Archive for the ‘ Boston Celtics Blog ’ Category

Marcus Smart suspended for striking Matt Bonner

Marcus Smart suspended for striking Matt Bonner

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been suspended one game without pay for hitting San Antonio Spurs center/forward Matt Bonner in the groin, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, which resulted in a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejection for Smart, occurred last night with 8:56 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Celtics’ 101-89 loss to the Spurs at AT&T Center.

Smart will serve his suspension tomorrow when the Celtics host the Detroit Pistons.

To view the play, click on this link.

Hassan Whiteside suspended for elbow to Kelly Olynyk

Hassan Whiteside suspended for elbow to Kelly Olynyk

Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside has been suspended one game without pay for elbowing Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk in the back of the neck, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 2:45 remaining in the third quarter of Boston’s 100-90 win over Miami on Monday, March 9, at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Whiteside will serve his suspension tomorrow when the Heat hosts the Brooklyn Nets.

To view the play, click on this link.

Isaiah Thomas, Damian Lillard named Players of Week through March 1

isaiah thomas

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Feb. 23, through Sunday, March 1.

Thomas helped the Celtics to a 3-1 week, which included wins over the Phoenix Suns and Charlotte Hornets. He placed third in the East in scoring (22.0 ppg) and tied for seventh in assists (6.5 apg). On Feb. 27, Thomas scored a season-high 28 points and dished out seven assists during the Celtics’ 106-98 win over the Hornets.

damian lillard

Lillard led the Trail Blazers to a 3-0 week, which included wins over the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder. He averaged 26.0 points (third in the conference) and added 5.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds. Lillard capped his week with a 31-point, seven-assist, four-rebound performance on March 1, during a 110-99 win over the Sacramento Kings.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Paul Millsap, Charlotte’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Mo Williams, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Houston’s James Harden, Indiana’s George Hill, Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul, New Orleans’ Tyreke Evans, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, and Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe.

Warriors give credit to Celtics

Warriors give credit to Celtics

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on the Celtics, whose effort is winning them some respect even in losses:

The Boston Celtics already had overhauled their roster twice before visiting the Golden State Warriors in late January. The Celtics still looked a bit different to the NBA’s best squad on Sunday because of two more swaps at February’s deadline.

The Warriors showered the current version of the Celtics with praise after rallying from a 26-point deficit for a 106-101 triumph at TD Garden.

“We studied them [this weekend] and the trades they made, obviously they’re not as familiar with each other but the talent they have and the pace that they try to play at now is tough and they showed that obviously in the first quarter,” Steph Curry said. “We had to make adjustments, we didn’t want to be down 26.”

Echoed Splash Brother Klay Thompson: “[The Celtics have] improved since the last time we played them. They play real well together, I’m just happy we grinded it out.”

Isaiah Thomas playing well for Celtics

Isaiah Thomas playing well for Celtics

Here’s the Boston.com Blog reporting on the Celtics, who are having fun lately:

The Isaiah Thomas era continued its promising start on Friday night.

Boston’s new point guard scored 21 of his 28 points in the second half, enabling the Celtics to fight back from a 16-point second half deficit against the Charlotte Hornets, and pull away for a 106-98 win.

Avery Bradley added 19 points for the hosts, and Jonas Jerebko chipped in with 16 points off the bench for the Celtics, who have now won three straight games and seven of their last ten overall. Mo Williams had a game-high 31 points for the Hornets in the setback.

Evan Turner gets triple-double vs Knicks

Evan Turner gets triple-double vs Knicks

Wednesday night in Boston, the Celtics beat the visiting New York Knicks 115-94, hitting 14-of-31 from three-point range in the win. The Celtics are now 22-33 for the season. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

Evan Turner gets triple-double vs Knicks

The Knicks, a league-worst 10-46, allowed Evan Turner to go for a triple-double with 10 points, 10 assists and 12 rebounds. The other Celtics to accomplish that against the Knicks were Larry Bird (three times) and Rajon Rondo (three times).

The Celtics finished shooting 50.6 percent and went on their blitz after going to a small lineup, using 3-point sniper Jonas Jerebko, who nailed the momentum-boosting buzzer 3-pointer to put the Celtics up 90-72 after three.

“They went small and we weren’t as organized as we should’ve been,’’ Knicks starting center Lou Amundson said. “It’s disheartening. We felt we put up a good effort in the first half.’’

Jared Sullinger vows to get into better shape this summer

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on Celtics big man Jared Sullinger, who needs to be a bit less of a big man and trim down a bit. And he knows it:

Jared Sullinger vows to get into better shape this summer

Boston Celtics big man Jared Sullinger said he’s unhappy with the way he looks on film and pledged to use his rehab from a left foot fracture and the offseason to transform his body.

