WALTHAM  –  Gerald Green knows he’s no longer the 18-year-old the Celtics drafted 18th overall in the 2005 draft. 

Now, the 30-year-old 6-foot-8 shooting forward comes to camp working harder to stay in shape and get ready for the season. In this process, Green suffered a minor setback. 


WALTHAM  –  Gerald Green knows he’s no longer the 18-year-old the Celtics drafted 18th overall in the 2005 draft. 

Now, the 30-year-old 6-foot-7 shooting forward comes to camp working harder to stay in shape and get ready for the season. In this process, Green suffered a minor setback. 

While working out in two-a-days this week, Green strained his hip in practice.

“I don’t think I stretched properly,” Green said Thursday. “I’m not 25 no more, so just trying to come out there and go full speed, just one of those things I’ve got to learn now since I’m 30.”

The hip didn’t keep him from firing up jumpers at the end of practice and working up a sweat. 

“Sometimes it’s hard to watch,” Green added. “I kind of like to work a little bit. I’m not pushing myself too hard, just enough to where I can get a nice little sweat.”

Coach Brad Stevens didn’t seem overly concerned about it after Thursday’s sessions. 

“Gerald is still the only person that didn’t participate in any of the practice drills, but obviously he’s out here shooting and should be good to go by the start of next week,” Stevens said.

How exactly did it happen?

“I can’t really recall. I just did some research on it. A lot of times you strain a hip flexor it’s from not warming up properly,” Green added. “I think now since I’m 30 I’m at the age where I have to start stretching a lot more. It’s feeling better, having a second day off of practice and today, just doing a lot of treatment right after practice and coming back this evening and doing treatment, so kind of just almost like precautionary thing, making sure it doesn’t get worse.

“As a veteran you know it’s a long season. You’re not trying to do too much to make it get worse. Obviously training camp is important but I think being healthy at the beginning of the season is even more important.”

One of the storylines Thursday was the competitive nature of the roster, with Stevens emphasizing to his entire roster that he’s not giving out roles. They have to be earned. 

“It’s tough,” Isaiah Thomas said. “You got guys like Avery, first-team All-Defense; Marcus running through everybody because he’s so strong. For me, it’s good. Like I said before, when I play against those guys, when I get in the game, it’s easy. Everybody is competing, everybody wants minutes. Coach has said nothing’s going to be given and you gotta compete. So we got a lot of guys at certain positions that just try to get the best of each other.”

 Stevens ended Thursday with a series of 3-on-3 drills with Jaylen Brown and Jalen Jones taking turns running the offense.

“We did a lot of scrimmaging the last two days up and down,” Stevens said. “It’s the fifth practice in two-and-a-half days. So the older guys have gotten a few more reps than some of the younger guys and it was good to play some 3-on-3-on-3. That’s a hard conditioner, especially if you’re the team that’s scoring because you get the ball and you keep the ball. So that was a good thing, and we try to do that occasionally even through the season as we come in in small groups or whatever the case may be just to get everybody up and down (the court).”

Stevens is enjoying watching his players set the intense tone in practice. 

“A couple of the college coaches that have been here in the last couple of days wee saying, ‘Holy smokes is he a competitive, physical guy.’ And that’s beautiful,” Stevens said. “It ups everybody’s level. And that’s a good thing. The one thing that we want to do is obviously play hard without fouling. But playing hard is a big part of that, and so we always want to encourage that.”

Can practice ever be too intense. 

“As long as you’re productive it can’t be,” Stevens said. “I think that there’s a time where you might cross the line of productive because it becomes too much of an individual battle or whatever the case may be. But we haven’t had those issues here.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia


WALTHAM  –  Gerald Green knows he’s no longer the 18-year-old the Celtics drafted 18th overall in the 2005 draft. 

Now, the 30-year-old 6-foot-7 shooting forward comes to camp working harder to stay in shape and get ready for the season. In this process, Green suffered a minor setback. 

