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Irish Coffee: Larry Bird says Rajon Rondo can’t shoot 03.23.11 at 11:17 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

I’m not sure how I missed this — probably because it took place on St. Patrick’s day — but Celtics legend Larry Bird joined The Dan Patrick Show and had this exchange with the host about C’s point guard Rajon Rondo:

  • Dan Patrick: “Who’s the guy you didn’t draft, look back on and go, ‘You know what, I’m surprised by how good he is’?”
  • Larry Bird: “Rondo.”
  • DP: “What was it about Rondo that made you nervous about drafting him?”
  • LB: “His shooting.”
  • DP: “He still can’t shoot.”
  • LB: “No, but he can play.”
  • DP: “Could you teach him to shoot?”
  • LB: “It’d take awhile.”

Rondo ranks 27th in true shooting percentage among NBA point guards who play at least 25 minutes per game. His field-goal percentage (48.0) ranks sixth for players at his position, but as you get further from the rim — where he’s shooting 54.0 percent — he gets awful shaky. Rondo is shooting 33.0 percent from 3-9 feet, 41.0 percent from 10-15 feet, 27.0 percent from 16-23 feet and 27.8 percent from 3-point range, according to HoopData.com.

You can’t really blame Bird for claiming Rondo can’t shoot, but you can blame him for selecting Shawne Williams four slots ahead of Rondo at No. 21 in the 2006 NBA draft. Here are a few other highlights from what proved to be a great interview with Bird:

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Larry Bird, Lawrence Frank, Rajon Rondo
Chris Broussard on M&M: ‘It comes down to the Celtics and the Heat’ 03.21.11 at 1:12 pm ET
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ESPN’s Chris Broussard joined the Mut & Merloni show Monday afternoon to talk about the Celtics and topics of interest around the NBA. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

The C’s play the Knicks Monday night in New York. Broussard said despite the initial excitement over the addition of Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks aren’t a threat to knock off one of the East’s elite. And that was before the reported locker room discord that is swirling around the team during its recent struggles (five losses in the last seven games).

“They clearly have talent and should be dangerous,” Broussard said. “They don’t look that way right now. Even when they were looking good, I would never have picked them to win their first-round series over those top teams. But I did think they had maybe a puncher’s chance and could make it interesting. I still will say they could make it interesting if they get it together, but right now they don’t look like they’re any major threat to beat any of these top teams.”

The Celtics have their own problems, having lost four of their last seven games. Broussard speculated that much of the reason for the malaise falls on the trade of Kendrick Perkins, noting that Perkins and the struggling Rajon Rondo “were very tight.” He also said the Celtics still have a hole to fill with Perkins off the roster, and Shaquille O’Neal‘s absence exposes it that much more.

“I didn’t like [the trade] in the first place,” Broussard said. “With this kind of mystery involving Shaq, I like it even less.”

Added Broussard: “My biggest concern if I was a Celtics fan would be the lack of bulk and toughness that they now have without Kendrick Perkins. They only needed Perk for a few teams: Miami ‘€” that gave them a big advantage over the Heat ‘€” Orlando and the Lakers. You may be better matching up with Chicago without Perk. But if Shaquille O’Neal can’t come back and give you really quality minutes, and significant minutes, then I think a huge advantage that the Celtics had over everyone in the league is gone.”

Asked which team is the best in the East, Broussard said: “Boston, you’d have to give them their due respect. They’ve been great all year. I’m not going to hold this couple of weeks where they’ve struggled against them.”

Added Broussard: “I think if Miami plays the right way, they can win the East. And I feel a lot more comfortable about picking them in the preseason. But for most of this year, I have felt like it was Boston that’s the best team in the East. I like Chicago, but I still think at the end of the day it comes down to the Celtics and the Heat.”

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Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Chris Broussard, Grant Hill, Jalen Rose
Shaquille O’Neal feeling 84.22711556644222 percent 03.10.11 at 3:48 pm ET
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Celtics center Shaquille O’€™Neal joined WEEI’€™s Mut & Merloni show this morning. He touched on everything from his health to eating pizza with the elderly — and everything in between.

You can hear the entire interview on WEEI.com right here. And here is the transcription:

How’€™s O’€™Neal’€™s Achilles (he hasn’€™t played since Feb. 1)?