Sullinger’s season ended Sunday when tests determined he has a stress fracture of the fourth metatarsal.

“Freak accidents happen. I just have to come back better,” Sullinger said.

Pressed on what he hoped to get out of recovery, Sullinger added: “A little bit of everything — change the physique, change the way I look. That’s the biggest thing, I think. I’m tired of looking on camera and just seeing how I look, seeing how I play during extended minutes. Conditioning is going to be a big factor. Conditioning is going to be hard because all I can do is ride the bike. We’re going to find ways, we’re going to find ways to get me in the best shape possible.”

Jared Sullinger out for season with foot injury

jared sullinger

The Boston Celtics announced today that, following further medical evaluation at the New England Baptist Hospital, it was determined that forward Jared Sullinger has sustained a left metatarsal (foot) stress fracture and will be out for the remainder of the 2014-15 regular season.

In 51 games played this season, Sullinger averaged 14.4 points and 8.1 rebounds in 28.7 minutes per outing.

According to ESPN Boston, “the loss of Sullinger leaves Boston thin up front. The Celtics were hoping to get second-year big man Kelly Olynyk back shortly after the All-Star break, but he remains sidelined by a right ankle injury that has caused him to miss 12 straight games. The Celtics will get some help up front after recently acquired Jonas Jerebko joined the team Saturday.”

Celtics roster changes this season

Boston Celtics roster changes this season

The Boston Celtics have made a ton of roster changes this season as they rebuild for the future. Here’s ESPN Boston reporting:

In the days before the All-Star break, Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens was asked if his team’s recent success could be traced in part to roster continuity. Stevens chuckled at the suggestion, but later admitted that three weeks without a roster move might truly have represented a lengthy period of time for a team that’s seen its player swap uniforms more frequently than famed halftime act, Quick Change.

The Celtics have employed a staggering 38 players since the formal start of the 2014-15 season. You could fill three NBA teams (or maybe two NBA teams and a D-League squad) with players that have been on the roster.

Just look at the list of players that are gone but not forgotten (in alphabetical order): Joel Anthony, Chris Babb, Keith Bogans, Will Bynum, Andre Dawkins, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Jarrell Eddie, Vitor Faverani, Tim Frazier, Kris Humphries, Chris Johnson, John Lucas III, Rodney McGruder, Erik Murphy, Jameer Nelson, Dwight Powell, Tayshaun Prince, Austin Rivers, Nate Robinson, Rajon Rondo, Malcolm Thomas, Christian Watford, and Brandan Wright.

Celtics happy to land Isaiah Thomas

Celtics happy to land Isaiah Thomas

The Boston Celtics, who thanks to a weak Eastern conference are still in a position to compete for a spot in the NBA playoffs, are happy to add talented guard Isiah Thomas to their mix. Here’s ESPN Boston reporting:

Celtics happy to land Isaiah Thomas

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge made Isaiah Thomas one of his primary targets at the start of free agency this past summer. Four months later, he finally got his man.

The Celtics obtained Thomas from the Phoenix Suns at Thursday’s trade deadline in exchange for Marcus Thornton and Cleveland’s 2016 first-round pick. Boston is hoping Thomas can inject the sort of offensive spark the team needs while building toward a brighter future.

The 26-year-old Thomas, who signed a modest four-year, $27 million contract in July, joins rookie Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley in a primary three-guard rotation. The Celtics hope Thomas’ ability to create scoring opportunities in the pick-and-roll — something they sorely lack at the guard position — will invigorate an offense that ranks 23rd in offensive rating this season.

The 5-foot-9 Thomas has potential to give Boston’s offense a big-time jolt. In his final season with Sacramento during the 2013-14 campaign, Thomas averaged 20.3 points and 6.3 assists over 34.7 minutes per game. Despite playing only 25.7 minutes per game this season in Phoenix’s overstocked backcourt, he still averaged 15.2 points on four fewer shots per game and his 3-point percentage climbed to a career-best 39.1 percent.

Suns trade Isaiah Thomas to Celtics

Suns trade Isaiah Thomas to Celtics

isaiah thomas

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have acquired guard Isaiah Thomas from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for guard Marcus Thornton and a 2016 first-round draft pick, previously acquired from Cleveland.

