The Celtics will continue to be without Jae Crowder and Al Horford, at least for Wednesday’s tilt against the Mavericks, as they continue to learn to play without the pair of mainstays in the lineup.

Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart

The Celtics will continue to be without Jae Crowder and Al Horford, at least for Wednesday’s tilt against the Mavericks, as they continue to learn to play without the pair of mainstays in the lineup.

Crowder is out with a left ankle sprain, while Horford continues to make his way through the NBA Concussion Protocol. And though returns could be on the horizon given the nature of the injuries, coach Brad Stevens noted he has “no clue” as to an exact timetable for either. The day-to-day nature of of the pair makes coaching decisions challenging for Stevens, but as time has gone on, he’s found a way to ease the process.

“I just kind of go through and scout, and if they’re available I’ll figure that out when the time comes. But until then I’m going unavailable in my own mind, I think that’s the best way to do it, the best way to organize you’re thoughts,” Stevens said. “If Al is able to play down the road, later in the week, we’ll throw Al right in there and I’ll adjust quickly. I think the best way is to plan without those guys, especially if they haven’t played in a while.”

Regardless of results, as of late, the Celtics have still been showing improvement with Crowder and Horford’s absence. And as exciting as those returns may be once they happen, it’s not a sure sign that the C’s will automatically experience an upswing in wins.

“I think it will still be an adjustment when we do [get everyone back] just because those guys haven’t played in a while,” Stevens said. “Until then we still have to focus on playing well, I thought we’ve made good strides the last three games. It was disappointing coming up short against New Orleans, but defensively we’ve made good strides, and we’ve had some younger players do some things they haven’t done before, so that’s a positive step moving forward.”

In the meantime, it has allowed younger players such as Marcus Smart to step up. 

“I think [Smart’s] played pretty well. And he’s always been god competiively, he’s making shots, doing a lot of tough things. He’s playing undersized almost every night that he’s on the floor, by four inches a night usually. So he’s really doing a good job.”

One thing Smart has done so far is hit shots. Not known for being a knockdown shooter by any stretch, he’s shooting 41.7 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point territory. Smart noted periodically throughout the offseason and into the season that he has put in quite a bit of work in improving his shot. And while that work has helped, Stevens added that his shot selection has also improved as well, allowing him to shoot higher-percentage shots.

He’ll start Wednesday night, as will Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

Demetrius Jackson

Demetrius Jackson

After a short stint in Maine with the Red Claws, Demetrius Jackson is returning to the Celtics.

The 22-year-old point guard was optioned to Maine on Thursday, playing three games with the C’s D-League affiliate. While there, he averaged 22.3 points in 36.7 minutes per game while shooting a solid 53.5 percent from the field. He also averaged 5.7 boards, 7.0 assists and 2.3 steals.

The initial move was to get the rookie some routine playing time, something he was not getting while in the NBA. He’s played 15 minutes in two games with the Celtics so far this season.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

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. 

Al Horford

Al Horford

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.”

Horford declined to get into what is holding him back in the NBA concussion protocol.

“I’m not at liberty to discuss a lot of those things yet,” Horford said. “On-the-court-wise, the times that I’ve been on, I felt good with my workouts. It’s just to play, I’m just not there yet.”

While Wednesday against Dallas has been ruled out, there is the hope that he might be back in time for Friday’s matchup against Golden State at TD Garden. For Horford, it’s just a wait-and-see game. 

“I’ve been very motivated to come back. This is just something very different,” Horford said. “Like I’ve said, I haven’t dealt with anything like this before. So we’re really taking it day by day. That’s just all I can do right now.

“I want to be out helping my team, and us growing together. But the last thing I want to do is have a setback, come in when I’m not supposed to, and set myself back for a longer period of time. We’re trying to be as smart as we can about this. I just want to make sure that when I’m ready to go, I’m good to go.”

Horford has missed seven games and the Celtics are just 3-4 in that stretch. 

Meanwhile, Jae Crowder took a step forward Tuesday, taking part in shooting drills after practice Tuesday. He suffered a badly sprained left ankle against the Bulls on Nov. 2 and has missed the last six games. He has also been ruled out against the Mavericks Wednesday. 

 

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

When the Celtics were in a funk last week, Isaiah Thomas said that he needed to do more to help the team regain its identity. On Monday night in New Orleans, Thomas did his part, but the Celtics still let one slip away to the lowly Pelicans, 106-105.

Amir Johnson (left) and Marcus Smart battle for a loose ball during Monday's game against the Pelicans. (Matt Bush/USA Today Sports)

Amir Johnson (left) and Marcus Smart battle for a loose ball during Monday’s game against the Pelicans. (Matt Bush/USA Today Sports)

When the Celtics were in a funk last week, Isaiah Thomas said that he needed to do more to help the team regain its identity. On Monday night in New Orleans, Thomas did his part, but the Celtics let one slip away to the lowly Pelicans, 106-105.

Thomas scored 18 of his game-high 37 points in the fourth quarter, displaying a variety of impressive moves on drives to the basket against much bigger defenders. He made 13-of-29 shots and 8-of-10 free throws, while adding seven assists.

Thomas got free for a layup high off the glass with seven seconds remaining — with help from Kelly Olynyk sealing off Pelicans big man Anthony Davis in the paint — tying the game at 105. At the other end, Pelicans guard Tim Frazier — who had a big steal seconds earlier — faked out Olynyk and drew a foul with 2.5 seconds remaining. He made 1-of-2 free throws that gave New Orleans just its second win in 11 outings this season.

Avery Bradley had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Marcus Smart contributed 15 points, six rebounds and four steals.

Anthony Davis led the Pelicans with 25 points and 16 rebounds.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

The Celtics and Warriors might be looking to celebrate their meeting this Friday night at TD Garden in style. 

According to Celtics CSNNE broadcaster Brian Scalabrine, the Celtics might be willing to give up their most experienced defensive shutdown player if it means bringing in one of the best shooting guards in the NBA. 

April 1, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) passes the basketball against Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) during the second quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Could Klay Thompson (11) and Isaiah Thomas wind up teammates in Boston? (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

The Celtics and Warriors might be looking to celebrate their meeting this Friday night at TD Garden in style. 

According to Celtics CSNNE broadcaster Brian Scalabrine, the Celtics might be willing to give up their most experienced defensive shutdown player if it means bringing in one of the best shooting guards in the NBA. 

Speaking on SiriusXM NBA Radio, Scalabrine said he had heard Thompson might be available and that the specific rumor he heard involved the Celtics. According to Scalabrine, the Celtics would send out Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder and the right for Golden State to swap first-round picks with Boston’s pick from Brooklyn.

In return, Boston would land Thompson, with the Warriors then using the Brooklyn pick to acquire a shot-blocking center. He added on CSNNE Facebook Live that Philadelphia’s Nerlens Noel would be a player the Warriors would acquire with the pick. 

That might seem like a lot for Boston to give up but if Ainge feels Thompson makes the Celtics a serious threat to Cleveland, he would at least consider it. 

“Maybe they’re on what I’m on, and [they feel] it’s impossible to win championships without rim protection against LeBron and Kyrie [Irving],” Scalabrine said. “So who’s your most valuable asset or most unneeded asset at this point?”

The Warriors are in desperate need of shoring up their defense, which has taken a major hit to start this season. With Bradley, Crowder and Noel, the Warriors would be looking to matchup better against the likes of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. It was actually Irving that many believe was the difference in Game 7 in Oakland last June when the Cavaliers shocked the basketball world and beat the Warriors, ending their 73-win season without a crown. 

Scalabrine added that if the Warriors were to alter their roster based on matching up against the Cavaliers, Bradley would be better-suited to defend Irving than Thompson would be. That said, the Celtics would still be acquiring the best player in the deal. 

The 26-year-old Thompson would be a major get for the C’s, as the 2011 11th overall pick is a two-time NBA All-Star. His 18.8 points per game would rank second on the Celtics behind Isaiah Thomas’ 25.8 points per game. 

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Earlier this week, following back-to-back blowout losses, Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas lamented the fact that the C’s had lost their “swag.” He put it on himself to find away to help the team regain its identity.

Mission accomplished.