While working out in two-a-days this week, Green strained his hip in practice.

“I don’t think I stretched properly,” Green said Thursday. “I’m not 25 no more, so just trying to come out there and go full speed, just one of those things I’ve got to learn now since I’m 30.”

The hip didn’t keep him from firing up jumpers at the end of practice and working up a sweat. 

“Sometimes it’s hard to watch,” Green added. “I kind of like to work a little bit. I’m not pushing myself too hard, just enough to where I can get a nice little sweat.”

Coach Brad Stevens didn’t seem overly concerned about it after Thursday’s sessions. 

“Gerald is still the only person that didn’t participate in any of the practice drills, but obviously he’s out here shooting and should be good to go by the start of next week,” Stevens said.

How exactly did it happen?

“I can’t really recall. I just did some research on it. A lot of times you strain a hip flexor it’s from not warming up properly,” Green added. “I think now since I’m 30 I’m at the age where I have to start stretching a lot more. It’s feeling better, having a second day off of practice and today, just doing a lot of treatment right after practice and coming back this evening and doing treatment, so kind of just almost like precautionary thing, making sure it doesn’t get worse.

“As a veteran you know it’s a long season. You’re not trying to do too much to make it get worse. Obviously training camp is important but I think being healthy at the beginning of the season is even more important.”

One of the storylines Thursday was the competitive nature of the roster, with Stevens emphasizing to his entire roster that he’s not giving out roles. They have to be earned. 

“It’s tough,” Isaiah Thomas said. “You got guys like Avery, first-team All-Defense; Marcus running through everybody because he’s so strong. For me, it’s good. Like I said before, when I play against those guys, when I get in the game, it’s easy. Everybody is competing, everybody wants minutes. Coach has said nothing’s going to be given and you gotta compete. So we got a lot of guys at certain positions that just try to get the best of each other.”

 Stevens ended Thursday with a series of 3-on-3 drills with Jaylen Brown and Jalen Jones taking turns running the offense.

“We did a lot of scrimmaging the last two days up and down,” Stevens said. “It’s the fifth practice in two-and-a-half days. So the older guys have gotten a few more reps than some of the younger guys and it was good to play some 3-on-3-on-3. That’s a hard conditioner, especially if you’re the team that’s scoring because you get the ball and you keep the ball. So that was a good thing, and we try to do that occasionally even through the season as we come in in small groups or whatever the case may be just to get everybody up and down (the court).”

Stevens is enjoying watching his players set the intense tone in practice. 

“A couple of the college coaches that have been here in the last couple of days wee saying, ‘Holy smokes is he a competitive, physical guy.’ And that’s beautiful,” Stevens said. “It ups everybody’s level. And that’s a good thing. The one thing that we want to do is obviously play hard without fouling. But playing hard is a big part of that, and so we always want to encourage that.”

Can practice ever be too intense. 

“As long as you’re productive it can’t be,” Stevens said. “I think that there’s a time where you might cross the line of productive because it becomes too much of an individual battle or whatever the case may be. But we haven’t had those issues here.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Terry Rozier didn’t explode into the NBA. After a lackluster rookie season, he opened some eyes in the playoffs, but he still comes to camp without the guarantee of a roster spot.

Five practice sessions into 2016, however, the improvement in the former first-round pick’s game is palpable — and it’s not going unnoticed.

Celtics guard Terry Rozier hopes to take a step forward this year. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Celtics guard Terry Rozier hopes to take a step forward this year. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Terry Rozier didn’t explode into the NBA. After a lackluster rookie season, he opened some eyes in the playoffs, but he still comes to camp without the guarantee of a roster spot.

Five practice sessions into 2016, however, the improvement in the former first-round pick’s game is palpable — and it’s not going unnoticed.

“You can see Terry’s a different guy year two than he was in the first couple of days of year one, he just stands out right now,” head coach Brad Stevens said. “And I think that’s probably pretty typical because of the comfort level of going through camp again, for the first time versus again.”

Part of the growth process for Rozier has simply been experience. He’s no longer a rookie, and he’s clearly more comfortable. The challenge will be improving his ball-handling and decision-making.

“Things move really fast for everybody, and when you’re the guy with the ball, it moves even faster because you’ve got to be able to not only gauge what you need to be doing, but you’ve got to make sure everybody else is there,” Steven said. “And he’s got the ball a lot, I think he’s doing really good job of attacking and picking the spots he should attack, we can all get better at that.”

Isaiah Thomas also noted Rozier’s massive improvement, which he attributes to hard work.

“The biggest thing I’ve always said about Terry is he’s going to improve, because the guy works,” Thomas said. “From the minute we met him in the draft process, it was like this guy — there are work ethics and there are real work ethics and he’s got a real work ethic — and so I think he’ll do well.”

There’s no argument that the 22-year-old Rozier has skill. He’s torn up the D-League and summer league. He’s less of a sure thing in the NBA.

The same goes for James Young. Entering his third season at age 21, Young has yet to earn more than occasional garbage minutes. And given the team’s need for a pure shooter, Young could have filled that void some time ago.

But the reality is he’s competing for a roster spot.

“He’s improved a lot, and you can see the way he’s playing here, he’s really stepping up and we like that and that’s good for him,” Marcus Smart said. “He’s just more aggressive. The first couple of years he was a little timid, a little shy, but now he’s definitely been more aggressive, attacking the paint and playing great defense.”

Added Thomas, “He’s played well, he’s playing with confidence. I think that’s the biggest thing from previous years that I’ve been here, he’s playing like he’s confident, like he knows what he’s doing and he’s very aggressive. And he needs to be like that, for him to be successful he has to be like that.”

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

Gerald Green

Gerald Green

WALTHAM – He didn’t think about it at the time, but Isaiah Thomas played a big role in a big Celtics reunion this summer.

When Gerald Green decided to return to Boston this summer, 11 years after being drafted by Danny Ainge and the Celtics in 2005, the Celtics were getting back a player who, at just 21 years of age, served a critical role in the acquisition of Kevin Garnett. 

“It was tough when I was younger because obviously I wanted to be a part of a championship team but as I grew up and got older and started becoming a student of the business I understood it was the right the for the Celtics to do and I understood that move more than I did at the time,” Green, now 30, recalled on Thursday. 

Eight NBA teams and an excursion to Europe later, Green decided to sign with the Celtics in late July. The biggest influence? Isaiah Thomas, a player he teamed with in Phoenix for a year (2013-14). 

“It kind of began in Phoenix,” Green said. “He was a genuine guy, came in really humble. I see the talent was there I knew he could be one of the best point guards in the league, and right away when we both stepped on the court we both had the same mentality. By any means necessary, go get a bucket and go get stops.

“We both had the same mentality, just try to push the first team because we were both coming off the bench. Just try to make the first team better and that’s what we did every day. We were able to finish games as a unit at both ends of the floor. Now, me teaming up with him here, we’re gonna try to do the same thing.”

Thomas, for his part, said Thursday there was absolutely no doubt he wanted Green in Boston as part of a summer reboot designed to push the Celtics toward the top of the East. 

“We needed someone like him,” Thomas said. “A guy that can shoot the ball, a guy that can space the floor, and he’s just an instant scorer — whether he starts, whether he comes off the bench, that’s what he’s going to do. And he’s explosive. We needed somebody like him and, when we played in Phoenix, it was like we played together for years because we clicked so easy. I know where he likes the ball, I know where his hot spots are. He’s just somebody that’s very excited and something we need.

“I just put my magic on it and usually it works. I can’t tell you my secrets.”

Thomas made it clear that Green might not be in Boston if Green didn’t pick up the phone, a rarity of sorts. 