Thomas, a 5′9″ guard, has appeared in 46 contests for the Suns this season and is averaging 15.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.0 steal in 25.7 minutes per game. He recorded a season-high 27 points on 11-for-16 shooting from the field, three rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes on January 21 against Portland. During the 2013-14 season, Thomas averaged a career-high 20.3 points to go along with 6.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.29 steals in 72 games with Sacramento. He was one of six players in the NBA last season to average at least 20 points and six assists, joining LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Stephen Curry. Thomas was originally selected by the Sacramento Kings with the 60th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and is averaging 15.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.0 steal in 28.5 minutes per game on his career.

“Isaiah is a dynamic offensive player whose scoring and playmaking abilities add to an already well-rounded backcourt with Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations. “We are excited to welcome Isaiah to the Celtics family.”

The Boston Celtics have also acquired forwards Jonas Jerebko and Luigi Datome from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for forward Tayshaun Prince. As part of this transaction, the Celtics created a $7.7 million trade exception.

Jerebko, a 6’10” forward, has appeared in 46 contests for the Pistons this season and is averaging 5.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 15.3 minutes per game. He tallied a season-high 13 points, including shooting a perfect 5-for-5 from the field, and two rebounds in 13 minutes on December 17, 2014 against the Mavericks. Currently in his fifth season, Jerebko is averaging 7.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in 19.9 minute per game. Jerebko was born in Kinna, Sweden and was selected with the 39th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Pistons.

Datome, a 6’8” forward, has appeared in three contests for the Pistons this season and is averaging 3.7 points and 1.3 rebounds in 5.8 minutes per game over that span. Datome is averaging 2.5 points and 1.4 rebounds in 6.9 minutes per game over his two-year NBA career. Prior to joining Detroit for the 2013-14 season, Datome played professionally in Italy from 2003-13 and in his last season Acea Virtus Roma in 2012-13 he was named the Italian League Most Valuable Player, where he averaged 16.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 45 games.

Celtics may want guard Isaiah Thomas

Celtics may want guard Isaiah Thomas

As Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline approaches, here’s CSNNE reporting on the Celtics and Suns:

Celtics may want guard Isaiah Thomas

When the Boston Celtics pulled off a pair of blockbuster deals to land Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in 2007, both were available for reasons that the Celtics had no control over but were in position to take advantage of.

A similar situation might be brewing with the Phoenix Suns, who are likely to unload one of two point guards — Goran Dragic or Isaiah Thomas — by Thursday’s trade deadline.

If Suns management decides to unload Thomas, the Celtics will be among the teams to look closely at swinging a deal for the 5-foot-9 guard, a league source told CSNNE.com on Tuesday.

Playoffs remain possible for Celtics

Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on the Celtics, who certainly weren’t expected to compete for a playoff spot, but they play in the Eastern conference:

The Celtics begin the stretch run with a game in Sacramento on Friday, and despite a 20-31 record, talk of the playoffs persists.

They are one loss out of both the seventh and eighth playoff seeds in the Eastern Conference. The weakened state of the East considered, the Celtics have a very good chance of remaining within reach of the postseason. The most telling sign of improved play is their 7-5 record over the last five games.

The trade deadline arrives on Thursday, and with it, more stability for coach Brad Stevens. He started the season with a plan based on the talents of Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green, and once those two players were traded, had to reconfigure his entire strategy.

It’s difficult for a young coach to work on the fly like this, but to Stevens’ credit, his players continue to buy into the plan.

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on the Celtics:

Celtics could make moves before trade deadline

The Celtics will reconvene for practice on Wednesday evening in Sacramento. The biggest question is whether the same group on the court that day will be on the floor for a second offday workout after the trade deadline passes on Thursday.

After Boston traded away Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green earlier in the season, many expected Danny Ainge to move the rest of the team’s veterans before the deadline. But with Stevens and his players making a public pitch for continuity, it makes you wonder if Ainge might take the cautious approach. Now, if a team comes along offering a first-round pick for Brandon Bass or Marcus Thornton, Ainge should run not walk to the checkout line. But there seems little reason at this point to settle for a mid-to-late second-round pick when the Celtics are likely to have to take back salary to complete a swap.

With a couple of potential lingering logjams, it could benefit Boston to move one of their veterans. And it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Tayshaun Prince, who has acknowledged from the time he arrived here that all options remain in play with his future.

Celtics sign Andre Dawkins to 10-day contract, and send him to D-League

Celtics sign Andre Dawkins to 10-day contract

The Boston Celtics have signed guard Andre Dawkins to a 10-day contract, and have assigned him to the Maine Red Claws in the NBA Development League.

