|Inside the Game: Eddie House and the art of sharpshooting||01.20.10 at 12:22 am ET|
When the NBA announces the contestants of the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout in early February, Eddie House hopes to see his name on the lineup.
“The wind can’t stop me. The cold weather can’t stop me,” he proclaims in a promotional video in which he shovels snow off the court to shoot treys in a hat and winter coat.
Even when it’s cold out, House has the ability to get hot from long-range. Yet even though he has made his mark in Boston as a 3-point threat, he didn’t always spend most of his time behind the arc.
Seven years before he signed with the Celtics, House was a second-round pick of the Heat in 2000. He had played four years at Arizona State, where he left as the school’s all-time leading scorer (2,044 points) and tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most points scored in a Pac-10 game (61).
But by the time House (who is listed at 6-foot-1) squared off against NBA players, he quickly realized he couldn’t score at ease like he had on his way to the pros. And since he was coming off the bench, his coaches weren’t looking for him to score 30 points every night either.
So he began to adapt. House took his jumper and moved further and further away from the basket. As his role on the court changed, so did his game.
He honed in on his long-range shot, a decision early in his career that has paid long-term dividends in his career. House has spent the last three years as one of the Celtics’ offensive go-to guys off the bench and has proven himself to be reliable down the stretch. Last season he broke Danny Ainge’s single-season 3-point shooting percentage (44.4 percent). This season he is shooting 37.1 percent from behind the arc, second on the team only to Paul Pierce.
As part of WEEI.com’s “Inside the Game” series with the Celtics, House explains that even though he may be known for his 3-point skills, it took more than just treys (think 1,000 shots a day in the offseason) to become a successful sharpshooter:
Knowing his role: House shot less than 35 percent from 3-point range during his first three NBA seasons. After perfecting his craft, he has ranked in the top 10 among all players in two seasons.
“I think I probably developed [3-point shooting] more in the league more than anywhere else. Being in college and high school, you’re the guy who’s getting the most buckets and you’re like the man on the team, to where you come to the league and you have to become a role player. It was a role that because I was able to shoot the ball, that was the role that I was given so I had to start working on it. … Just repetition, practice, practice, practice, practice.”
Art appreciation: Hitting 3-pointers may look flashy during a game, but House always enjoys seeing more fundamental shots on the court.
“I don’t just love the 3-pointer — I love the jump shot. I think it’s kind of a lost art. You don’t have too many jump shooters in the game anymore. You have a lot of set shooters. I think it’s a pretty art that’s something that’s gone away from the game. There aren’t too many jump shooters at a premium, so to be one of them in the league, I think if you can shoot the basketball, you have a great chance of staying in this league for a while.”
No time to waste: One of House’s biggest strengths is his ability to quickly get rid of the ball — into the basket. His efficient catch and release not only helps the tempo of the game, it also helps him get better looks at the hoop.
“I guess if I took too long, then I’d probably get my shot blocked. So it’s just something that I developed by not trying to get my shot blocked. Knowing I’m not the tallest guy on the court, if I take too long I might get it blocked so it’s something you have to adapt to, and it wound up happening.”
Counting their weapons: Even though House is part of the Celtics’ second unit, he often plays alongside the starters. The combination of offensive weapons poses problems for their opponents.
“[Ray Allen is] another guy that has to be accounted for. You know they’re not going to help off him — you know they’re not really going to help off me — but at times if I’m out on the court and it’s Ray, Paul, Kevin [Garnett], [Rajon] Rondo, when they drive, someone’s got to give, and usually I’m the guy that they give from, so I get open shots.”
Two was enough: Surprisingly, House’s most significant shot was not a 3-pointer. He remembers a clutch jumper during the Celtics’ historic comeback against the Lakers in Game 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals.
“It wasn’t a 3-point shot. I think the biggest shot I made in my career was against the Lakers. It put us up when we were making that comeback from being down 24 in the third quarter. Then in the fourth quarter, we ran a play, I set a pick and rolled out, Paul [Pierce] dribbled out, hit me in the corner and I hit the shot. It put us up for the first time and we never looked back. I think that was the most important shot I made in my career.”
Second generation shooting: The oldest of Houses’ three sons, Jaelen, is already gravitating toward the arc. Oh, yeah, he’s only 8 years old.
