahoma City today. 
 
Boston’s leading scorer this season with 26 points per game, Thomas suffered a right groin injury against Houston on Dec. 5 and has missed the Celtics’ past two games because of it. 
 
He was hoping to convince Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to let him travel with the team, but Thomas acknowledged convincing Ainge was a long shot. 
 
“He’s not really in favor of me going,” Thomas told reporters on Friday. “I’m trying to convince them to let me go. If I’m there, they know I’m going to try and play. I’m shooting for Wednesday [at San Antonio] for the most part. That’s more realistic than Sunday. Hopefully I can play on Wednesday.”
 
Boston has split the two games with Thomas out, beating the you-know-what out of Orlando 117-87 on the road, but dropping one at home 101-94 to Toronto on Friday night. 
 
As disappointed as Thomas is with not being able to play – it’s the first games he has missed since the 2014-2015 season – he understands the potential problems that could surface with an injury like this if he and the Celtics aren’t careful. 
 
“They keep wanting to be very patient with this,” Thomas said. “They don’t want to re-injure it. It is an injury that can get re-injured and be a problem the rest of the season. I don’t want that. On top of that, it gives me time to heal all the other injuries I have.”
 
Among the other injuries Thomas was referring to, is a still-swollen finger on his left (shooting) hand. 
 
The injury was believed to have happened on Nov. 12 against Indiana. 
 
While it was painfully sore, it didn’t seem to be an issue in Boston’s next game against New Orleans when he scored a season-high 37 points. He followed that up with a 30-point performance in a 90-83 win over Dallas.