The Celtics are going to get some help in their recruitment of free agent-to-be Kevin Durant.

Count new Patriots defensive lineman Terrance Knighton as part of the contingent who will be helping lure Durant to the Celts.

Trust me when the offseason starts I'll be texting KD almost every other day recruiting ☘☘

The Celtics are going to get some help in their recruitment of free agent-to-be Kevin Durant.

Count new Patriots defensive lineman Terrance Knighton as part of the contingent who will be helping lure Durant to the Celts.

It should be no surprise Knighton is on board in trying to upgrade the Celtics considering he grew up in the Hartford, Conn. area rooting for the C’s.

“I’m very excited about the Celtics,” Knighton said on a conference call with reporters earlier this month. “I think when you’re born in Connecticut, I think at birth you have a choice — either Yankees or Red Sox — and I chose to go with Boston. I’m a big Boston Celtics fan, Red Sox, Bruins, obviously Patriot fan growing up. I’m really excited about the Celtics right now, the playoff push. Hopefully when I get in town I can catch a few games. I’m very excited about it.”

Blog Author: 
WEEI

Marcus Smart has been swallowed up by the Hawks this series. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Marcus Smart may one day be a really good NBA player. Closing the door on that possibility would be stupid.



Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston joins Sam Packard and Jared Weiss to breakdown the Celtics terrible game 2 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. The guys discuss the play of rookies Terry Rozier and RJ Hunter and the C’s shooting woes before previewing game 3. Chris then takes questions from the #WEEICeltics mailbag. Topics include: Brad Stevens’ favorite Prince Song, Hot Dog Colors, and the Swedish Stud Jonas Jerebko. Subscribe to the Pod on iTunes, Stitcher and on the CLNS Radio app.

[0:01:25] ... of the leading on line provider of audio video coverage of the Boston Celtics coach Steele and mistreated dot com you can listen to the show. On iTunes stitcher and the seal on this radio mobile ...
[0:26:53] ... on our question oh yes this is a big important question. Red hot dogs or brown hot dogs as I am I real strong feelings about this I'll let you go first and picked the wrong one so I can judge you. Our tech. Iowa net at Google could I wasn't sure like what. Their group was. I grew up here was there and we have you like world famous. Hot dogs fought. But they're morneau for their top things that necessarily. Frank but yeah it alone so why. I understand that and maybe this is all mean people want to get all read that army. I don't think it matters so good out lap while. No you're absolutely we all know you're you're just ignorant to issue of how gross wed hot dogs are I'll school in Maine. And why do watch for four years I still about the for the main quite a bit regrow permits and has watched him eat these grossed. Just. How are looking to read like candy hot dogs in their absolutely. Obscene and I hate them and anyone who eats them is lesser in my book and it's absolutely terrifying to know that anyone puts them in the magic of walking on the show. In. What what what what what I love being in there and get up on that like. Jarrett had used a let red hot dogs are absolutely Greg I'm not a big hot dog guy to begin with I think it's mostly squirrel meat in in the ...




Will Jared Sullinger be able to keep up with Atlanta's big men in Game 3? (John David Mercer/USA Today Sports)WALTHAM -- What happened to Jared Sullinger?



MIKE PETRAGLIA

BIO | ARCHIVE


Boston's multitude of injuries has given Brad Stevens a headache. (Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports)

Boston’s multitude of injuries has given Brad Stevens a headache. (Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports)

WALTHAM – Brad Stevens didn’t need a history lesson Thursday before practice but he got one anyway. 

The Celtics coach was reminded that he has yet to score a playoff victory in six tries over the last two seasons. While this certainly doesn’t rise to the 0-7 postseason mark of the Bengals’ Marvin Lewis in the NFL, it is a frustrating collar he’d like to shed Friday night at TD Garden. 

That, and he’d actually like to see his team get back in the series with the Hawks, which some observers say could change with one win. 

“Obviously, it’s frustrating but also, I look at last year as we were obviously playing a heck of a team that was playing at a really high level,” Stevens said, referring to last season’s 4-0 first-round sweep at the hands of the Cavs. “And we did a lot of good things [vs. Cleveland]. We played really well on the defensive end in that series in the half court. I think we’ve done that again in the first two games [vs. Hawks].”