“He did call me. And Gerald doesn’t call anybody,” Thomas said. “He definitely called me and I knew something was up. Then he said Boston was one of the teams he was looking at and they were interested, then I tried to just put my 2 cents in and he got here. I’m just happy to have him because he’s going to really help us.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Jaylen Brown

Jaylen Brown is the Celtics’ highest draft pick in 19 years. (Jerry Lai/USA Today Sports)

The Celtics have had selected in the top three of the draft only three times since the 1960s, choosing Len Bias second in 1986, Chauncey Billups third in 1997 and Jaylen Brown third this year. Thus, it’s fair to say there is some pressure surrounding the 19-year-old Brown to succeed.

Speaking at his first professional media day Monday, Brown was calm and direct, taking all the questions in stride.

“To me first it’s a blessing just to be drafted just as high and be on a team that’s winning,” the rookie said. “I like to win. That’s what it’s about. I think this year is going to be a great year for me. It won’t be difficult at all because I’m winning. So that’s how I look at it. That’s kind of my mindset about it. I’m learning a lot and things like that. Just going forward, I’m about that more than the individual kind of statistics.”

In most cases, players drafted as high as Brown are taken by teams coming off forgettable seasons, and they are looked at with high expectations as part of a rebuilding process. In Brown’s case, the expectations still are high, but he’s on a team looking to win right away.

“There’s going to be highs, there’s going to be lows. Just the peaks and valleys,” he said of his acclimation to the NBA. “But, just to stay with the process, just to keep confidence and keep working. Just stay with the process.”

Known more for his defense than his offense, Brown knows right off the bat that his parlay into playing time is through his defense, but also the need for him to hit shots.

“Defensively I think I add it right way,” he said. “I think I talked to Brad [Stevens] a lot about that. Just being able to get on the floor, defending at a high level. It would be one thing, and just hitting open shots would be another. Those are two key things to get me on the floor and that will help me add to this team.”

From an administrative standpoint, big things are expected of Brown as well. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge carried on about his prized pick’s fit in the system more so than his skill. And while that garnered much criticism when he was initially drafted, with training camp now underway, the practicality of the pick seems much more useful than a big-splash, high-risk, high-reward pick.

“Systemically, he’s perfect for what we need: versatile defender and a guy that can play multiple positions defensively,” Ainge said. “I think that Jaylen has to learn our terminology and learn our system. He seems like a bright kid and a hard-working kid and a kid that wants to learn and is capable of learning. I’m excited about him this year.”

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

WALTHAM — Al Horford knows all about team chemistry.

He was part of a Florida Gators team that sacrificed early departures to the NBA to win back-to-back NCAA championships in 2006 and 2007.

He stood through thick and thin with the Atlanta Hawks, as they finally emerged as an Eastern Conference power.

Terry Rozier (12) points to Al Horford (42) during a light moment during Celtics media day (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Terry Rozier (12) points to Al Horford (42) during a light moment during Celtics media day (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

WALTHAM — Al Horford knows all about team chemistry.

He was part of a Florida Gators team that sacrificed early departures to the NBA to win back-to-back NCAA championships in 2006 and 2007.

He stood through thick and thin with the Atlanta Hawks, as they finally emerged as an Eastern Conference power.

Now, he’s hoping to make that experience in team chemistry count with the Celtics. Last week, Horford shot around with team leader Isaiah Thomas and had a special message for him. Thomas took notice.

“It’s so crazy to have a guy like that on the team that — we shot together a couple days ago and he was just like, ‘Man, I’m here to make things easier for you. So just let me know what you need,'” Thomas recalled Thursday. “That’s just wonderful, especially a guy that has that much talent. My job is just making things easier for others and he’s making it easier for me already.”

Why did Horford do that?

“I think it’s important that we have good team chemistry,” Horford said. “And Isaiah is such a great player. It’s amazing the things he can do on the court. I’m here to make the game easy, not only for him, but all my teammates. I want to let them all know I have their back.”

