Archive for the ‘ Boston Celtics Blog ’ Category

Hopefully people can handle the truth

Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on Paul Pierce, who as a member of the Washington Wizards is currently making life difficult for the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs:

Paul Pierce plans to stay in basketball after playing days end

Someday, Pierce may have to deal with deals of his own. He won’t be through with basketball when he’s through playing, and, yes, he’d very much be interested in returning to the Celtics to work and learn under Ainge when he’s done bedeviling younger opponents.

“Truthfully, I love the game,” he said. “I want to have my hands on some aspect of the game, whether it be management, ownership. I don’t know right now about coaching. I’m not sure yet. But I definitely want to be involved with the game in some form or fashion.

“It’s definitely a tough business,” he added. “It’s definitely hard work that Danny has to do. He has to think about so many things that come into play when you’re a GM. It’s the relationship you have with the players, it’s the future, it’s about the money and the salary cap. You’ve got to make difficult decisions all the time. And as bad as he wants to win, he understands it’s a building process also, until you can make your move.

“It’s like playing chess. You know, sometimes you’ve got to play your pawns, like he did in ’07, until he made his big move to make the trades. . . . Sometimes it works, and sometimes it don’t.”

Asked if he could see himself in that job, Pierce grins. “I think I’m a fairly good chess player.”

Kevin Love thinks Kelly Olynyk injured him on purpose

Here’s the Boston.com blog reporting on Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, who suffered a dislocated shoulder at the hands of Celtics big-man Kelly Olynyk during a play that looked like pro wrestling just as much as it looked like basketball:

Kevin Love thinks Kelly Olynyk injured him on purpose

Kevin Love was not in a celebratory mood after the Cleveland Cavaliers swept the Celtics out of the postseason on Sunday afternoon. Following the game, Love made it clear that he blamed Boston’s Kelly Olynyk for a dislocated left shoulder he suffered in the game.

“I thought it was a bush league play,” Love said of Olynyk’s foul. “I mean I was out there and Olynyk was in a compromising position and had no chance to get the ball. It’s just too bad he would go to those lengths to take someone out of a game and do it to someone. I have no doubt in my mind he did it on purpose.”

Love suffered the shoulder injury midway through the first quarter after getting tangled up with Olynyk as both players attempted to rebound a loose ball. Olynyk was whistled for a foul on the play, but Love was forced to miss the remainder of the contest with the injury.

Derek Fisher a fan of Celtics coach Brad Stevens

Here’s ESPN New York reporting some praise for young Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, who continues to make the most of a fairly limited roster. The Celtics are in big trouble in their first-round playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers but they’ve still played well and put up a good fight:

Derek Fisher a fan of Celtics coach Brad Stevens

If you’re an NBA fan who appreciates how well Brad Stevens has the Boston Celtics playing, you’re not alone.

New York Knicks coach Derek Fisher is also a big fan of Stevens’ work.

Fisher mentioned Stevens’ named fairly frequently over the course of the season when talking about coaches he appreciates. There are aspects of Stevens’ approach that Fisher wants to emulate.

“I think Brad kind of has that feel where most of the work is already done and he’s allowing the guys to go out and play the game,” Fisher said of Stevens’ “quiet” sideline demeanor. “That’s kind of the way I feel. That will be my style going forward.”

Isaiah Thomas hates coming off the bench

Isaiah Thomas hates coming off the bench

Here’s NESN reporting on a key Boston Celtic:

Isaiah Thomas hates coming off the bench

Isaiah Thomas won’t sugarcoat it: He hates coming off the bench. Hates it. If given the chance to start, Thomas would take it in a second.

That’s not going to happen anytime soon, though. The Celtics point guard has been too valuable to his team in a reserve role, and the team itself has enjoyed too much success for coach Brad Stevens to mess with a good thing this late in the season.

So, for now, Thomas is stuck. But as the Celtics prepare to begin postseason play, he’s not going to be one to complain.

“Nobody’s sold me on no sixth man role,” Thomas said before Tuesday’s 95-93 win over the Toronto Raptors. “I’ve only had a few talks with (president of basketball operations) Danny (Ainge), a few talks with Brad. This is the role for the team right now, and I’m going to take full advantage of it.”

More overseas games for Celtics next season

Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on the Celtics, who are already one of the most famous basketball teams in the world and will get even more live-and-in-person overseas exposure next season:

The Celtics might not be among the better NBA teams in the United States these days, but the franchise continues to be a major brand beyond the borders.

As such, it will soon be announced that the club is playing a third international game outside of the league’s footprint. It was reported here in November that the Celts will play preseason games in Milan and Madrid against local teams next October, and sources now say they will play a regular-season game against Sacramento in Mexico City in late November or early December.

The Kings will be the home team in that game, meaning the Celtics still will have 41 dates at the Garden, not including the preseason and playoffs.

Danny Ainge happy with Celtics playoff push

To make the playoffs or not? If a team has a chance to go far in the postseason, of course they should want in. But if they’re going to be lucky to even be there, and will quickly be sent home, and will receive a lower draft pick as a result? Tough to say what’s better for an organization. Because money is made on home attendance for a couple playoff games. But money also gets made from drafting a better player who helps the team win more and draw more fans and attention. Have fun analyzing all that. Anyway, here’s ESPN Boston reporting on the Celtics:

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge admitted Thursday that he sees value in his team getting a taste of postseason experience and would be disappointed for his players and coaches if the Celtics were to come up short in their quest for a postseason berth.

Ainge, who as overseer of the team’s rebuild must balance a desire for optimum draft position with the benefits of his current players getting big-game experience, has been leery at times of simply sneaking into the playoffs in a lowly Eastern Conference. But with his team playing far more inspired ball in recent months, the possibility of an extended season seems to have grown on him.

“I probably would be [disappointed if the Celtics missed the postseason], just because our guys have worked really hard and our coaching staff. I know how much they’re focusing on getting into the playoffs,” Ainge said Thursday during his weekly call to Boston sports radio 98.5 the Sports Hub. “They’re working, they have goals, and I’d like for them to accomplish the goals that they’ve set. So, yeah, I’d be disappointed for them.”

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.

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