Who is JaJuan Johnson?

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Who is JaJuan Johnson?

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
BOSTON - On Draft Night, the Boston Celtics selected Providence guard Marshon Brooks with the 25th overall pick . . . and minutes later traded him to the New Jersey Nets as part of a deal to acquire big man JaJuan Johnson from Purdue. So who is Johnson? Get to know the newest member of the Celtics.

The Basics
Position: Forward
Height: 6-10
Weight: 221
Born: February 8, 1989
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
College: Purdue University

Collegiate Accolades
During his senior year at Purdue, Johnson was named First Team All-American, Big Ten Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Last season he averaged 20.5 ppg (49.4 FG, 80.9 FT), 8.6 rpg, 2.3 bpg, 1.6 TO.

Docs Take
Pick-and-pop, hes a terrific shooter for his size and extremely athletic," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "He obviously rebounded well in college, which you hope translates over to the pros. But weve proven we can get shots for our bigs . . . and so if we can get him shots, hell make them. The defensive part, comes from a great program and hes a high character kid. At pick number 25, thats what you hope for.

How He Will Complement the Celtics
Johnson gives the Celtics the size they need after their frontcourt was depleted last season. Dont expect him to be a 20-and-10 guy next season - thats not the role of rookies on this veteran team - but he can learn and develop under the leadership of experienced teammates, especially Kevin Garnett.

I dont think I ever have to talk to Kevin about that, Rivers said of Garnett offering leadership. It will be Johnsons choice if he wants to follow it. One thing, Kevins a great teacher - actually the best teacher that Ive ever coached, by far. But if you dont listen the first time, hell never teach you again, and thats just how he works.

A Reliable Referral
Rivers son, Jeremiah, gave Johnson a strong review after playing against him in college. Jeremiah loved him, Rivers said. When we drafted him he actually thought it was one of the best players that he had played against. He knows what hes talking about, hopefully.

Where to find him
Johnson is on Twitter @BoilerBaller25.

Random Fact
JaJuan will be the fifth player with the last name "Johnson" on the Celtics. Former players include (in chronological order from the most recent) Chris Johnson, Joe Johnson, Dennis Johnson, and Rich Johnson.

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

Report: Paul Pierce '50-50' about retirement after Clippers' exit

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Report: Paul Pierce '50-50' about retirement after Clippers' exit

After the Clippers were elminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, a disappointed Paul Pierce told ESPN that he was "50-50" about retirement. 

In a video after Portland's Game 6 victory posted on oregonlive.com, the former Celtics captain said his "heart is broken" by another playoff elimination. 

Pierce signed a a three-year, $10 million contract to return home (he grew up in Inglewood, Calif.) and play for his old coach Doc Rivers in Los Angeles.  He'll be 39 next season and coming off the worst season of his career. Pierce averaged 6.1 points, 36 percent shooting and 18 minutes a game, all career lows.

How does Isaiah Thomas improve? Eating right is one step

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How does Isaiah Thomas improve? Eating right is one step

WALTHAM, Mass. -- This past season, Isaiah Thomas took a major step forward to becoming more than just a solid NBA player, but one of the game’s best.
 
He knows he won’t stay among the elite for long if he doesn’t make some changes with the most notable being to his diet.
 
“I do not eat good,” Thomas acknowledged following his exit interview this week. “I eat like a young guy, a young guy who got a little bit of money, fast food every day. But I’m definitely going to change.”
 
The change becomes necessary not only in light of how the season ended for him and the Celtics, but also for his long-term goals, which include playing in the NBA until he’s at least 40 years old.
 
“I’m not that old but the greatest players took care of their bodies the best,” Thomas said.
 
Among those cited by Thomas who excelled at taking care of their bodies was former Celtic Ray Allen.
 
But Thomas was quick to add that he won’t go to the lengths that Allen did in maintaining good health.
 
“Because he’s a little crazy with that,” quipped Thomas. “I just want to play at a high level for a long time, like Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant. You have to take care of your body. That’s half the battle of performing out there on the floor.
 
Thomas added, “This is a big summer for me to start doing that.”
 
Eating right is just part of the transformation process for Thomas.
 
He’ll also modify is offseason workouts to include some work in the boxing ring with long time friend Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
 
“I’m definitely work with him a few times, get my conditioning right, probably train, do some boxing stuff on the side, just to get in that type of shape,” Thomas said. “You get in that type of shape you won’t get tired on the basketball floor. This summer is big for me, transforming my body, getting into the best shape possible and coming back and having another all-star year.”
 
For the Celtics to improve upon this past season, they will need Thomas to continue elevating his play as well as the play of those around him.
 
It is that latter point that was among the many reasons Boston’s season is over. No matter what he did, those around him could not step their game up to a level needed in order to get past the Atlanta Hawks.
 
Chalk it up to another lesson learned for Thomas.
 
“You can’t do it on your own,” Thomas said. “There’s no way you can do it on your own. Nobody can do it on your own; and how hard it is to win playoff games, a playoff series. It’s not easy.”
 
And when you come up short, for Thomas is created an uneasiness that he never wants to experience again.
 
“I’m going to do whatever it takes to not have this feeling again,” he said. “It really hurt me. I’m going to use that as motivation to continue to get better and to work on my flaws and make those into my strengths. I promise you’ll I’ll be back better than ever next year.”