“Jaelen tries to shoot it right now. He can make college 3-pointers. He started this past summer because he plays with older kids that are around 12. They’re shooting the shot and it’s easy for them, and he’s trying and it’s too much of a push for him. We never work on those things when we work out. I have him work on everything else but the first thing he always wants to do is go behind the 3 and shoot the shots. I don’t know why.”
|Banged Up, Perkins Can Still See Woes Clearly||01.18.10 at 11:39 pm ET|
BOSTON – Kendrick Perkins walked into the locker room with a bandage on his cheek. The big man caught an elbow from Dirk Nowitzki while he was trying to block a shot and ended up with six stitches under his right eye.
In spite of the battle wound, Perkins could still see the Celtics’ problems clearly. They have dropped the past three games at home after giving up a 12-point lead to the Mavericks on Monday night. The Celtics are now 11-7 in Boston this season and 4-6 in their last ten games.
“We’re not putting together a full game, obviously, so we’re playing in spurts,” he said following the C’s 99-90 loss. “We’re not playing for 48 minutes. The first half was pretty great tonight. Second half, third quarter we gave up 34 points and we can’t do that.”
In addition to blowing a third quarter lead to the Mavericks, the Celtics have been outscored in the fourth quarter in their last four games. They are 1-3 during that stretch, except for a win over the Nets. Extended minutes and fatigue all come into play late in the games. So does the absence of a leader whose intensity is heightened down the stretch.
“You need Kevin [Garnett], we needed Kevin tonight,” said Perkins. “I think [the Mavericks] match up pretty well with this defense and the way Dirk stretches the court, Kevin could guard guys like this. So I guess we needed him, but we couldn’t do it.”
Even with the bandage under his eye, Perkins has a clear perspective on the Celtics’ recent woes.
“[It's been an] up and down season,” he said. “I think we’re playing in spurts during the season so some games we look like a championship team, some games we look pretty old, but we’ve just been playing in spurts.”
|Fast Break: Celtics vs. Mavericks||at 10:38 pm ET|
BOSTON — What started off as a duel between Paul Pierce and Jason Kidd ended as a one-man show starring Dirk Nowitzki. The Celtics crumbled in the second half as the Mavericks went on tear to erase a nine-point halftime deficit and win, 99-90, in Boston.
Player of the Game: Dirk Nowitzki had an impressive first half with 13 points. Then he came out of halftime and crushed the Celtics to carry the Mavs to victory. He was nearly flawless in a critical third quarter in which he shot 6-for-7 from the field for 13 points. Nowitzki continued the assault in the fourth, scoring another eight points to finish with a game-high 37 (14-for-22 FG).
Turning point: Whatever Rick Carlisle said at halftime worked for the Mavericks. Led by Nowitzki, they dominated the third quarter. The Mavs erased the Celtics’ 50-41 halftime lead to go up 75-68 by the end of the third. Aiding Nowtizki was Erick Dampier, who scored his first 11 of the game in those 12 minutes. The Celtics gave up a season-high 34 points in the third and lost all control of the game.
- Paul Pierce and Jason Kidd combined for 19 points in the first quarter. But they both went scoreless in the second quarter (neither attempted a field goal). Pierce finished with 24 points (9-for-17 FG) while Kidd posted 13 (5-for-7) and 17 assists.
- Kendrick Perkins showed a poise and maturity tonight by staying out of foul trouble. He picked up his first personal nine minutes into the game and didn’t get whistled again until six minutes left in the third quarter. Perkins finished the game with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
- Rasheed Wallace posted 11 points (5-for-13 FG) and three rebounds in 35 minutes in his first game back since being sidelined with a sore left forefoot.
- The Celtics are now 4-9 when trailing after three quarters.
|Report: Marbury to play in China||at 10:05 am ET|
It was only a matter of time before Stephon Marbury news circulated again. Nearly a year after signing with the Celtics, Marbury is reportedly going international.
Marbury has agreed to play for Shanxi Club of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), the team announced on their website (via Reuters). He will arrive in Shanxi next week.
While no financial terms were disclosed, Marbury reportedly did not request a blockbuster deal because he wants to promote his Starbury line of shoes in China.
Marbury appeared in 23 games for the Celtics last season. He averaged 3.8 points and 3.3 assists.
|Celtics stay loose at practice||01.16.10 at 2:32 pm ET|
WALTHAM — After losing to the Bulls on Thursday night, the Celtics stayed loose during Saturday’s open practice. The uplifting mood was good for the team.
