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BOSTON CELTICS highlights

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

“I will say this: you always hesitate talking about it that way, but I don’t here,” Stevens went on. “I don’t here. The other thing I’ll say is that I’ve been blown away by — blown away by — the fans. Blown away. I mean, we’re not a winning basketball team, and they’ve supported us like no tomorrow. The games have been unbelievable. The game against Chicago was so loud. It was such a great environment. “I had been here for a game in the playoffs when you know it’s going to be good. But to be here every night, compared to some of these places we go to, not even close.” Boston Herald

April 6, 2014 Updates

Celtics center Joel Anthony has a $3.8 million player option this summer that he is expected to exercise, but he told the Globe he was unsure of his decision. “When the season’s over, I’ll talk with my agent and look to see what we’re going to do,” he said. Anthony has played little with the Celtics, primarily because he is new to the system and the club wanted to play Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk in the frontcourt. But Anthony could be a more useful asset next season when the Celtics move forward from rebuilding mode. He is the team’s lone legitimate center. “The team, obviously we haven’t had the success that we wanted on the court but off the court it’s been a great situation,” Anthony said. “You don’t always have that when teams are in this type of situation. That’s made it a lot easier being in a good locker room with a good group of guys.” Boston Globe

Last summer, Sullinger was not cleared for full basketball activity and he was unable to work himself into premium shape. This summer will be different because Sullinger is fully recovered. “It’s very exciting because I get to develop and find out who I can be,” he said. “We’ll see. Hopefully, I’ll have some hobbies — working out and conditioning — I can carry over for the next four months.” When asked whether he would like to follow Love’s physical path, Sullinger said: “We’ll see. It will be a totally different Jared Sullinger coming back next year. Summertime is the time to figure out your game, you watch a lot of film. I have a lot of free time and with that free time, a lot of conditioning, a lot of weightlifting, and a lot of basketball.” Boston Globe

April 5, 2014 Updates
April 4, 2014 Updates

But while he believes that finding the key to improving chemistry would be valuable, he’s also a firm believer in another approach. “You could make an argument that you’re quantifying chemistry and you could make some sound arguments,” Stevens said, “but I think it’s more about somebody deciding, coming to that decision personally, that I’m going to embrace that role.” Would that method be easier than just finding the right pieces and putting them together, perhaps with the goal of artificially manufacturing a certain level of chemistry? “Well, I think part of it is moving parts, but I think it’s also encouraging everyone to embrace a role and be content in that and try to be the best they can be to help the team be the best it can be,” Stevens said. Boston Globe

April 3, 2014 Updates

Ainge also revealed Thursday that he had talked to forward Kris Humphries about the possibility of coming back next season. Humphries, who is making $12 million this year, will be a free agent after the season. “I have had a few conversations with Kris," said Ainge. "Because he's been with us all year, he was with us in the summer and all this year. Kris sort of knows where we are as an organization and he knows we like him. And he knows there is a lot of uncertainty, depending on which direction we choose to go this summer. None of us now. But he knows we like him, his coaches and teammates like him, we just can’t make any promises yet.” Boston Globe

Marcin Gortat apparently thought he was pretty sneaky when he snuck into the Boston Celtics' huddle. Because everybody knows that when you're up by 17 points, you need to sneak into the other team's huddle. SB Nation

April 2, 2014 Updates
April 1, 2014 Updates

Rondo, at his own behest, stepped into the world of broadcast journalism as the color analyst for Comcast SportsNet New England’s broadcast of Monday’s Celtics game in Chicago. The point guard was available to participate on air as he rested his surgically-repaired right knee in the second night of a back-to-back. He played the role of analyst during the network’s pregame show and for the entirety of the first half. “I think it went OK,” Rondo said after the game as he discussed his first on-air performance. “Obviously room for improvement, but first time out I think I did a pretty good job.” NBA.com

Play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman seemed to concur as he spoke to Celtics.com just moments after the experiment came to an end. Gorman acknowledged that there were rough patches during the broadcast but seemed to come away pleased with the result. “It was a little bumpy at first only because things are brand new to him,” Gorman said. “… But I would say by about the six-, seven-minute mark of the first quarter he was very comfortable and in the second quarter he was much, much better.” NBA.com

Rajon Rondo wasn’t in the Celtics lineup Monday against the Bulls, but he did manage to stay engaged during Boston’s 94-80 loss to the Chicago Bulls. Rondo joined the telecast as color commentator, providing analysis, insight, and popcorn everywhere. For The Win

March 31, 2014 Updates
March 30, 2014 Updates

But four years ago, the Celtics were the first team to have them installed for testing and development after Mike Zarren, the team’s assistant general manager and legal counsel, helped arrange a partnership with Stats that essentially made them guinea pigs. SportVU had its share of kinks, but it still represented the boldest step yet in the analytics movement that had swept through basketball in recent years. “Zarren, he came to me and he said, ‘These are all the things we can do,’ ” said Rivers, who now coaches the Los Angeles Clippers. “I said, ‘But I don’t know what any of that means. You’re telling me that Rondo moves 10 miles per hour? I don’t know what the [expletive] that does.’ ” Boston Globe

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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