Dawkins, a 6’5” guard, appeared in 11 contests for the Sioux Falls Skyforce this season and averaged a team-high 22.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 36.5 minutes per game, while connecting on .510 (53-104) of his shot attempts from beyond the arc. He tallied a game-high 42 points, including shooting .800 (12-15) from long range, four rebounds and two steals in 37 minutes against the Texas Legends on December 20. Dawkins is the 22nd Gatorade Call-Up from the D-League this season.

Dawkins appeared in four games with the Miami Heat this season and totaled three points, two rebounds and one assist in 22 minutes of action.

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has acquired forward Quincy Pondexter and a future second round draft pick from the Memphis Grizzlies as part of a three-team deal including the Boston Celtics. In exchange, New Orleans has traded guard Austin Rivers to Boston and guard Russ Smith to Memphis. As additional components of the trade, Boston has acquired forward Tayshawn Prince and a future first round draft pick from Memphis, and Memphis has acquired forward Jeff Green from Boston.

“The New Orleans Pelicans are thrilled to welcome back a high character person like Quincy Pondexter to our organization,” said Dell Demps, General Manager of the Pelicans. “Quincy is a two-way player, a multi-position defender that will add toughness along with an offensive skill set that we anticipate will help the Pelicans win games.”

“It was difficult to trade Austin Rivers and Russ Smith”, said Demps. “Russ was only with the team for a short time while Austin is an intense competitor that is continuing to improve. We will miss Austin and Russ on and off the court. We thank Austin and Russ for their contributions and wish them success in the future.”

According to Yahoo Sports, “Green gives the Grizzlies a versatile veteran who can score and defend both forward positions. He is averaging 17.6 points and 4.2 rebounds this season. Green makes $9.2 million this season and holds a player option of $9.2 million in 2015-16 – the final year of his contract. The Celtics are unloading assets – they traded forward Brandan Wright to the Phoenix Suns for a future first-round draft pick earlier Friday – and gathering assets for a rebuild. With this trade, Boston will have accumulated 11 first-round picks over the next four drafts.”

Green (6-9, 235) has averaged a career-high 17.6 points to go with 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 33.1 minutes in 33 games (all starts) with Boston this season, shooting .434 from the field, .305 from three-point range and a career-best .840 from the free throw line. He has scored 10+ points 29 times, 20+ points 10 times and 30+ points twice, including a season-high 35 points on Nov. 3 at Dallas, and has posted one double-double.

Drafted by Boston in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft and traded to the Seattle SuperSonics on draft night, Green joins Memphis with career averages of 14.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 32.8 minutes in 511 games (395 starts) with Seattle/Oklahoma City and Boston. The seven-year veteran has career shooting percentages of .440 from the field, .340 from three-point range and .788 from the free throw line. Green netted a career-high 43 points on March 18, 2013 vs. Miami.

The 28-year-old owns career postseason averages of 12.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 31.2 minutes in 21 playoff games (12 starts) for Oklahoma City and Boston. Green posted 20.3 points on .435 shooting (.455 three-point shooting) in six games in the Celtics’ first round series against New York in the 2013 NBA Playoffs.

A native of Hyattsville, Md., Green averaged 13.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 33.2 minutes in 102 games over three years (2004-07) at Georgetown University. Serving as the Hoyas’ co-captain in his junior season, Green led Georgetown to its first NCAA Final Four appearance since 1985 and was named the 2007 Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA East Regional and was selected as the 2007 Big East Player of the Year and Big East Tournament MVP.

Prince, a 6’9” forward, has appeared in 26 contests for the Grizzlies this season and is averaging 7.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 24.2 minutes per game, while shooting 15-33 (.455) from beyond the arc over that span. He scored a season-high 20 points, including shooting a perfect 4-4 from long range, five rebounds and two assists in 33 minutes on December 5 against the San Antonio Spurs. Prince was the starting small forward for the 2004 NBA Champion Detroit Pistons and was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in four consecutive seasons (2005-08). For his career, Prince is averaging 11.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 32.3 minutes per game.

Rivers, a 6’4” guard, has appeared in 35 games for the Pelicans this season and is averaging 6.8 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 22.1 minutes per game. He recorded a season-high of 21 points, including shooting 11-12 (.917) from the foul line, two rebounds, three assists and one steal in 33 minutes on December 20 against the Portland Trailblazers. Rivers was selected as the 10th overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft by New Orleans and is averaging 6.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 21.4 minutes per game for his career.

Pondexter, 6-6, 225, Washington, appeared in 30 games this season with Memphis, holding averages of 4.5 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. This will be Pondexter’s second stint with New Orleans, as he spent his rookie season with the franchise during the 2010-11 season, appearing in 66 games and averaging 2.8 points and 1.3 rebounds. In his five seasons, Pondexter holds career averages of 4.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in 234 games.

