Archive for the ‘ Boston Celtics Blog ’ Category

Like a ton of NBA players who can defy gravity, Jaylen Brown is extremely athletic. Sometimes, the ability to fly high in the air can result in a scary crash landing. His fall Thursday was frightening. Fortunately, hours later, Brown mostly seems alright, though an official diagnosis from the team will likely come tomorrow. Here’s WEEI reporting:

Celtics guard Jaylen Brown left the floor under his own power and waved to the fans after suffering a brutal fall onto his head and neck following a breakaway dunk in Thursday’s victory over the Timberwolves.

Brown remained on the floor as a hush fell over the arena after throwing down a dunk with 1:31 left in the third quarter while being fouled. He attempted to hang onto the rim to catch himself, but lost his grip and fell with his body parallel to the floor. Celtics teammates prayed nearby as Brown’s body seized up and he appeared dazed virtually to the point of unconsciousness.

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And here’s the Boston Herald:

Brown went down hard after the jam with 1:31 left in the period. He was fouled on the play by Andrew Wiggins and appeared to grasp the rim for an extra beat. His momentum carried his lower body forward, and he came down on his back, neck and head.

Al Horford immediately rushed over and made sure Brown stayed down until help arrived. Marcus Smart kneeled in seeming prayer on the sideline by the C’s bench. A stretcher was wheeled out while the crowd remained quiet. Brown eventually stood and was able to walk to the Celts dressing room as the crowd erupted in applause.

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Celtics sign Greg Monroe

The Boston Celtics’ signing of center Greg Monroe became official today.

Multiple reports say it’s a one-year contract worth $5 million.

Waived by the Suns on February 1 after being acquired by via a trade with the Bucks on Nov. 7, Monroe is averaging 10.4 points (60.1% FG), 7.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 21.8 minutes in 25 games (14 starts) this season. The New Orleans, LA native recorded 11.3 points on 62.6% shooting and 8.0 rebounds in addition to his six double-doubles in 20 games with the Suns.

Originally drafted by Detroit with the seventh overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Monroe has produced career averages of 13.9 points (51.4% FG, 70.4% FT), 8.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 29.3 minutes in 563 games (415 starts) with the Pistons, Bucks and Suns.

Monroe recorded a scoring average of at least 15.0 points in five consecutive seasons from 2011-12 to 2015-16, making him one of five NBA centers to accomplish that feat during the same timeframe (Aldridge, Bosh, Cousins, B. Lopez). He has finished each of his last six seasons with a scoring average in double figures.

A two-year collegiate standout at Georgetown University, Monroe hauled in a career-best 10.2 rebounds in 69 games for Detroit in 2014-15 in what stands as his only NBA season with a double-double average (15.9 ppg).

Monroe will wear no. 55 for the Celtics.

Celtics legend Jo Jo White has died



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Statement from the Celtics: “We are terribly saddened by the passing of the great Jo Jo White. He was a champion and a gentleman; supremely talented and brilliant on the court, and endlessly gracious off of it. Jo Jo was a key member of two championship teams, an NBA Finals MVP, a gold medal-winning Olympian, and a Hall of Famer. His contributions to the team’s championship legacy may have only been surpassed by the deep and lasting impact that he had in the community. The thoughts and sympathies of the entire Celtics organization are with the White family.”

The Boston Herald reports: Celtic legend JoJo White has passed away at 71 after his battle with cancer. A 2015 Hall of Fame inductee, White was a seven-time All-Star and MVP of the 1976 NBA Finals. He won two NBA titles with the Celtics. White’s No. 10 is retired by the Celtics at TD Garden. He played 10 seasons in Boston before moving on to Golden State and Kansas City to finish his career. reports: White underwent life-threatening surgery to remove a brain tumor in 2010. With many vocal supporters, he earned induction into the Hall of Fame after a long wait in 2015 and gave a moving speech as part of the induction week where he reveled in the honor. White was also drafted by the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and MLB’s Cincinnati Reds. He finished his 12-season NBA career playing for Golden State and Kansas City.

The Celtics are a super-impressive 26-7 this season. Far better than anyone expected, considering one of their key stars, new addition Gordon Hayward, suffered a serious injury mere minutes into Game 1. Also impressive has been the play of rookie forward Jayson Tatum. Although he was a high draft pick, it’s still generally safe to assume that rookies aren’t ready to be serious contributors on winning teams. But Tatum has been an essential part of Celtics success. Here’s NESN reporting:

Jayson Tatum having excellent rookie season

Jayson Tatum has exceeded expectations in his rookie season.

The 19-year-old forward has been a mainstay in the Boston Celtics’ starting lineup throughout the season, and he’s become one of the leading contenders for the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Through 33 games, Tatum is averaging 13.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per contest.