So where DO the Celtics need to improve?

“Where we need to play a little bit better is in transition and in getting better offense,” Stevens said.”And so, that’s reality of the situation. We’re playing another really good team. I think when you look at Atlanta, especially since the All Star break, they’re playing as well as anybody. We have to be better to get a chance. But I don’t see our guys being overwhelmed by the collective number. I think we’re a lot more focused on 0-2 than last year’s 0-4. That really is inconsequential right now.”

If Stevens decides to make a change, he could go with the lineup he started at the beginning of the second half Tuesday (Thomas, Smart, Turner, Crowder, Johnson) or he could really mix it up by throwing in a pure shooter like Jonas Jerebko to take the place of Sullinger and move Turner to the shooting guard spot and bring Marcus Smart (1-for-11 Game 2) off the bench. All of this is with the understanding that Kelly Olynyk, who didn’t practice again Thursday, is “questionable at best” for Game 3. 

“Well obviously, it would affect it from the standpoint of rotations because I do think Kelly’s strength is something we need,” Stevens said, referring to Olynyk’s 41 percent range from deep when healthy. “So, we’re going to have to find that from other sources, obviously.” 

Whatever Stevens does, he says he doesn’t have to worry about the mentality of his team.

“You know what? I don’t sense any woe-is-me attitude, and I’d be mad if I did because these are unbelievable opportunities,” Stevens said. “We’re talking about R.J. Hunter, Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart all being under 22 years old and playing out in the playoffs. This is a great, great opportunity that you work for all your life, and let alone, a lot of our other young guys. So hey, I don’t sense any of that because there should be excitement to play.

“The other thing is as competitors, as guys that want to do better, you don’t want to go out with that taste in your mouth, the way we did the other day. We’ll see what happens but we’re looking forward to competing.” 

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

WALTHAM  –  The tale of these Celtics could be told by the end of Game 3. And Brad Stevens knows it. 

Avery Bradley drives to the basket against Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) in Game 1. (John David Mercer/USA Today Sports)

Avery Bradley drives to the basket against Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) in Game 1. (John David Mercer/USA Today Sports)

WALTHAM  –  The tale of these Celtics could be told by the end of Game 3. And Brad Stevens knows it. 

Without Kelly Olynyk (right shoulder) and Avery Bradley (right hamstring), the Celtics held a media session Thursday at their practice facility, then held a team meeting and then a relatively light practice. Before heading off to their bunker before practice, the Celtics coach broke down what’s at stake in the hours leading up to Friday night’s virtual do-or-die game. 

 

“From a physical standpoint I think we need to have a solid day but we’re not going to be out here very long,” Stevens said. “It’s going to be more about what changes we need to make, what we need to do to be a little bit more successful, how we need to play, those types of things. But hey, it’s we’re deep into the season. We’ve got to do what we do better, like I said [Wednesday], and go from there.

“Kelly will be, like I said [Wednesday], questionable probably at best for the game. And then Avery obviously won’t be playing, so the guys that are out here are the guys that we’ll prepare with.”

Bradley did have his MRI and Stevens indicated that surgery will not be needed, just time to heal. 

“Nothing that we didn’t think. So I think big picture, long term, he’s going to be able to heal fully,” Stevens said. “It will all be good and everything else. It just takes time with hamstrings. And so like I said earlier he’s definitely out this weekend, and then I would say he’s very unlikely to play in this series again. The hamstring’s one of those things where you can walk down the hallway and look like a million bucks, but when you start playing 32 minutes and have to change speeds and change directions and those type of things, that’s a different story.”

As for the likelihood Bradley would be available for the next round?

“That would be something that we haven’t discussed a whole lot just because they’ve talked about toward the end of this series he should be to the point where he’s able to do a little bit more from a practice standpoint and those type of things,” Stevens said. “So, I would say that it’s still unlikely early in that situation, but possibly in the days that go on after that.”

