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BOSTON CELTICS highlights

April 16, 2014 Updates

Danny Ainge: “It was a long season — I guess not that long — but it was a tough, tough year, and I saw a lot of positive things from individuals. I thought our team gave good effort most nights. I think consistency was our biggest challenge, and I don’t think the team was a great fit, great mix, but individually I like what I saw in almost every player. I just feel like we didn’t have the size inside to protect the rim. I thought that was a big factor that cost us a lot of games. And we didn’t finish a lot of games down the stretch.” WEEI.com

Danny Ainge: “I think we started the season out very concerned with the personnel. I thought Vitor [Faverani] gave us some size at times; his injury hurt us some there. He was a rookie and playing inconsistent, but showing signs of being a presence inside. I think all the way up the trade deadline we looked at opportunities to make our team better, but we wouldn’t sacrifice draft picks to make us better for just this year. But we look for opportunities to make our team better in the longterm.” WEEI.com

April 15, 2014 Updates

Rondo, who suited up against the 76ers Monday night after missing two games because of a bruised left shin, entered having averaged 12.8 points, 11 assists, and 5.5 rebounds in his past 19 games after missing nearly a year with a torn right anterior cruciate ligament. Rondo has said he is looking forward to a full summer workout regimen. “I think Rondo’s going to have a great year next year,” Ainge said. “I think he’s going to have the best year of his career. Boston Globe

April 13, 2014 Updates

The Celtics and Magic could tie for the third-worst record in the league. According to an NBA spokesman, if the teams are tied at season’s end, the NBA will split the number of lottery chances for the third-worst and fourth-worst records, which is 275. A coin flip will determine which team receives 138 chances (or lottery balls) and which gets (137). Essentially, if the Celtics and Magic are tied for the third-worst record, each team would have about the same chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick . . Boston Globe

"It's unfortunate for those franchises if they don't make it," ABC/ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy said. "But the league, just because of how it's grown and the depth of teams and organizations, I don't think it's a major deal either. Those teams have proven to be great organizations, and they'll be in the playoffs in the near future and in the short term, once in a while to not have them in doesn't impact the playoffs negatively at all." That view isn't shared by everyone. Lakers radio analyst Mychael Thompson, who was part of some Showtime championships, disagreed. "It's horrible for the NBA that those markets may not be in the playoffs," Thompson said. "The NBA is a lot healthier business when those franchises are competing for championships, and they'll get back there." USA Today Sports

Boston has seven first-round draft picks in the next three drafts, not to mention young and promising players like Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk. But transformative opportunities don't come along all that often, so patience and poise are required from here as general manager Danny Ainge looks to seize the right opportunities yet again. "That's always the second prong of the plan, is that 'If we can't get great young guys to grow up together like Oklahoma City did, then we'll at least make a strategic trade at the right time,'" ESPN analyst and former Portland Trail Blazers assistant general manager Tom Penn told USA TODAY Sports. "Projecting and foreseeing the likelihood of that happenings is really hard, but the first step of making that a possibility is to get access to a lot of young, promising assets. The best positioned franchise to do that over the next three years is going to be Boston." USA Today Sports

April 12, 2014 Updates

“I know that would be a big reason why you wouldn’t want to leave a city like Boston,” said Rondo, “because every night, even with the season we’re having, we’re probably still leading the league in attendance or at least up near the top. I mean, the fans in Boston, they know the game. You can’t cheat the fans. They know the game. It’s fun to play there. It’s definitely something you appreciate even more once you go on the road and see other teams that have like 6,000 people in the stands. Every night, it’s 18,000 in Boston. So you don’t take that for granted,” Rondo said. “I know I don’t. I’ve been in the league for eight years, and in Boston the crowd is consistent. They’re always there.” Boston Herald

April 11, 2014 Updates

Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck suggested last month that the Celtics had potential for fireworks this offseason given Boston's pile of assets (draft picks, tradable contracts, trade exceptions) and Ainge has said he hopes the team can light up the summer sky with moves to restore Boston to contender status. "I’m going to try to blow off some fireworks, but I have to be patient as well and we have to make sure that we don’t do deals just to do deals," Ainge said Thursday during his weekly call to Boston sports radio 98.5 the Sports Hub. "We have to do the right deals. Those are a lot harder than most people think or believe or understand. I’m not making any promises, we have a busy summer ahead of us, and there's a lot of different directions we could go." ESPN.com

