WALTHAM The Boston Celtics have a roster spot available that they could easily fill with a big man to help with the team's porous rebounding.
But Danny Ainge said there's no movement in that direction right now.
Ainge remains confident that the C's rebounding woes can be cured from within the team's current roster.
The Celtics have shown flickering moments of being a good rebounding team this season. In their 116-110 overtime win at Orlando on Sunday, the Celtics out-rebounded the Magic 51-42. Orlando came into the game as one of the NBA's better rebounding clubs. The Magic are currently 12th in the league in rebounding.
But far too often, the Celtics have allowed themselves to be pushed around and bullied without putting up the kind of fight and resistance needed.
"It's focus. It's effort," said Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations. "It's five guys doing it. It's like that old cliche, all it takes is one guy to not be doing his job. That's sort of where we are. We're not getting everybody to lock in on every possession. Until we do, we'll be ordinary."
The Celtics currently rank dead-last (out of 30 teams) in rebounding with 37.1 per game. Their opponent tonight, Portland, isn't that much better. The Blazers are grabbing 39.4 per game which ranks just ahead of the C's, at No. 29.
Now THIS is old-time hockey!
There's bad blood between the Bruins' David Backes and the Stars' Jamie Benn that goes back a long way, most recently in last spring's Dallas-St. Louis playoff series when Backes was still with the Blues. They met again today -- and the ungodly (hockey) hour of 11:30 a.m. Dallas time -- for a nationally televised game between Backes' new team, the Bruins, and the Stars.
And it didn't take long for the two to renew acquaintances . . .
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons will retire the jersey number of former UConn star Rip Hamilton tonight, an instrumental figure in the Pistons’ success in the early 2000s that included an NBA title in 2004.
Although Hamilton never played for Boston, his impact can be felt within the Celtics locker room.
Boston’s Amir Johnson spent his first four NBA seasons as a teammate of Hamilton's in Detroit.
In that time, Johnson acknowledges how many of the positive things folks associate with him come from lessons he learned from Hamilton.
“He was so relentless when he ran,” Johnson told CSNNE.com. “I remember working out with him one summer. For him to even get his shot off, he sprints full court, goes back down shooting shots, and he just kept doing this over and over and over again, full court sprinting . . . To see that as a young kid, and at his age, just working hard like that, it was great to see.”
James Young grew up in nearby Rochester Hills, Mich., so he watched Hamilton’s scoring prowess up close and personal.
And as he continued to evolve as a player, Young would see Hamilton during the summer months while attending Hamilton’s basketball camps.
“I was there every year, won MVP a few times,” Young told CSNNE.com. “He’s a great guy, a great player.”
And, like Hamilton, Young has a lanky frame for an NBA player, which was among the many reasons Young acknowledged Hamilton as being one of his first significant basketball influences as a youth.
“For sure,” Young said. “His mid-range game was crazy, great shooter. He was always consistent.”
And that consistency has paid off in the highest honor an NBA franchise can bestow upon a player.
“That’s big time,” Johnson said. “He’s a champion, great father, great baller. To have his jersey retired is an honor. To see the success he had in the league, and to see his jersey retired with the greats, it's definitely an honor. I’m glad I’ll be there to see that. Kudos to him. He’s a hard worker. Had a great career. I had my high school jersey retired, but to get your NBA jersey retired, that’s great.”
Hamilton played 14 seasons in the NBA, nine of which were with the Pistons. A career 17.1 points per game score, he averaged 18.4 with Detroit and was named an Eastern Conference All-Star three times (2006-2008).
Although he is known as one of the greatest mid-range shooters of his era, Hamilton began to expand his range over time. During the 2005-06 season, Hamilton shot 45.8 percent from 3-point range (most of them being corner 3’s), which led the NBA that season.