Celtics invade Fenway for a chemistry lesson

Celtics invade Fenway for a chemistry lesson

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

WALTHAM -- Rajon Rondo has pulled off memorable moves over the years with the Celtics, but this time he hit it out the park.

On Friday, the Celtics spent the day playing softball at Fenway Park. Rondo came up with the idea to coordinate a team game and the Red Sox organization gave them access to the field. General Manager Theo Epstein was even in attendance.

"It was a dream come true," said Kevin Garnett. "I felt like I was 10 years old."

MVP honors went to Rondo, according to Doc Rivers. He wasn't the only one to impress, either. In spite of being drafted second-to-last, Jermaine O'Neal emphasized that he "went yard," and noted Von Wafer did as well.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge, who played in the major leagues with the Toronto Blue Jays from 1979-81 before switching from baseball to basketball, also made a standout play.

"Danny Ainge took a dive," said O'Neal. "It was a Gold Glove moment where the ball was hit extremely fast and he dove for it and actually caught it to try to make a play at first . . . Even though he was drafted, 30 years later you don't expect him to make that kind of play. It was funny because he made the play and then made it look easy."

The softball game is yet another addition to the ever-growing list of team-building activities the Celtics have arranged this preseason. From movie nights to Duck Boat rides to team dinners, the players are jelling thanks to these off-the-court experiences.

"That was one of the best days of my life, actually," said Paul Pierce. "It's all team chemistry, it's all team bonding. It's fun. We have a great group of guys and that's one thing you see. That's why we do things like that. From top to bottom, everyone likes one another and it's fun when we do activities like that because all it's doing is building our chemistry and our team bonding."

Echoed Garnett: "It certainly doesn't hurt. I think the more you do together, the more activities you have together, the more you get to know one another, the more one-on-ones you have with each other -- I think this group is just trying to sort of ease the competitive job which we're used to playing against each other and coming together for this common goal. So far, so good."

After a fun day on the baseball field, the Celtics were back to basketball at practice on Saturday.

"We're going to challenge the Red Sox now on the basketball court," joked Rivers. "Because baseball, I don't think we're going to win."

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcamerato

Thomas strains right groin, says he'll 'be fine for Wednesday'

Thomas strains right groin, says he'll 'be fine for Wednesday'

The bumps and bruises continue to pile up for Isaiah Thomas, adding a new one to the group during Boston’s 107-106 loss at Houston. 
 
The 5-foot-9 guard said he strained his right groin in the second quarter, but added that the injury won’t force him to miss any games. 

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“I’ll be alright,” Thomas told reporters after the loss. “I’ll get treatment. I’ll be fine for Wednesday (against Orlando).”
 
The injury appeared to have happened shortly after Houston’s Trevor Ariza hit a 3-pointer that put the Rockets ahead 55-45.
 
At the time it didn’t seem all that serious as Thomas, who had 20 points on the night, came down and drained a 3-pointer. 
 
But after the game, Thomas acknowledged his groin did bother him during the game in which he played 33-plus minutes. 
 
“A few drives I didn’t have the lift,” said Thomas, who finished with 20 points. “It is what it is. I’ll figure it out.”
 
Thomas, who played in all 82 regular season games last season in addition to each of Boston’s 21 games this season, has dealt with an assortment of injuries including but not limited to, a swollen middle finger injury on his left (shooting) hand. 
 
Thomas, an All-Star last season for the first time, has played at an elite level that should once again position him to be represent the Eastern Conference. 
 
Following Monday’s game, Thomas is averaging a career-high 26.0 points per game which ranks ninth in the NBA along with 6.1 assists.