Archive for the ‘ Boston Celtics Blog ’ Category

We often hear that about NBA players suffering “concussion-like symptoms,” and perhaps being diagnosed with an actual concussion, and missing a game or two, and then returning to action. But new Celtics big-man Al Horford took a serious hit, and he’s still recovering. Here’s WEEI reporting:

Al Horford taking a while to recover from concussion

The waiting game continues for Al Horford and the Celtics.

The big man is still dealing with the lingering effects of a concussion and said after practice Tuesday that he’s not sure when he might play again.

Horford suffered the concussion when he was accidentally struck by a teammate at practice on Oct. 31. There was a glimmer of hope when he traveled with the team on the two-game trip through Indiana and New Orleans. But on Tuesday, following a light workout, he told reporters that he’s just not ready.

“I’m just not where I want to be right now, but trying to work through it,” Horford said. “This is something very new to me, so it’s just trying to get used to this.”

New Celtics addition Al Horford’s concussion was the real thing. And it’s taking a little while for him to fully recover from it. Here’s ESPN Boston with the latest:

Al Horford still recovering from concussion

One week after Boston Celtics big man Al Horford suffered a concussion during an off-day practice, coach Brad Stevens said the 10th-year veteran has not progressed in the NBA’s concussion protocol and he is uncertain when Horford will return to basketball activities.

Horford, who signed a four-year, $113 million contract with the Celtics over the summer, has missed Boston’s past three games. The concussion was diagnosed Tuesday, after he experienced nausea while attempting to practice a day after absorbing an inadvertent blow to the head from a teammate.

Al Horford in NBA concussion protocol program

Celtics center/forward Al Horford reported being hit in the head Monday (October 31) during practice and was asymptomatic Monday evening and during the pre-practice period on Tuesday (November 1) and he was subsequently cleared to practice.

However symptoms presented during practice and Horford was immediately removed from practice. He was evaluated last night by Celtics team physicians and has been placed in to the NBA’s concussion protocol program.

Horford is out for tonight’s game against the Chicago Bulls and his status will be updated as appropriate per the NBA concussion protocol.

Celtics exercise contract options on Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier

The Celtics today exercised the contract options for Terry Rozier’s third year and Marcus Smart’s fourth year. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Rozier, a 6’2” guard, has appeared in all three games for the Celtics during the 2016-17 season and has posted averages of 6.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.33 steals in 23.9 minutes per game. He posted a career-high of eight points to go along with four rebounds and four assists against Chicago on October 27, 2016. During his rookie season last year, Rozier appeared in 39 games for the Celtics and totaled 72 points, 63 rebounds and 37 assists in 311 minutes. He increased his production during the 2016 preseason when he averaged 9.6 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 17.2 minutes per game while shooting 54.0 percent from the field and 60.0 percent from three.

Smart, a 6’4” guard, has posted career averages of 8.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals in 128 career games since the Celtics drafted him 6th overall out of Oklahoma State in the 2014 NBA Draft. During the 2015-16 season, Smart posted career-highs in points (9.1 per game) and rebounds (4.2 per game) while being selected to participate in the 2016 Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend.

Gerald Green has a Celtics haircut

Gerald Green played for the Celtics as a rookie in 2005-06 and in 2006-07. After bouncing around the league for a while, he’s wearing Celtics green again this season.

Green apparently wanted to make a statement about his return. A positive one. In the form of a cool hairstyle. Here’s MassLive reporter Tom Westerholm with the photo:

That is awesome.

Celtics waive R.J. Hunter

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have waived guard R.J. Hunter. Hunter was the 28th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

The Celtics roster now stands at 15.

Celtics waive Ben Bentil

Celtics waive Ben Bentil

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have waived forward Ben Bentil.

Bentil appeared in three games for the Celtics during the 2016 preseason and averaged 5.0 points, and 4.3 rebounds in 12.9 minutes per game. Bentil was selected by the Celtics with the 51st overall pick during the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft.

Celtics sign Ryan Kelly

Celtics sign Ryan Kelly

The Boston Celtics signed forward Ryan Kelly today.

Kelly, a 6’11” forward, appeared in six games for the Atlanta Hawks during the 2016 Preseason where he averaged 4.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 15.0 minutes per game. Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 48th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Kelly has appeared in 147 career games and recorded averages of 6.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Kelly appeared in seven games (all starts) during the 2015-16 season for the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League while on assignment from the Lakers and averaged 27.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists while shooting 52.9 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from three.

celtics

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have waived Marcus Georges-Hunt, Damion Lee and Jalen Jones.

The Celtics roster now stands at 17.

The Celtics this season are built around Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder and Al Horford, plus Marcus Smart, Gerald Green and rookie Jaylen Brown, among others.

Preseason: Celtics beat Knicks 119-107

Saturday night in Madison Square Garden, the Celtics beat the Knicks 119-107.

In the win, R.J. Hunter led the Celtics with 17 points (6-of-8 shooting), plus two steals in just 12 minutes. Avery Bradley had 17 points (6-of-8), and two steals in 17 minutes. And new addition Al Horford shot 5-of-5, including 2-of-2 three-pointers, for 12 points, three rebounds, three assists and two blocks in just 16 minutes.

In the loss, The Knicks were led by 6-foot-8, 216-pound forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas, who had 18 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in just 19 minutes of play. Backup center Willy Hernangomez was also solid with 12 points and 12 rebounds in 24 minutes.

It’s preseason, and teams around the league, including Boston and New York, are essentially just warming up, and playing their starters very limited minutes.

Still, observations can be made:

We saw little from Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas today. No big deal.

Adding Horford sounded like a good move by Boston this offseason, and it sure looks that way on the court. Through the four preseason games he’s played, the former Atlanta Hawk is averaging 11.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in just 18 minutes per game. And he’s shooting 61.3% FG.

It’ll be interesting to watch Boston’s power forward rotation. The minutes breakdown there will be a compelling coaching decision.

For the Knicks, not having Derrick Rose (currently on trial in California) hurts. Rose has played just one preseason game for his new squad, and looked good. But chemistry development that should have taken place in preseason is now postponed.

But while Rose remains out, Joakim Noah was healthy enough to make his preseason debut. He had five points, five rebounds, an assist and two steals in 19 minutes. He looked rusty, which is to be expected. It’s hard to have a firm opinion on where he’s at just yet.

Kristaps Porzingis is fascinating to watch. As was the case most of last season. Within the first half-quarter of tonight’s game he hit a pair of threes and ran a fast break, which he finished with a bucket. That wound up being most of his production last night — minutes were limited. But he can do amazing things for a young player who stands 7-foot-3.

The Celtics are now 4-1 in preseason. The Knicks are 2-2.

Celtics add Marcus Georges-Hunt, Damion Lee, Jalen Jones to training camp

The Celtics have signed guards Marcus Georges-Hunt and Damion Lee, as well as forward Jalen Jones to their training camp roster.

Georges-Hunt played in four contests for the Brooklyn Nets in the 2016 Las Vegas Summer League and averaged 2.8 points and 1.0 rebound in 13.3 minutes per game. As a senior at Georgia Tech, the 6’5” guard averaged 16.7 points while shooting 45.4 percent from the field, 3.4 rebounds and a team-high 3.3 assists per game. Georges-Hunt rose to No. 11 on Tech’s all-time scoring list (1,728 points) during the 2015-16 season after beginning the year as 35th.

Lee appeared in six games for the Miami Heat during the Las Vegas Summer League and averaged 10.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 21.3 minutes per game. The 6’6” guard played for the Louisville Cardinals during the 2015-16 season, where he averaged 15.9 points on 42.8 percent shooting from the field, 1.9 assists and 3.9 rebounds in 33.6 minutes per game. Prior to playing at Louisville, Lee attended Drexel University and was the nation’s fourth-leading scorer as a junior while averaging 21.4 points per game.

Jones played in five contests for the Toronto Raptors during the Las Vegas Summer League and averaged 3.2 points and 2.0 rebounds in 8.8 minutes per game. During his senior year at Texas A&M, the 6’7” forward averaged 15.3 points on 42.5 percent shooting from the field and 7.2 rebounds. Jones earned first-team All-SEC honors from both the league’s coaches and the Associated Press for the 2015-16 season.

Celtics on national TV a lot next season

The Celtics last season were, for the most part, a team of role players (plus Isaiah Thomas). They were a well-coached, hard-working, hustling group of players who finished with a very solid 48-34 record. The team improved this offseason, adding highly-skilled big guy Al Horford, plus other talent. The result? More national TV appearances. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting:

With the release of the 2016-17 NBA schedule [on Thursday], the Celtics are slated to play 22 games on national television this season — 10 on ESPN, nine on TNT and three on ABC. They also have earned a spot on the NBA’s marquee day — Christmas. The Celtics will play the Knicks at noon at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 25.

The Celtics, who will feature newly acquired center Al Horford, can help themselves when they tip off the season on Oct. 26 against the Brooklyn Nets at the Garden. The C’s currently hold Brooklyn’s first-round pick in the 2017 draft and a victory will be a quick start to another possibly rough season for the Nets.

Celtics sign Tyler Zeller, Gerald Green, Jaylen Brown, Demetrius Jackson, Ben Bentil

The Celtics on Wednesday re-signed center Tyler Zeller and signed free agent guard/forward Gerald Green and 2016 draft picks forward Jaylen Brown, guard Demetrius Jackson and forward Ben Bentil.

Green, a 6’7” guard/forward, spent last season with the Miami Heat and averaged 8.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in 22.6 minutes per game. Originally drafted by the Celtics with the 18th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, Green has appeared in 497 games during his nine year NBA career posting averages of 10.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 assist while shooting 36.1 percent from the three-point line. During the 2013-14 season with Phoenix, he posted his highest scoring output with 15.8 points per game while shooting 40.0 percent from three and finished fourth in the voting for the league’s Most Improved Player.

Zeller, a 7’0” center, averaged 6.1 points and 3.0 rebounds in 11.8 minutes per game last season for the Celtics. The 17th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Zeller holds career averages of 7.6 points and 3.1 rebounds in 19.1 minutes per contest. Zeller tied his career-high with 26 points against Milwaukee on April 8, 2016 to go along with a career-high-tying four blocks.

Brown was selected with the third overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. He appeared in six games this summer for the Celtics split between the Utah and Samsung Summer Leagues in Las Vegas, averaging 16.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 steals in 29.0 minutes per game. He also attempted 10.2 free throws per game. Brown was named to the Samsung All-NBA Summer League Second Team in Las Vegas. The 6’7” forward from the University of California was selected to the five-player USBWA Freshman All-America team, was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and was the lone freshman this season to make the All-Pac 12 First Team.

Jackson, a 6’1” guard from the University of Notre Dame, was selected with the 45th overall pick in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft. He appeared in five contests for the Celtics during Las Vegas Summer League where he averaged 4.0 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 15.8 minutes per game. Jackson also played in three matchups for the Celtics during the Utah Summer League and averaged 7.3 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 1.3 steals in 18.0 minutes per game. As a junior at Notre Dame, he was named to the 2016 NCAA East Region All-Tournament Team and to the Second Team All-ACC. Jackson, a two-time Notre Dame Outstanding Playmaker Award winner, tallied 16.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.2 steals, while shooting 46.3 percent from the field in 36.1 minutes per game during the 2015-16 season. For his career, he shot 38.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Bentil, a 6’9” forward, was selected with the 51st overall pick in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft. He played in five matchups for the Celtics during Las Vegas Summer League where he averaged 1.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 7.4 minutes per game. Bentil also appeared in three contests for the team during the Utah Summer League and averaged 8.7 points on .533 shooting from the field and 4.3 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per game. An Honorable Mention AP All-America, he led the Big East in scoring with 21.1 points per game, finished fourth in the league in rebounding (7.7 rpg) and shot 46.2 percent from the field during the 2015-16 season at Providence College. Bentil was also named Big East Most Improved Player and First-Team All-Big East in 2016.

Raptors sign Jared Sullinger

Raptors sign Jared Sullinger

The Raptors have signed free-agent power forward Jared Sullinger.

“We are delighted that Jared chose to join the Raptors,” said Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri. “He provides us with another experienced front court player that can rebound and score.”

Sullinger’s deal is reportedly a $5.6 million dollar contract, just for one year.

Sullinger, 6-foot-9, 260 pounds, averaged 10.3 points, a career-high 8.3 rebounds and 23.6 minutes in a career-best 81 games with Boston last season. He holds career averages of 11.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 24.9 minutes in 258 games, all with the Celtics. In the playoffs, Sullinger has averaged 8.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 16.1 minutes in 10 contests.

Sullinger was drafted 21st overall by Boston in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Jared Sullinger to join Raptors

The Raptors are adding some rebounding. Here’s the Toronto Star reporting:

Jared Sullinger to join Raptors

In another low-risk, high-reward gamble, Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri has dipped into the NBA freeagent pool.

Jared Sullinger, an intriguing big man with conditioning and health issues but talent that makes him an interesting addition to a team needing a power forward, announced his own signing with the Raptors on Monday afternoon.

The six-foot-nine, 260-pound big man, cut adrift Sunday by the Boston Celtics, will join Toronto on a one-year deal worth slightly under $6 million, a relatively cheap contract in this summer’s NBA free agent market.

Celtics sign Al Horford

Celtics sign Al Horford

The Boston Celtics signed free agent forward/center and four-time NBA All-Star Al Horford today.

“I am extremely excited to be joining the Boston Celtics family,” said Horford. “I look forward to working with Coach Stevens and the rest of our team towards our goal of bringing a championship back to Boston.”

Horford’s deal is reportedly a $113 million dollar contract over four years.

“We are very glad to welcome Al Horford and his family to the Celtics,” said Celtics Co-Owner and Managing Partner Wyc Grousbeck. “His burning desire to play basketball the right way reminds me of the great Celtics of the past. He is a four-time All-Star, a gifted shooter, playmaker and defender, and an outstanding person. He believes in Celtic Pride and we believe in him.”

In years to come, I feel like this will open the doors for many other big free agents,” Horford said Friday, according to Boston.com.

The 6’10” Horford appeared in a career-high 82 games (all starts) for the Atlanta Hawks last season where he averaged 15.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.5 blocks (17th in NBA) while shooting 50.5 percent from the floor and 34.4 percent from beyond the arc. Horford was one of three players in the NBA last season to record at least 1,200 points, 575 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 blocks. He is also one of 13 active players to record at least 8,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, 1,500 assists and 675 blocks in their career.

“Al is a significant addition to our team and will make an immediate impact on both ends of the floor,” said President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. “He is a proven veteran and leader, on and off the court, and we look forward to welcoming Al and his family to Boston and the Celtics organization.”

Selected with the third overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by Atlanta, Horford has career averages of 14.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 blocks per game. The nine year NBA veteran has been an All-Star four times (2015-16, 2014-15, 2010-11 and 2009-10). He was named to the 2007-08 NBA All-Rookie First Team and also was named to the 2010-11 All-NBA Third Team when he averaged 15.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.0 block per game. Born in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, Horford led the Hawks to nine consecutive playoff appearances to start his career.

Al Horford to sign with Celtics

Big move for Boston, landing a versatile, undersized but talented center with a nice outside shot, Al Horford. The Hawks will miss him, but they have Paul Millsap and new addition Dwight Howard up front and so it isn’t surprising that Horford is signing elsewhere. Here’s the Boston Herald blog reporting:

Al Horford to sign with Celtics

In certainly the most expensive free agent signing in franchise history, the Celtics will pay Horford $113 million over the next four years. According to Yahoo/The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Horford and the Hawks finished $6 million apart on a five-year max contract offer, and were unable to close the gap.

At 7:16 p.m. Horford posted on his Twitter page “CELTICS PRIDE!!!!!!” followed by a line of 18 shamrocks. Die-hards will clearly read into that number, since the Celtics are one NBA title away from that number of championships.

Horford also painted his Twitter page and avatar in Celtics green and added “Boston Celtics star Forward/Center” to his Twitter bio.

The Celtics have a 30-year-old All-Star center in his prime, and an entirely different look to what they can now do at both ends of the floor.

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.

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