‘€œIt’€™s getting better. I can remember a time when I was 19, I’€™d get hit by a car and five minutes later I’€™d be Ok. The older you get, it takes time to heal. I’€™ve been getting better, a little stronger, but there’€™s still a little pain. I’€™ve been instructed by Doc [Rivers] and the Big Three to come back when there’€™s no pain. It’€™s their call. Doc and I are from the same era. If it’€™s not getting better, shoot it up and let’€™s go out and play. But we’€™re looking at the 1825 thing (see below) here, so we want to do things right. The team’€™s playing well. [Nenad] Krstic is doing a fabulous job. They want me 1,000 percent, especially for the postseason, because that’€™s when it really counts.’€

How did O’€™Neal feel about the Kendrick Perkins trade?

‘€œI was training, and I heard about the trade. It was kind of a sad ordeal. I got to know a lot about him and got to see his work ethic. I didn’€™t realize he was from Texas. I’€™m from Texas. We hung out on the road and got to talk strategies, talk shop and then business kicks in. He’€™s a very physical player — long arms, plays hard, not afraid of anybody, takes the elbow, gives them out, hard-nosed guy. We’€™re going to miss him. Boston’€™s going to miss him. He’€™s done a lot for the Boston community. He helped them get No. 17, and it’€™s been an honor to play with him.’€

How difficult will it be to integrate the newest Celtics?

‘€œIt’€™s difficult, but it’€™s not difficult. You brought in five consistent role players — guys who are used to being role players. Everybody’€™s gonna be playing off the Big Three. We know that. We just have to create a rhythm and keep it going. We’€™re looking very good right now. We’€™re going to be full strength very soon, and then we know what’€™s at hand. A lot of people play for championships, but for us — for the city of Boston — it’€™s something different. Something I call 1825: 18 for the beautiful people of Boston, two for Ray [Allen] and Doc and Kevin [Garnett] and those guys, and five for me. It was also the year John Quincy Adams was inaugurated, and he was a Boston guy. So, for us, it’€™s bigger than winning.’€

What has it been like for O’€™Neal to work with Jackie MacMullan on a book?

‘€œShe knew things that I’€™d forgotten about. We were sitting at the house talking — we meet twice a week for three hours. She asks me questions, and I ‘€˜ve got to dig in my old Shaqodex. I’€™m like, ‘€˜That’€™s 13 years ago.’€™ It should be a very exciting book — no holds barred. ‘€˜Tell-all’€™ wouldn’€™t be the correct term. ‘€˜Truthful’€™ would be the better term.’€

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kendrick Perkins, nenad krstic
Welcome to town, Carlos Arroyo 03.08.11 at 12:41 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Sporting a bandage on his left [non-shooting] middle finger, Carlos Arroyo showed up for his first official practice with his new team on Tuesday at the Boston Celtics training facility.

He was given time at the point guard, opposite Rajon Rondo, while Delonte West [sprained right ankle] continued to watch from the sideline and go through stretching exercises.

If cleared West could join Arroyo in time for Wednesday’s game against Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers.

After celebrating his 39th birthday on Sunday, Shaquille O’Neal, meanwhile, was not at practice and has not been cleared yet from a strained right Achilles.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Carlos Arroyo, Delonte West, Los Angeles Clippers
Irish Coffee: The Shaqtionary at 11:04 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

The oldest player in the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal celebrated his 39th birthday where most almost over-the-hill men celebrate their birthdays — at Boston Children’s Museum.

The Celtics center who hasn’t played since Feb. 1 — and has already missed 25 games this season — told reporters he was 85 percent and would not return until he’s fully healthy, which could be as soon as next week. Here are the quotes from his birthday celebration, courtesy of The Globe:

  • ‘€œHopefully, in the next week [I'€™ll be back]. They want me back at 100 percent. I tried to run on it the other day, and it felt pretty good, but I took a step back and I’€™m going to get back out there in a few days. I don’€™t really feel like I’€™m 39.’€™’€™
  • ‘€œIf I can walk, I can play, and I asked many times to shoot it up, and you know, they refuse. And the Big Three said they want me at 100 percent healthy, so I’€™m getting there.’€™’€™
  • ‘€œI have a little Achilles soreness. It gets better, it comes back, it gets better, it comes back. It’€™s better. Dr. [Brian] McKeon is doing a great job. I’€™ve been working out twice a day, getting treatment. It’€™ll be right.’€™’€™
  • ‘€œ[Kendrick] Perkins has meant a lot to this city, and he really helped them get No. 17 and we’€™re going to miss him. He was my main man. Everybody loves Perk. I love him. We became real good friends, and I congratulated him on his new deal. But this is a business. He’€™s going to be missed. We had a great time this year being on the same team.’€™’€™

So, there you have it. Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, trainer Ed Lacerte, Dr. Brian McKeon and the Big Three all want Shaq to wait until he’s 100 percent before he returns to the court. He could play right now, but he’s won’t. The Celtics don’t need him now; they need him in the playoffs, so why rush him back? It’s a smart move by the Celtics, so can we just take it easy on the Shaq Watch?