While Tatum seemingly has impressed in all facets of the game, his stellar 3-point shooting has been the biggest surprise. After being a 34 percent shooter from beyond the arc in his freshman campaign at Duke, Tatum currently boasts the league’s highest 3-point percentage with a 51.5-percent clip.

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Celtics basketball is a beautiful thing this season. And the magic continued, err, against the Magic. Here’s reporting on the outcome of Friday’s matchup:

Before Friday’s visit to play the Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic coach Frank Vogel offered high praise for Boston big man Al Horford, calling him maybe the “most underrated guy in the league.” Then, his poor Magic team got a reminder of why Horford earned those plaudits.

Horford matched a career high by dishing out 10 assists, seven of which came in the first quarter, as the Celtics bucked their season-long trend of slow starts during a 118-103 triumph over the Magic at TD Garden.

Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 30 points over just 25 minutes, and Terry Rozier snapped out of a recent shooting funk to score a career-best 23 points off the bench. But it was Horford who set the tone after Celtics coach Brad Stevens subtly reminded his team that ball movement would be key to Boston’s avoiding the first-half lulls that plagued the Celtics even during their recent 16-game winning streak.

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Marcus Smart struggling with shot

The Celtics are on a huge roll lately, winning 15 games in a row. Yet things can get even better. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on guard Marcus Smart, whose shot has been missing in a big way lately:

Marcus Smart struggling with shot

The Celtics guard still tends to hit his biggest shots late, like his put-back for a 103-95 lead in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s win in Atlanta, and continues to make game-changing plays that have nothing to do with shooting the ball.

But Smart is admittedly bothered by his recent shooting drought. Including Saturday’s 3-for-8 performance, the Celtics guard has shot 13-for-60 (.216) over his last six games, and 27.3 percent both overall and from 3-point range this season.

“It does affect you, especially if you’ve been working all summer,” said Smart, who spent time working out with Chauncey Billups in Denver this summer. “At the same time, I don’t take as many shots. We got other guys out here, they’re playing very well, so my job is to get them the basketball and do whatever I can, go back down the court and play defense and get involved in the game.”

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Nets put up good fight vs Celtics

The Celtics came to Brooklyn Tuesday and left town with their NBA-leading 13th win in a row. Boston looked great in the first quarter, but then the Nets stepped up and made a game out of it. Here’s the New York Post with more:

Facing the hottest team in the NBA was going to be an uphill climb for the Nets under the best circumstances. But doing it without their two point guards — and arguably two best players — proved too much to handle.

With D’Angelo Russell out indefinitely with a knee injury and Jeremy Lin already sidelined for the season, also with a knee injury, the Nets were game, but woefully shorthanded against the Celtics. And scalding-hot Boston predictably proved to be too much, with the Nets falling 109-102 in a tightly contested affair Tuesday.

Hearing Boston fans take over the Barclays Center was just salt in the Nets’ various wounds, and listening to them serenade New Jersey-bred Celtics star Kyrie Irving with chants of “MVP!” as he took free throws with two minutes left was an added insult. But to be fair, Irving looked the part, dominating in his return from a facial fracture and then giving his shoes to some troops seated courtside.

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And for more on the “relationship” between these two teams, here’s ESPN Boston:

In the aftermath of that late-game alley-oop, the remaining Nets fans were left to watch Brown and Tatum engage in a celebratory body-bump near midcourt. It was a painful reminder of what could have been.

Both Brown and Tatum, along with Irving, were delivered to Boston by direct result of the draft picks the Nets sent the Celtics as part of the 2013 blockbuster that sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry to Brooklyn.

This was the first time since 2013 that Boston played a game against Brooklyn that didn’t have implications on a future pick, and Celtics fans had often utilized the hashtag #Netspick while basking in Brooklyn’s recent struggles. On Tuesday, Celtics fans simply enjoyed watching the exploits of their past picks.

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Celtics TV ratings are up

The Celtics are winning both on the court and in the TV ratings world. Here is reporting:

The Celtics aren’t just winning a lot of basketball games – nine in a row entering Wednesday’s matchup with the Lakers. They’re also winning over fans, who have gravitated to this thoroughly entertaining team rapidly and in large numbers despite the offseason trade of popular Isaiah Thomas and the injury to star free agent Gordon Hayward on opening night.

NBC Sports Boston carried nine of the Celtics’ 10 games before Wednesday. Compared to the same span a season ago, household viewership is up 139 percent overall. Among men, it is up 193 percent, and viewership among adults is up 188 percent over the same period in 2016-17.

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Jayson Tatum injury update

There’s relatively good news on the Celtics injury front. Here is NESN reporting:

Boston Celtics fans can exhale a bit. Celtics rookie forward Jayson Tatum, who’s played very well in a starting role through the first 12 games of the season, was ruled out for the second half of Wednesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers because of right ankle soreness. The C’s announced Thursday night that MRI results came back negative.

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Al Horford enters concussion protocol

Al Horford enters concussion protocol

The Boston Celtics, who after losing the first two games of the regular season are on a nine-game winning streak, will be without Al Horford as they face the Lakers tonight.

The team announced today that Horford will be out tonight, after entering the NBA’s concussion protocol.

Horford’s first symptoms linking him to a possible concussion occurred this morning (Nov. 8). Initially struck in the head on a foul called in the second quarter of Boston’s Nov. 6 contest at Atlanta, Horford did not experience any concussion-like symptoms during the game nor immediately following.

He will continue to be monitored as he progresses through concussion protocol.

This season for the Celtics, Horford is averaging 14.6 points, 9.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. His shooting has been outstanding: 53.1% FG, and 47.4% from three-point range.

Despite their loss of Gordon Hayward at the start of the season, the Celtics are off to an excellent start. And they’re about to get better as new addition Marcus Morris is ready to make his season debut. Here’s ESPN Boston reporting:

Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris will make his 2017-18 season debut during Friday night’s visit to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Morris, acquired this summer in a swap that sent Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons, missed the start of Boston’s training camp while on trial for aggravated assault in Arizona. He played in only one exhibition game after being acquitted and the team held him out of game action at the start of the regular season while Morris both got himself in better shape and battled knee soreness.

“Very excited, man,” Morris said at Boston’s shootaround Friday morning. “This will be a good game for me to come back, anyway. I’m excited to come back.”

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Gordon Hayward speaks on injury

The Celtics began the season locked and loaded, then right away in Game 1 new small forward addition Gordon Hayward suffered a horrible injury. Here’s with some of his written comments today about the entire ordeal:

On his thoughts immediately following the injury: “It was like once my brain figured out what had happened, I was hit with shots of pain. The training staff came running over to me super fast, but however long it was—three seconds, five seconds—I just remember sitting there, looking at my foot the wrong way, and it felt like an eternity. Dr. Rosneck, the Cavaliers doctor, braced me as he explained that they wanted to try and pop my ankle back into place. I held on, and the moment they did it, there was just a massive shot of pain, probably the most pain I’ve ever felt in my life.”

On the current state of the Celtics: “We have such a young, exciting team filled with incredible character guys. I owe it to all of them to find my way to contribute. Some of the younger players will have to grow up a little quicker than was planned. They’re going to be thrust into situations where they’ll have a lot more responsibility. But this will be terrific for their careers. There is nothing better than experience in the NBA, and they’re going to get a lot of it. I still believe that by the end of the season, we can be something truly special.”

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And here’s with more:

Hayward acknowledged that his surgery included both repairing the bone he fractured in his ankle and repairing torn ligaments. While some have wondered if he might be able to return this season, Hayward wrote that he does not expect to be back…

In detailing the moment of the injury in his blog, Hayward wrote, “Immediately, I knew something was off, but when I landed, it wasn’t a huge amount of pain. I rolled over and saw my foot, and it was pointed in completely the wrong direction. My first thought was, ‘Oh. This isn’t good. There’s something very wrong here.’”

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The Boston Celtics have exercised both the third-year rookie scale option on Jaylen Brown and the fourth-year rookie scale option on Terry Rozier III.

Selected by the Celtics with the third overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, Brown, 21, has averaged 7.3 points (44.9% FG, 33.9% 3-PT, 67.5% FT), 3.1 rebounds and 18.5 minutes in 85 career games (27 starts). Named to the NBA’s All-Rookie Second Team in 2016-17, Brown is currently producing 15.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.00 steal through the first seven games (all starts) of his second NBA season.

Now in his third NBA season after being selected by Boston with the 16th pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, Rozier III, 23, has averaged 4.6 points (35.1% FG, 31.1% 3-PT, 76.5% FT), 2.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 120 career games over two-plus NBA seasons. In seven games in 2017-18, Rozier III has recorded 9.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 24.6 minutes.

Having a star-filled team as the Celtics do is great, but when the bulk core of the team has changed, it’s a major challenge for the squad’s head coach to quickly transform them into a contender. It’s a nice problem to have — having talent — but it’s still a daunting task when the talent has little experience playing together. But things get even tougher when the team goes through training camp and preseason, then loses a key star to injury just as the regular season begins. Here’s ESPN Boston reporting:

Brad Stevens was already facing a unique challenge entering the 2017-18 season, when the Celtics brought back just four players from a 53-win team and essentially asked him to rebuild a puzzle that took four seasons of perpetual piece-shifting to construct.

Then six minutes into Boston’s season-opener last week in Cleveland, Hayward fractured his ankle as he landed awkwardly after going up for an alley-oop. The team is operating under the notion that Hayward will not play again this season as he begins what Stevens has suggested is at least a five-month recovery.