Stevens indicated another lineup change is in store for Game 3. Stevens had his regular group of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger, Jae Crowder and Amir Johnson for Game 1. Then Marcus Smart replaced Bradley in Game 2. Evan Turner replaced Sullinger to start the second half Tuesday night. That could be sign of things to come but Stevens said he hadn’t made up his mind yet.  

“In Game 1 it wasn’t as much execution as shot-making,” Stevens said. “And then in Game 2, I thought Game 2 was a much different game overall. So from my standpoint, we look at Game 1, we look at Game 2, we look at the things we can do well, and we need to do them as well as we can for those 48 minutes that are coming up. But I think at the end of the day, we’ve defended how we’ve wanted to more often than not.

“And offensively we’ve got to be better. Especially, again, you can’t dig yourself that big of a hole early because then that puts pressure on you to make the next one and the next one and the next one. We’re going to have to have guys that are not only in the right spots and executing the right ways, but also then finishing plays. And these guys have responded to that all year. So we’ve had our down moments. We’ve had our down quarters in games. And we’re looking forward to tomorrow night.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

For Isaiah Thomas, the heartbeat of the Celtics dormant offense, the solution is simple. 

Isaiah Thomas (4) attempts a shot against Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver (26) in the second quarter of Game 2 Tuesday. (Jason Getz/USA Today Sports)

Isaiah Thomas (4) attempts a shot against Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver (26) in the second quarter of Game 2 Tuesday. (Jason Getz/USA Today Sports)

For Isaiah Thomas, the heartbeat of the Celtics dormant offense, the solution is simple. 

“If we start to knock down our shots, it’s going to make it easier for us to execute on the offensive end,” Thomas said in a conference call Wednesday. “But first two games we haven’t been able to shoot the ball. All the Hawks are doing is packing the paint, and we continue to attack the paint. Then all five guys are there anytime someone attacks it.”

When the Celtics shoot 3-for-23 like they did in the first quarter Tuesday, including 0-for-6 from deep, the Hawks can just do what they do, and that’s pack the paint.

“Especially when I’m in attack mode, trying to get into the paint. If guys continue to be confident, and knock down their shots, they’re going to open up lanes for guys to drive it. There won’t be any opportunity for them to block shots.”

And blocking shots is an Atlanta specialty. They rejected a franchise-playoff record 15 on Tuesday in Game 2, including several on Thomas when he tried in vain to create by driving to the basket. Al Horford had five and Paul Millsap added four. 

“They are quick to the ball. You see an opening, and once you get to the hole there’s two or three guys around you,” Thomas said. “Give them credit on that. But I haven’t thought of Atlanta as a scary defensive team where you have to second guess yourself on getting your shot blocked, like with a guy like DeAndre Jordan or Hassan Whiteside – (players) like that. They’re good at it, and we just have to either finish it off to a big or a drive and kick. Either a pump fake or make the adjustment.”

Brad Stevens suggested changes are coming for Game 3. What might they be?

“I don’t know. I think he will make some kind of change, knowing Brad and watching tons of film,” Thomas said. “But we’ll see. Hopefully he can do a few things that will make this team start games better, and give us a better chance to win.”

Thomas is 12-for-36 in the first two games, including 5-for-16 from deep. He admitted that sometimes he and others might be forcing things when the shots don’t fall.

“That can be the case, but that wasn’t true in the last game,” Thomas said. “Offensively, we couldn’t make shots, and we dug ourselves a big hole in the first quarter. For whatever reason we keep doing that. If we can sustain a better start, that gives us a way better chance to start the game. We give ourselves no chance by getting down by 20 points early in the game.

“Energy. We have to start the game off a lot better. If we do that, it will work out in our favor. During the playoffs it’s hard to make those comebacks, and getting out in transition when all the other team is doing is scoring. If we just lock in on starting the game a lot better, it will help us to get out in transition.”

And the left wrist?

“It’s all right,” Thomas said. “I continue to get treatment on it and work past it. It’s not 100, but it only hurts when I’m falling on it, and I try not to fall as much. It’ll be OK.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia