Archive for the ‘ Boston Celtics Blog ’ Category

Expect Celtics to chase Kevin Durant

Every team in the league would love to add a star like Kevin Durant. And although the assumption is still that he’ll remain with the Thunder, there’s no guarantee that he’ll do so. And even if he plans to stay, it makes sense to hear what some other teams have to say. It doesn’t really make sense for him to jump to a team that would blatantly be worse than the Thunder, but what if some good teams find a way to add him and another difference-making star? I still think Durant winds up sticking with OKC. Anyway, here’s the ESPN Boston blog reporting:

Expect Celtics to chase Kevin Durant

If Boston Celtics fans were disappointed with the lack of a big-splash trade on draft night, it was maybe for this reason only: By not adding more established NBA talent, the Celtics seemingly failed to bolster their recruiting pitch for potential free agents looking for a surefire championship contender.

But make no mistake, there’s no shortage of positives surrounding this Celtics team. And part of the reason that Boston was hesitant to make a move on draft night was to maintain the sort of financial flexibility that would allow the team to make the strongest pitch possible to free agents like Kevin Durant.

ESPN’s Marc Stein reported Saturday that the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, and incumbent Oklahoma City Thunder would be the first three teams to meet with Durant when free agency opens on July 1. The Vertical reported that Durant’s reps were working to solidify invitations from other teams, including the Celtics.

The 2016 Draft is tonight, and rumors will be flying around like crazy all evening. We’ll share the most interesting stories, and we especially like stories that tell a bigger tale even if the deal doesn’t happen — like what a team’s goals may be and what they hope to accomplish. Here’s ESPN.com with the latest:

The Philadelphia 76ers are increasing their efforts to acquire the No. 3 pick from the Boston Celtics in Thursday night’s NBA draft, league sources tell ESPN.

Numerous rivals described the 76ers as the most active team in circulation, with a trade involving Nerlens Noel looking more and more likely.

Isaiah Thomas recruiting Kevin Durant

The Celtics finished the regular season with a very impressive 48-34 record. They have excellent coaching, and players who compliment each others’ skills nicely. But that was probably their ceiling, as the current roster goes. The team is armed with a ton of draft picks, but most rookies have limited impact. Now, as for free agency, and really fun ideas and big goals, here’s the Boston Globe reporting:

Isaiah Thomas wants Kevin Durant on the Celtics

As Isaiah Thomas sat on his porch at home in Tacoma, Wash., last Monday after watching the Thunder lose Game 7 of the Western Conference finals to the Warriors, he had an idea.

The Celtics point guard knows, like everyone else, that Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant will become a free agent this summer. He also knows, like everyone else, that adding Durant to a roster would have a seismic impact.

And in that moment on that porch, be thought it might be a good time to spice up the Durant-to-Boston narrative, no matter how unlikely a prospect it might be. So he grabbed his iPhone, opened Twitter, and posted Durant’s No. 35 next to a green shamrock. It was simple, but not especially subtle.

“I just wanted the world to know, that’s who I’m trying to get,” Thomas said.

Kelly Olynyk undergoes shoulder surgery

Kelly Olynyk undergoes shoulder surgery

The Boston Celtics announced today that Kelly Olynyk yesterday underwent a successful right shoulder arthroscopy for recurrent subluxations. He will begin an immediate rehabilitation program and the time frame for his return to basketball activities has not yet been determined.

Olynyk, who completed his third year with the team, averaged 10.0 points, including shooting 40.5 percent from beyond the arc, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 20.2 minutes per game during the 2015-16 regular season.

The 7’0” forward/center recorded a season-high 28 points on 11-21 (.524) shooting from the field, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block on December 11, 2015 against the Golden State Warriors.

Glance at upcoming Celtics offseason

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on a Celtics team that made the most of their roster this season and have a lot of help coming in the form of multiple first round draft picks:

Glance at upcoming Celtics offseason

Armed with eight picks in June’s draft, including the Brooklyn Nets’ lottery selection headlining three first-round picks, some intriguing young low-cost talent and salary-cap flexibility, Ainge knows there’s potential for the Celtics to bring in the impact talent necessary to leap to true title contender…

The Celtics are hopeful that a young team with a core that currently includes All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley, along with a trusted young coach in 39-year-old Brad Stevens, can create a situation where elite free agents will desire to come to Boston.

The Celtics enter the offseason armed with tradable assets — including $18 million in nonguaranteed salary — that could help it start adding pieces on draft night, regardless of how the pingpong balls bounce on May 17. Adding talent in late June could help further persuade those who are intrigued by Boston’s situation when free agency opens on July 1.

This year’s unrestricted free-agent class is expected to be headlined by the likes of Kevin Durant, Al Horford and Hassan Whiteside.

Marcus Smart fined for flopping

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been fined $5,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules during Game 3 of the Celtics’ Conference First Round series against the Atlanta Hawks.

The incident occurred with 4:32 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Celtics 111-103 victory over the Hawks last night at TD Garden.

Boston Celtics sign guard John Holland

Celtics sign John Holland

The Boston Celtics signed guard John Holland today.

The 6’5” guard has appeared in 37 regular season contests for the NBA Development League Canton Charge this year and has averaged 16.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals in 30.2 minutes per game. He shot 52.0 percent from the floor, 36.9 percent from beyond the arc and 85.2 percent from the free-throw line during the regular season. During the 2015-16 D-League Playoffs, Holland has averaged 28.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and shot 62.5 percent from the field and 58.8 percent from the three-point line.

Holland, the 40th Gatorade D-League call-up this season, was named the America East Conference Player of the Year as a Boston University senior when he led the Terriers to the 2011 NCAA Tournament. He finished his collegiate career as just the second player in America East history with at least 2,000 points, 700 rebounds and 200 steals.

A native of the Bronx, New York, Holland has played professionally in France, Spain and Turkey, and was in training camp with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014.

Celtics sign Coty Clarke to second 10-day contract

The Boston Celtics have signed Coty Clarke to a second 10-day contract.

The 6’7” forward has appeared in two games for the Celtics since signing his initial 10-day contract on March 7. Clarke has totaled three points and one rebound in three minutes of game action, but the team seems to like him enough to at least keep him on the squad for another 10 days.

When Clarke was recalled from the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League he was averaging 16.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.2 steals in 26.0 minutes per game. Clarke has also appeared in one game for the Red Claws on assignment from the Celtics where he recorded 18 points, five rebounds, two assists and one steal in just under 20 minutes against Erie on March 10.

With a 39-29 record this season, the Celtics are tied with the Heat and Hornets for the 4th best winning percentage in the Eastern conference.

Unclear how long Jae Crowder will be out

In announcing that Jae Crowder will be sidelined by a high ankle sprain, Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens suggested the fourth-year swingman would miss “a couple of weeks minimum.”

It’s the “minimum” part that left some Boston fans a bit uneasy. While even two weeks is a lengthy period for the team to navigate without possibly their best two-way player, a small sample of recent high-ankle sprains across the NBA suggests a recovery timeline that trends closer to 4-6 weeks.

– ESPN Boston

The Boston Celtics have signed Coty Clarke to a 10-day contract.

Clarke, a 6’7” forward, has appeared in 39 games for the Celtics’ NBA Development League affiliate Maine Red Claws this season and has averaged 16.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.2 steals in 26.0 minutes per game. Clarke, the 27th “call-up” from the D-League of the season, is currently shooting 50.8 percent from the floor, 38.8 percent from three and 79.2 percent from the free-throw line. Clarke was on the training camp roster for the Celtics prior to the start of the 2015-16 season and appeared in one game during the 2015-16 preseason.

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on pint-sized Celtics All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas:

Isaiah Thomas sits out practice with sore wrist

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas sat out Wednesday’s off-day practice because of soreness in his left (shooting) wrist, but said he expected to be in uniform for Thursday’s game against the visiting Milwaukee Bucks.

Thomas said his wrist swelled after he fell on it “a few times” during Monday’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Thomas didn’t seem himself during that game, struggling with his 3-point shot (2-for-7) and reluctant to drive at the basket (no free throw attempts). He finished with 18 points on 8-of-20 shooting overall.

The Celtics took Tuesday off and the team’s medical staff held Thomas out Wednesday as a precaution.

Celtics waive David Lee

Celtics waive David Lee

The Boston Celtics have waived little-used forward/center David Lee.

“We thank David for his contributions to our organization and wish him nothing but the best in the future,” said President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge.

Lee has appeared in 30 contests for the Celtics during the 2015-16 season and averaged 7.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 15.7 minutes per game over that span. He recorded a season-high 14 points, to go along with one rebound and one assist, in 15 minutes on November 18, 2015 against the Dallas Mavericks.

The 6’9” forward/center was originally acquired by the Celtics on July 27, 2015 and owns career averages of 14.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists over 725 regular season games.

Here’s MassLive reporting Danny Ainge’s comments from the 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich program in response to a rumor involving the Celtics and Hawks center Al Horford:

Danny Ainge comments on Celtics, Al Horford rumor

The Celtics have been rumored as a possible destination for Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford, but Ainge threw a bit of cold water on that idea. Despite a batch of recent reports saying the Hawks could consider drastic changes, Ainge said he believes they will keep their core intact.

“I will just remind you that ‘according to reports’ is the key phrase there,” he said. “There’s a lot of motivations that teams have. Sometimes it’s just to see what the value of their players are, and by leaking things like that you can find maybe what people are willing to offer. Typically when you do that and you leak out that you’re willing to move your team or break up your team and start over, you don’t really get — people are looking for bargains. They’re not going to give you the best deal. So my feeling is Atlanta will stay intact. They may make a trade or two but I don’t think they’re going to lose their key guys.”

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on the mindset of Celtics head coach Brad Stevens as trade possibilies are thrown around:

Celtics coach Stevens plays it cool with trade rumors

Former Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers calls it “silly season,” the time of year when trade rumors fly like 3-pointers at a Celtics game. Still two weeks out from this year’s deadline, the “quietly aggressive” Celtics have already found themselves linked to some big names, including Houston center Dwight Howard.