With new Celtic Marcus Morris still working his way into game shape after missing the start of training camp while on trial in Arizona and Marcus Smart sidelined early in the season with an ankle injury, Stevens found himself operating with a roster in which six of his 12 available bodies were rookies.

At one point late in Tuesday’s win over the New York Knicks, Stevens had a lineup of Jabari Bird (a rookie second-round pick on a G-League two-way contract), Shane Larkin (who played in Spain last season), Abdel Nader (a 2016 second-round draft pick and the G-League Rookie of the Year while stashed domestically last season), Semi Ojeleye (a 2017 second-round pick), and Daniel Theis (a 25-year-old German import this offseason) on the floor.

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The Celtics came into the season optimistic about their new stars. Then, right away, Gordon Hayward was lost, and Boston’s hopes were put into a tailspin. But at least some partial relief should soon be on the way. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting:

Celtics hope to utilize Marcus Morris soon

The Celtics are not going to find one player to replace Gordon Hayward, but they are a little closer to adding a big forward who can score.

Marcus Morris is hoping to get into the rotation this week after arriving late to training camp because of his legal matter in Arizona and then dealing with left knee soreness that cost him the club’s first three games. Brad Stevens said Morris will be reevaluated this week, but if he can participate in today’s practice, there is at least a chance that Morris could see time against the Knicks here tomorrow night.

As one would expect, the Celts are being cautious.

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Kyrie Irving fined by NBA

Kyrie Irving fined by NBA

Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving has been fined $25,000 for using inappropriate language when responding to a fan, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred at halftime of the Celtics’ 102-92 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday, Oct. 20 at Wells Fargo Center.

Gordon Hayward undergoes surgery

Gordon Hayward undergoes surgery

Celtics forward Gordon Hayward has undergone bony and ligamentous stabilization surgery for the fracture dislocation of his left ankle sustained on Opening Night. The surgery was performed by Drs. Mark Slovenkai and Brian McKeon at New England Baptist Hospital, assisted by Dr. Anthony Schena, following consultations with Dr. David Porter of Methodist Sports Medicine in Indianapolis.

No timetable has been set for Hayward’s return, but he is expected to make a full recovery, the Celtics say.

Just speculating, but unfortunately we don’t expect to see Hayward again for most, if not all, of this season.

Isaiah Thomas not happy with Danny Ainge

Some players really don’t want to be traded. They like where they’re at. Such was the case with former Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, who on the one hand is surely now very content to be alongside LeBron James and the powerful Cleveland Cavaliers, but loved being a Celtic. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting:

Danny Ainge said yesterday that he loves Isaiah Thomas, even if the Celtics president of basketball operations tamped down his feelings long enough to include the beloved player in the August trade for Kyrie Irving.

And the now-Cleveland Cavaliers guard clearly isn’t in a forgiving mood, as evidenced by his interview with Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins. Thomas said that though his eventual return to Boston with the Cavaliers will be “all love,” that affection won’t be extended to the man who traded him as part of a league-shaking package for Irving.

“I might not ever talk to Danny again. That might not happen,” Thomas told Jenkins. “I’ll talk to everybody else. But what he did, knowing everything I went through, you don’t do that, bro. That’s not right. I’m not saying eff you. But every team in this situation comes out a year or two later and says, ‘We made a mistake.’ That’s what they’ll say, too.”

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The Celtics have a loaded, talented team. They’re contenders. Their present and their future looks bright. And guard Marcus Smart would like to remain a part of it. Will he receive a contract extension? Here’s the Boston Herald reporting:

The Celtics have until next Monday to sign Marcus Smart to a rookie contract extension, something the guard would dearly love.

But there’s one problem. Smart confirmed last night that he hasn’t heard from the team on the matter. Should the Celts not extend Smart, he will become a restricted free agent next summer, and undoubtedly an in-demand restricted free agent.

Some teams are indeed wrapping up their rookie contract players. Philadelphia, for instance, yesterday signed Joel Embiid — he of the 31-game career — to a maximum extension worth $148 million over five years.

Smart can’t help but notice numbers like this.

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Even though he’s surrounded by talented teammates who will do the vast majority of the heavy lifting, many eyes will be on Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum this season. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on his first taste of NBA preseason:

Jayson Tatum is happy to have his first preseason game in the rearview mirror. His performance in the 94-82 win against Charlotte was very much a rookie’s exercise — from the 0-for-4 first-half shooting to the greatly improved work as the evening went along.

“It felt good,” Tatum said after the Celtics’ workout yesterday. “I was anxious and excited and nervous at first, but as the game progressed, I felt a lot better.

“I think it was mostly butterflies my first game. I was definitely nervous and excited when I first got out there.”

The hesitation was evident as he pulled up for an open 3-pointer and gave the ball a bit of a guided push, taking his first shot on a break about a minute and a half after he entered in the opening quarter.

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