“After losses, sometimes guys can be mad at each other a little bit,” said Kendrick Perkins. “Sometimes we need a little laughter in the gym, stuff like that. I think that helped us.”
First some news before the notes …
- Rasheed Wallace (sore left foot) is expected to play on Monday against the Mavericks. “Definitely, I’m going to go Monday,” he said after practice. “I’ve got one more [practice] to get under my belt. I’ll be fine.” Doc Rivers said the team will make a final decision after observing Wallace in practice on Sunday. Wallace, who has missed the last three games, is eager to shake the injury that has been bothering him for some time. “It happened a while ago,” he said. “I’ve been playing on it for two weeks. The last few minutes in the Toronto game last week, that sort of did it.”
- J.R Giddens and Bill Walker faced off in a slam dunk contest. Marquis Daniels and Wallace were the official judges, holding up their scores on dry-erase boards. Walker started off strong with a windmill dunk but it was Giddens who stole the show. “The between the legs one? A 10,” ranked Perkins. “That was alright, especially in practice.” Just alright? The dunk sent Eddie House running around the court and had Glen Davis rolling backward.
- House and Ray Allen took to the line for a free throw competition. The team’s top two free throw shooters were flawless despite desperate attempts from the Celtics to distract them. Rivers encouraged the crowd to make noise, Paul Pierce leaped under the basket as House and Allen squared up, the buzzer sounded, even Danny Ainge threw up shots to shake the pair. In the end, the duel ended in a tie without either player missing a free throw.
The Celtics will practice — think drills, not contests — on Sunday before taking on the Mavericks Monday night at 8pm in Boston.
|Fast Break: Celtics vs. Bulls||01.14.10 at 10:49 pm ET|
BOSTON – The last time the Bulls played in Boston, they were dealt an embarrassing 28-point loss. On Thursday night, they redeemed themselves. Despite being outscored by an average of 27 points in two losses to the C’s this season, the Bulls came out with the win, 96-83, at the TD Garden.
Player of the Game: Luol Deng immediately established himself as the leader of the Bulls, scoring 16 points in the first half alone. And it wasn’t just how many points Deng scored (25) that made a difference, it was how he scored them. He took smart shots (8-for-13 FG) and was nearly perfect at the line (9-for-10 FT).
Turning Point: The Celtics led just once the entire game, and even then it was a 2-0 advantage. They relinquished their lead less than two minutes into the first quarter and never got it back. Even though the Celtics starters got rest last night in their blowout against the Nets, they looked sluggish in the first half. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce shot a combined 4-for-14 while Allen shot 0-for-3 from three-point range.
- The anticipated match up between Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose was a non-factor for the first three quarters. Rose was benched with foul trouble early on and had been outscored 15-8 by Rondo … until the fourth quarter. As the Celtics tried to close in, Rose (17 points) propelled the the Bulls by both scoring and dishing the ball. His play-making skills gave his team the edge they needed to hold on.
- Despite playing with a swollen thumb, Glen Davis was one of the most aggressive Celtics on the boards. He grabbed eight rebounds – he hardly made any of them look easy – and blocked the pain to contribute an hustling performance.
- Eddie House hit his first three-point shot since January 10 against the Raptors. He finished the game with 11 points (5-for6 FG, 1-for-2 FG).
- After playing back-to-back games, the Celtics will get a three-day rest before they play the Mavericks on Monday night.
|Davis wishes for superhero power||at 8:39 pm ET|
BOSTON — Here’s something for “Heroes” fans to ponder: If Glen Davis could pick one character to be, who would he choose?
The answer is a petite blonde cheerleader.
OK, OK, hear him out.
“I wish I was a ‘Hero.’ I wish I was Claire,” he said as he looked at his bandaged right hand. “Claire heals so she can never die. She just heals.”
That’s all Davis has been trying to do since breaking his right thumb in October. Last night he banged it during the game against the Nets, and today he had to repeatedly ice it to keep the swelling down.
“Bone healed nicely, that’s what the doctor said,” he said. “So hopefully it won’t break.”
Davis will continue to play through the pain. He already has made up his mind to do so.
“In the words of Danny Ainge, back in those days, this ain’t nothing,” he said.