Current Celtics coach Brad Stevens admits that he occasionally checked with the team’s front-office staff to substantiate rumors during his first year on the job. Now a grizzled veteran — he’s an “elderly” 39 when you consider that recent in-season hires Tyronn Lue (38), J.B. Bickerstaff (36), and Earl Watson (36) are all younger — Stevens doesn’t pay much mind to the chatter.

“The guys that have been in the league longer probably feel a lot like I do. It’s like, we’re just all like listening and laughing and trying to figure out what’s real and what’s not, but not putting a lot of a stock into it until somebody knocks on our door,” Stevens said. “And that’s the way I feel about it. I probably followed up on every third rumor my first year. And I don’t think I’ve followed up on one yet. If [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] wants to talk to me about something, he knows where to find me.”

Here’s the Boston Herald on yesterday’s announcement that one of the 2016 All-Star game reserves for the East squad is Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, who is averaging 21.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game this season:

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas makes All-Star team

Isaiah Thomas’ so-called chip — the one that has driven the Celtics guard ever since he lasted until the final pick of the 2011 NBA draft — has carried him to a new level.

The 5-foot-9 Celtics guard was named as a reserve to the Eastern Conference All-Star team last night after a vote by the coaches.

A jubilant Thomas sent out a chain of tweets, including, “I am honored to be selected as an all star & represent the @Celtics, Joining the greatest of @Celtics who have played in the all star game.”

He also paid tribute to his teammates and Celtics fans, tweeting, “I’m VERY GRATEFUL for ALL the SUPPORT I have been given by the greatest fans in the world & of course the @celtics organization,” and, “This is a TEAM award, none of us succeed without our TEAMMATES & their support ON and OFF the court. So thanks to my TEAM and coaching staff.”

Celtics lose 4th straight game

The Boston Celtics lost 120-114 in New York to the Knicks last night. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting:

The Celtics weren’t able to win last night, despite the fact the Knicks were without Carmelo Anthony for virtually the entire second half and rookie star Kristaps Porzingis fouled out with the Celts ahead by one and 2:44 left in the game.

Anthony sprained his right ankle late in the first half when he stepped on referee Rodney Mott. He tried to start the second half, but the Knicks had to call a timeout to remove him 19 futile seconds in.

The Celts also weren’t able to win with Isaiah Thomas scoring 34 points. That gives him a combined 69 in the past two games.

“He’s playing awfully well,” Stevens said. “My concern is we’ve lost them both.

Celtics guard Avery Bradley (14.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg this season) is set to return for tomorrow’s game in Memphis against the Grizzlies. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting:

Avery Bradley set to return for Celtics

The Celtic offense has struggled of late, and Bradley believes the attack has tended too much toward individualism. He has the solution: “Just moving the ball; that’s the most important thing. You know, it’s not a bad thing, because we all want to win, but I feel like at times everybody wants to win the game so bad that they try to take the game over, take 3’s and taking shots that we can get at any time. It’s hard to figure that out sometimes when you’re a younger team or when things aren’t going well. Sometimes you play individual basketball. We need to play team basketball in order to be successful.”

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who paid a personal visit to a former player who is dealing with serious health issues:

Brad Stevens back after visiting Andrew Smith

Celtics coach Brad Stevens rejoined the team before its flight to Memphis on Saturday and led an afternoon practice at the University of Memphis.

Stevens traveled to Indiana on Thursday to visit with Andrew Smith, one of his former Butler players, who is battling cancer. Stevens missed the team’s loss to the Bulls.

Stevens told reporters in Memphis that the past few days have been, “Very challenging, certainly puts things in a lot of perspective.”

Brook Lopez’s size was too much for Boston’s smaller lineup.

The 7-footer scored a season-high 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, leading the Brooklyn Nets to a 100-97 victory over the Celtics on Saturday.

“I did my best to make the right play every time, realizing that, and just tried to read the double teams,” said Lopez, who scored seven of his points in a key 9-2 run when Boston was making its charge with a smaller, trapping lineup…

Joe Johnson added 20 points, Thaddeus Young 16 with 10 boards, and Bojan Bogdanovic 13 points for the Nets, who won for just the third time in 11 games.

– Associated Press

No love between Cavs and Celtics

Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on the Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers, who will probably not be getting together for the holidays this year:

There were certainly no pleasantries as the teams met for the first time since a painful Sunday in April when Cleveland completed a four-game, first-round sweep with a win at the Garden. Kevin Love dislocated his left shoulder in a tangle with Kelly Olynyk, and Jae Crowder suffered a sprained left ACL when his knees buckled following a wicked elbow from J.R. Smith.

Crowder said Monday he was hoping for an apology, but no such gesture was made by Smith as the Cavs handed the Celtics a more-thorough-than-the-numbers-would-seem-to-indicate 89-77 defeat.

And clearly the Clevelanders didn’t stop competing when the game was finished. While Love and Olynyk have agreed the latter intended no harm, there is still ill feeling on the other front.

“No, I like it,” Smith said about the physical game that saw him give a couple of hard fouls. “It wasn’t chippy enough.”

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