Which brings me to a much more important topic. In honor of Shaq’s 39th birthday — which he called ShaqDay, which makes almost no sense — we scoured UrbanDictionary.com for the ultimate Shaqtionary, described as “the book that will be used to document all of the words that Shaquille O’Neal manages to create during his scrabble games.”

Of course, we eliminated the dirtiest definitions — like Shaq Off and Shaq’s Arm (use your imagination) — and came up with the following list …

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
Irish Coffee: One wild Celtics weekend 03.07.11 at 3:04 pm ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

Ok, so let me get this straight: I’€™m out of touch for one weekend, and we learn Shaquille O’€™Neal might’€™ve saved Notorious BIG, Marcus Banks wanted to be a male model more than a Celtic, Kendrick Perkins is (obviously) no Dennis Johnson, a reality TV star painted herself in green to honor the Celtics, Doc Rivers‘€™ family has already won a title this year and the Heat cry more than Dick Vermeil.

Let’€™s sort through a weekend of wild stories that revolved around the Celtics ‘€¦

In an interview for ESPN’€™s Outside the Lines, Shaq revealed why — even 14 years later — he believes he could’€™ve saved his friend Christopher Wallace (aka, Notorious BIG or Biggie Smalls).

On his 25th birthday, Shaq met up with the legendary rapper, who invited the then-Lakers center to an after party following the Soul Train Music Awards two days later. On March 8, 1997, Shaq dressed in a white suit and waited for his security officer to pick him up and take him to the party. But he fell asleep.

‘€œI woke up about 4 o’€™clock from a call from my mother,’€ Shaq told OTL. ‘€œShe said, ‘€˜Did you go to the party?’€™ I’€™m like, ‘€˜No, what are you talking about?’€™ She said, ‘€˜You know, your friend was shot and killed.’€™’€

Wallace and his entourage left the after party around 12:30 a.m. in two Suburbans. A black Chevrolet Impala pulled up alongside one of the SUVs, the driver rolled down his window and he fired four bullets into Wallace’€™s chest. By 1:15 a.m., Wallace had been pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

‘€œIf Shaq would’€™ve said, ‘€˜You know what, I’€™m going to come with y’€™all,’€™ I’€™m sure him and BIG would’€™ve ridden together,’€ added Lil’€™ Cease, a member of the rap group Junior MAFIA. ‘€œThat’€™s the type of person BIG was. ‘€¦ And I’€™m sure Shaq would’€™ve had security, and I’€™m sure BIG would’€™ve had another security come with him that day just to make sure Shaq would’€™ve been all right. So, I definitely think if Shaq would’€™ve been there, it definitely would’€™ve changed. It definitely would’€™ve changed.’€

Um, way to make Shaq feel better, Lil’€™ Cease. Definitely would’€™ve changed? A little strong, don’€™t you think? Just as easily, somebody could’€™ve opened fire on Biggie’€™s car, killing both him and Shaq. The moral of the story kids, as always, is that falling asleep on the couch is never a bad thing.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, NBA, Notorious BIG
Not so fast on Shaquille O’Neal return but hope remains for Delonte West Wednesday 03.05.11 at 2:34 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Shaquille O’Neal will likely not be able to return to the Celtics lineup on Wednesday after all, coach Doc Rivers said following Saturday’s practice. Rivers indicated he was hoping to have both O’Neal and Delonte West back by Wednesday to help them begin getting playing time to gear up for the playoffs.

“Probably not going to be ready Wednesday because his foot is bothering him a little again,” Rivers said. “Delonte, we’re hoping Wednesday.”

O’Neal has missed the last 12 games and has been out since Feb. 1 with a sore right lower leg and sore right achilles tendon. West missed his third straight game Friday with a sprained right ankle. Glen Davis shot free throws following Saturday’s practice but is still nursing patellar tendinitis in his left knee and is expected to miss several more days of practice while Von Wafer, who injured his right calf during Friday’s win over the Warriors is still in a walking boot.

The team also informed center Chris Johnson that they will not renew his 10-day contract for now as Doc Rivers announced the priority is to sign a back-up point guard.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chris Johnson, D-League, Dakota Wizards
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