April 10, 2014 Updates

Chris Herren was about to make his second appearance as a CSN color commentator, working last night’s game against the Hawks. The Fall River native and former Celtic was asked if doing this kind of work on a more regular basis is something that interests him. “Hey, one day at a time, you know? That’s how it goes,” he said, breaking into a laugh with his questioner. The phrase is familiar for those who, like Herren, have gone to war with substance issues. And while all involved therein know the battle doesn’t end, the quick wit displayed by Herren will serve him well as he enters the broadcasting field. “It is something that obviously I’m intrigued by,” he said before going on the air with Mike Gorman and fellow special commentator Ainge. “What’s nice is it gives me a break from what I do on a daily basis addressing substance abuse. It kind of gives me another outlet and another avenue. So it’s great for myself, it’s great for my family and it’s great to be part of the Celtics again.” Boston Herald

April 9, 2014 Updates

Despite the circus in New York, Humphries put up the most consistent numbers of his career, averaging a double-double in each of the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. Given minutes this season, he’s found similar consistency. Humphries has said he would like to return — a surprise, considering he will be courted by playoff teams when his contract expires on June 30. Agent Arn Tellem has held preliminary talks with Celtics president Danny Ainge, understanding that the team can’t predict its direction right now. Boston Herald

April 8, 2014 Updates

He took over a young team, save for point guard Rajon Rondo, who missed more than half of the season recovering from an injury, forwards Gerald Wallace, Jeff Green and Brandon Bass and forward-center Kris Humphries. "It's been a challenging season, as you can imagine," Ainge said. "Brad has maintained optimism and has done a magnificent job managing our team. He's very smart. He works extremely hard. He has great integrity. Those are things he will always have, and those are great characteristics of being a leader. The outlook will be better next year just because he's been around the NBA a year." Like many successful people, Stevens is his toughest critic. "Any time you go through a year, you get better at it," Stevens said. "I haven't been near perfect by any means. In fact, I've got a list of things I want to do better. I've got a list of things I probably would do a little bit differently. I think I'm a better basketball coach as a result of this. But it's not easy to go through, but that's part of what makes you better at it." Indianapolis Star

April 7, 2014 Updates

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens left open the possibility that point guard Rajon Rondo could play in his first and only back-to-back of the season later this week, but said the decision ultimately lies with Rondo and the team's training staff. Since returning from a torn ACL in mid-January, Rondo has sat out the second night of eight back-to-backs, including Saturday's loss in Detroit. The Celtics have only five games remaining this season, one of which is Saturday's visit to Cleveland on the second night of a back-to-back. The Celtics host Charlotte on Friday, but could Rondo give Saturday a go as well? "I do think he’s getting better, he looks like he’s getting healthy, I think he’s recovering better," said Stevens. "That’s ultimately going to be his decision, based on how he feels on that day. He hasn’t played a back-to-back yet, so that would be a new thing. Is there a positive or negative to that? I don't know. But that will be his call, along with [team trainer] Ed Lacerte." ESPN.com

It’s not hard to find the professional cynics — even when you’re not looking for them. In the NBA, skepticism is a growth industry. Brad Stevens was still en route to Orlando from his introductory press conference when, amid the glowing reports, the snide comments began. The surprise of his hiring hadn’t even worn off when people openly but quietly began wondering how long he’d actually stay with the Celtics before bolting back to a college bench, the six-year contract be damned. Sniffed one NBA lifer, “He’ll stay with Boston until the Duke job opens up.” Boston Herald

Speaking of those years to come, we put it directly to Stevens. Is he committed to fulfilling the entire six-year contract? “No question,” he said. “Yeah, no question. The way that the contract’s structured, that’s the way it is, too. Now, obviously, if they decide they want to go in a different direction, that changes everything. But responsibility and what I want to do is here and is with this organization and hopefully getting this organization to be the best it can be again.” As for the contractual structure he mentioned, Stevens said, “I don’t know exactly what I can and can’t say, but the bottom line is I’m contracted for six years, and that’s my intention — to be here for six years.” And he will be, “unless they tell me they don’t want me. Boston Herald

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN CELTICS HISTORY
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How bright is Boston's history? Well, the first 19 players in the list won NBA titles with the team.

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