Why is chemistry such a big deal?

“It’s very important,” Horford said. “Coach [Billy] Donovan taught me that as soon as I stepped into camp [at Florida]. He always harped on making sure we’re always on the same page, that we’re feeding off each other and that’s one of the things that feel like I add value. I try to be a team guy and try to help the team in whichever way that I can. Here, they already had really good chemistry. It’s up to me to come in here and try to mesh with everybody and make everything work.

“Everything’s starting to make a little more sense now. This has been our fifth practice. Very productive day today.”

Horford said he didn’t need to see the Celtics in the playoffs to know they had a good thing going. 

“Not only the first round, I think all year long, this team had a great core of guys and guys that play hard every night,” Horford said. “They compete and that’s important. That type of competitiveness is contagious. It was just a lot of fun to watch them from afar. I’m happy to be here.”

 “We were a more veteran group in Atlanta. Down there, it’s the same way. Guys were competitive and there were guys that got after it. There are definitely some similarities. As far as the IQ of the guys, the guys here are very smart, too. It was the same way in Atlanta.”

Horford again recalled his first trip to Boston in his rookie season of 2007-08. 

“It’s special. It’s pretty cool. It’s a moment I never forget,” Horford said. “It’s the first time I came and played at TD Garden. So, now that I’m part of the Celtics, it’s special. I’m excited.”

“[I] just see a team that is very competitive, that works really hard. I love the character and the attitude of the guys here, how hard they play, how hard they compete. I want to be able to be apart of special teams. And I was apart of special teams in Atlanta. This is a new opportunity for me and that’s what excites me the most.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Al Horford (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Al Horford (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

WALTHAM — The Celtics had about 90 minutes to get a feel for each other, with their first of two practice sessions for Tuesday taking place Tuesday morning. There was little impact, and “a lot of five-on-zero,” said head coach Brad Stevens of the initial workout.

Jaylen Brown, who admitted he got little sleep Monday night due to excitement, showing up to the practice facility three-to-four hours early Tuesday, doled out a pass from the elbow to the perimeter with precision and showed good finesse around the rim while partnering up well with Jonas Jerebko during pass-and-shoot drills.

“It was good, I’m just glad to be out here,” Brown said. “I’m learning a lot, a lot of different things today. It’s exciting, you know first day of practice it’s a new journey. I’m happy to be here and I’m having a good time.”

A frequent topic of conversation was the iPads the team hands out so players can take a look at plays. Each player is distributed one of the tablets and it is frequently updated with plays and schemes for them to study. 

“Probably just as much time as I spend at the gym, probably twice as much,” Brown said when asked how much time he’ll spend going through the iPad. “Understanding the game and just trying to speed up that learning curve. Everybody plays the game differently so just trying to speed up my learning curve and learn as much as possible so I can be ready.

“I’m looking forward to the new challenge but I know it’s going to take time, but that’s a very important thing is speeding up my learning curve.”

Brown added that it is similar to being at school and that Stevens is like the professor.

Having been through multiple camps before and already having an established rapport across the league, the big thing for Al Horford was working on learning the plays and the system.

“It was a little different, just starting to get used to some of our concepts, getting familiar with the offensive system, but a lot of energy, a lot of positive energy,” Horford said. “Guys were ready to go from the beginning.”

Other practice notes

— Though playing non-contact, Kelly Olynyk (who is still nursing a shoulder injury) looked confident both shooting and playing around the rim. He had no issues finishing dunks with authority but also stepped back and drained multiple 3-pointers.

— Players and Stevens alike noted that the initial drills were to be done at roughly 40 percent, but ended up being performed a much higher intensity. Isaiah Thomas said that if that was 40percent he was interested to see what 100 percent would be like. Stevens jokingly brushed it off as a misjudgment of what was and was not 40 percent.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen