Friday FT's: Scal says Ciao, C's get personal

191544.jpg

Friday FT's: Scal says Ciao, C's get personal

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA

Welcome back to Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of the most interesting news, notes, and information that have not made the headlines but are still worth a read. In spite of the NBA lockout, there are still plenty of hoops to talk about.

The Scal-a-bri-ne chants left the Garden last season, and now they have left the country. On Thursday night Sportando.net reported Brian Scalabrine signed with Benetton Treviso of Italy's Lega Serie A. Scalabrine was listed on the teams roster page as well.

Scalabrine, 33, played in 18 games for the Chicago Bulls last season. He will join Celtics 2011 second round draft pick, ETwaun Moore, who signed with the team earlier this summer.

As Scalabrine signs in Italy, lets take a look back at some of his classic NBA moments:

Who can forget the infamous post-championship press conference in 2008?

After a year with the Bulls, Scalabrine returned to Boston to give his two cents on CSNNE.

And finally, Scal showed off his dance moves not once . . . but twice for your viewing pleasure.

Celtics Opening Up

Over the past few days, the Celtics have been sharing insight into their lives off the court.

Delonte West opened up to SLAM Magazine about the night of his 2009 arrest stemming from guns charges. He also talked about the repercussions, which included house arrest during last season. When I broke my wrist they took me straight to the hospital, West told SLAM. I got into trouble because I didnt call and let them know I was going to the hospital. They said, If something happens on the way to the hospital, I dont know where youre at, so you better call in advance next time. Thats how they was on me.

In his Boston.com blog, Paul Pierce talked about the birth of his daughter in May: "It used to be my wife, our oldest daughter Prianna, and me. Now were up to a squad of four, and Im lovin it. I know people say the transition from one to two kids is the biggest change and I think they were right. Twice the diapers, twice the baby formula, twice the tears!"

While in Portland, Maine for a fundraiser for Day One, an organization that deals with teen drug and alcohol abuse, Glen Davis opened up about his difficult childhood in Louisiana. "I didn't have a person in my household (making the right decisions), he told the Portland Press Herald. I was stuck in the cycle of kids raising kids until I found basketball. I didn't have my mom make me go to school. I made myself go to school. I washed the clothes I wore to school."

Frank Prepping for New Job

It is uncertain when Lawrence Frank will be able to start coaching the Detroit Pistons, but when he does, he has plenty of proven knowledge to share with his new team.

In an interview with mlive.com, he emphasized the importance of -- what else coming from a former Celtics assistant coach? -- defense. Last season the Pistons gave up 100.6 points per game (16th in the NBA), compared to the top-ranking Celtics who held their opponents to 91.1 during the regular season.

In order to win a championship, you have to be able to defend at the highest level," Frank said. "You need balance. You have to be able to play at both ends of the court. But for us, in terms of establishing our foundation and basically reclaiming our pride here, its going to start first on the defensive end."

Frank spent one season on the Celtics coaching staff and was hired by the Pistons in July.

Celtics Tweet of the Week

@Kevin Eastman: Sometimes the best way to stand out is to not try to stand out--just grind. True "everyday effort" people get noticed!

Birthdays of the Week

Red Auerbach would have celebrated his 94th birthday on September 20. Many websites posted tribute videos, including RedsArmy.com.

September 17 was a busy day in the world of former Celtics birthdays: Rasheed Wallace, who played for the Celtics in the 2009-10 season, turned 37. The 15-year veteran averaged 14.6 points and 6.7 rebounds during his career, earned four All-Star selections, and won a championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004. Doug Smith, who appeared in 17 games for the Celtics during the 1995-96 season (1.9 points, 1.3 rebounds), turned 42 the same day. Smith was the sixth overall pick in the 1991 NBA Draft. Kermit Washington celebrated his 60th birthday on September 17 as well. Washington played 32 games for the Celtics during the 1997-78 season (11.8 points, 10.5 rebounds). He was traded by the Cs to the San Diego Clippers in 1978 as part of the Tiny Archibald deal (which included the 1981 second round pick used by the Celtics to select Danny Ainge). September 18th marked the 57th birthday of the late Dennis Johnson. The Hall of Famer, who passed away in 2007, played the final seven seasons of his career with the Celtics (15.6 points, 5.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds career average). He won three championships (two in Boston), the 1979 NBA Finals MVP award with the Seattle SuperSonics, and earned five All-Star Game selections. Greg Minor turned 40 on the same day. He played all five years of his career with the Celtics, averaging 6.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.4 assists. Sidney Wicks turned 62 on September 19. He played for the Celtics during the 1977 and 1978 seasons. Former Celtics guard Ricky Davis turned 32 on September 23. Davis played with the Cs for over three seasons before being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of the Wally Szczerbiak trade in 2006. He averaged 4.4 points and 1.1 assists for the Los Angeles Clippers last season. 1994 first round draft pick Eric Montross turned 40 on the same day. Montross played his first two seasons with the Celtics and was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in 1996 for picks that were used to select Antoine Walker and Ron Mercer.

This Week in Celtics History

On September 22, 1995, the Celtics signed Dana Barros as an unrestricted free agent. Barros played five seasons with the Cs and later rejoined the team for the final game of his career during the 2003-04 season. He is still involved with the organization today.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA.

Celtics' team plane receives bomb threat

newsletter-danny-ainge-061316.jpg

Celtics' team plane receives bomb threat

BOSTON -- There was a bomb threat to the Boston Celtics’ team plane to Oklahoma City on Saturday afternoon, but no one was injured.

The incident will be investigated by NBA security which will work in conjunction with the FBI on this matter which was one of several hoaxes called into airports across the country on Saturday.

News of the bomb threat was first known when Celtics forward Jae Crowder posted an Instagram photo showing players departing the plane with the caption, “BOMB THREAT ON US”.

Celtics officials declined to comment on the matter and instead referred all bomb threat-related questions to the league office.

Messages to the league office were not immediately returned.

Celtics' ball movement among NBA's best, with or without Thomas

Celtics' ball movement among NBA's best, with or without Thomas

BOSTON – When it comes to winning basketball, keep it moving – the ball that is – has become a staple of the Celtics this season. 
 
And lately they’ve had to do it without Isaiah Thomas, the team’s leading scorer at 26 points per game as well as their top assists guy (6.2) who will miss hish third game in a row Sunday in Oklahoma City because of a right groin injury.
 
The Celtics have split their first two games without Thomas, with the most recent being a 101-94 home loss to Toronto on Friday.
 
When it comes to this team and ball movement, fans are just as divided when it pertains to whether the Celtics move the ball better without the high-scoring Thomas in the lineup. 
 
Regardless of what fans think they know about this team and how they move the ball, the numbers paint a very clear picture that this team’s ball movement is among the best in the NBA, with or without Thomas in the lineup. 

And that will be important on Sunday against an Oklahoma City team that doesn’t rely on the ball swinging from one side of the floor to the other, nearly as much as the Celtics. 
 
The Thunder, led by MVP candidate Russell Westbrook, are dead-last in the NBA when it comes to passes made per game (267.1). 
 
Meanwhile, the Celtics are at the opposite end of the passing game spectrum, averaging 331.7 passes per game, which is second in the NBA (Philadelphia, 354.3).
 
And in the two games without Thomas, Boston has averaged 347.0 passes per game, which ranks second in the NBA in that period of time. 
 
In addition to missing his points and assists, the Celtics must also find ways to make plays in filling the void left by a player who has the ball in his hands a lot of the time. 
 
Thomas’ usage percentage (percentage of plays used by a player while he’s on the floor) of 32.9 percent ranks seventh in the NBA, ahead of notable stars such as San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard (30.9 percent), Portland’s Damian Lillard (30.8 percent), New York’s Carmelo Anthony (29.5 percent), as well as Cleveland’s LeBron James (29 percent) and Golden State’s back-to-back NBA MVP Stephen Curry (28.2 percent).
 
So, considering how involved Thomas has been in the team’s offense, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the numbers in terms of passing and ball movement are better without him than they are when he’s on the floor playing. 
 
What should be surprising is that the gap statistically without him, isn’t greater. 
 
Boston has been a top five team when it comes to assists this season, currently third in the league with 24.7 assists per game. In the past two games without Thomas, the Celtics’ assists numbers have risen to 26.5 per game, but that only ranks fifth in the league in that span.
 
When it comes to potential assists and secondary assists (a.k.a. the “hockey” assist), Boston’s numbers have improved slightly without Thomas as well, but in each category Boston is ranked second in the league. 
 
And that ranking is with, and without Thomas in the lineup. 
 
While it’s not clear if Thomas knows just how close the numbers in terms of ball movement are with and without him playing, he is acutely aware that there are some who believe they are a better team in terms of keeping the ball moving without him.
 
“I can’t control that,” Thomas told reporters on Friday. “At this point, I laugh about it. I know what I mean to my teammates. I know what I mean to this organization, to Brad Stevens.”