Smith, 6-0, 165, Louisville, was acquired by New Orleans in a draft night trade this past June after being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 47th overall pick. The rookie guard appeared in six games this season for the Pelicans, averaging 0.8 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.3 assists.

Grizzlies may trade for Jeff Green

The Boston Celtics keep making moves. A few minutes ago they sent Brandan Wright to Phoenix for a draft pick. Now they are in talks to move Jeff Green to Memphis. Nothing official yet. Here’s Yahoo Sports reporting:

Grizzlies may trade for Jeff Green

In a move to strengthen themselves for a push into the Western Conference playoffs, the Memphis Grizzlies are finalizing a deal to acquire Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Memphis will send Tayshaun Prince and a first-round draft pick to the Celtics, league sources said. The protected pick likely won’t be available until 2018 or ‘19, sources said.

The Celtics and Grizzlies are awaiting final authorization from a third team involved in the deal to complete the trade, league sources said.

Celtics trade Brandan Wright to Suns

Celtics trade Brandan Wright to Suns

Celtics trade Brandan Wright to Suns

The Phoenix Suns have acquired forward Brandan Wright from the Boston Celtics in exchange for a protected 2015 first round draft pick via Minnesota.

The Suns have also waived forward Tony Mitchell. Mitchell was acquired by Phoenix in a trade with the Detroit Pistons on December 24 last month.

Phoenix dealt to Boston its right to Minnesota’s protected 2015 first round pick. The pick is top-12 protected in 2015 and 2016, and if the first round pick has not been conveyed by 2016, Minnesota will instead convey its second round picks in 2016 and 2017.

“I have known Brandan since he entered the NBA in 2007,” said President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “He is a person of the highest character who will fit perfectly into our burgeoning Suns culture. We look forward to welcoming him to Phoenix.”

“We are excited to add Brandan to our roster,” said General Manager Ryan McDonough. “His length, athleticism and finishing ability make him a great fit for our style of play. He is one of the most efficient scorers in the league and his shot blocking ability will help anchor our defense.”

The 6-10, 210-pound Wright is averaging 7.5 points on 72.4 percent shooting, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 35 games with the Celtics and Dallas Mavericks in this his seventh NBA season. In 58 games with Dallas last season, Wright averaged career-highs of 9.1 points, 67.7 percent shooting (224-of-331), 4.2 rebounds and 18.6 minutes. Wright’s 67.7 percent mark from the field in 2013-14 was the highest mark in the NBA among players with at least 100 field goal attempts for the season.

The eighth overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft out of the University of North Carolina, Wright holds career averages of 7.1 points on 60.9 percent shooting, 3.6 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 15.8 minutes in 320 games with Golden State, New Jersey, Dallas and Boston. Wright played in eight games with the Celtics after being acquired in a trade with Dallas on December 18 last month.

With Wright (3.82 blocks per 48 minutes in 2014-15) and center Alex Len (3.77 blocks per 48 minutes), the Suns now have two of the league’s top five in blocks per 48 minutes this season among players who qualify for the blocks per game leaderboard.

The Suns’ roster remains at 15 players.

Here’s Boston.com reporting on former Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, who now plays for the Dallas Mavericks:

rajon rondo

Prior to his season-high 29-point performance Friday night against the Celtics, former team captain Rajon Rondo admitted to the media that his defense hadn’t been there during the last two years of rebuilding in Boston.

While addressing a question about the Mavericks’ improved defense since his arrival in a trade in mid-December, Rondo acknowledged what many Celtics fans had seen lately: his defensive effort was not his focus most nights in green.

“I haven’t played defense in a couple of years,” Rondo explained. “I’ve been able to hide it a lot with Avery Bradley on the ball. He’s helped me out, the young guy. But here [in Dallas] they expect me to play defense. And in the West, if you don’t play defense you’ll get embarrassed every night at the point guard position. I took it as a challenge [for] myself.”

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on a young Celtic:

Celtics rookie James Young making progress

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens continues to suggest that rookie James Young has made the sort of progress that could help him fight his way into the team’s already overcrowded rotation sooner than later.

Young was back with the team Thursday after scoring 25 points during his latest one-game stint with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League. The No. 17 pick in June’s draft has been slowed at times this season by injuries — whether it was the pre-draft car accident that kept him out of summer league, a hamstring injury that kept him out of most of the preseason, or a shoulder injury that recently shelved him for two weeks. But Stevens said Young is making progress behind the scenes and positioning himself for potential playing time. Now he just needs an opportunity.

“I think that he’s really getting better,” said Stevens.

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