Lee takes loss, missed shot to heart


Lee takes loss, missed shot to heart

PHILADELPHIA Boston Celtics wing Courtney Lee is usually one of the first players to address the media following Celtics games, win or lose.

But Friday night's 95-94 overtime loss to Philadelphia was different.

It was a disappointing loss on many levels, with few taking it to heart as much as Lee.

"We had a lot of good looks. They just didn't go down, especially mine," Lee said.

He was referring to the wide open 3-pointer that he air balled with 25.9 seconds to play that would have given the C's a two-point lead.

Not only was it an air ball on an open shot, but it was a corner 3-pointer - the very shot that only former Celtic Ray Allen shot a higher percentage last season than Lee.

In his defense, Lee had spent the bulk of the overtime period and most of the fourth quarter on the Celtics bench.

He began the fourth, but was subbed out for Rajon Rondo with 9:49 to play. C's coach Doc Rivers subbed him back in briefly at the end of the fourth for defensive purposes, for Jason Terry.

Lee didn't re-enter the game until the 1:06 mark of overtime.

Rivers talked with Lee after the game about how it was unfair of him to put Lee on the floor in that position after having sat for such a long period of time.

But Lee wasn't trying to hear that.

"It doesn't matter; NBA players, we get paid to play this game," Lee said. "At least, gotta hit rim to give us a chance to get the offensive rebound. I didn't do that, so I'm very disappointed in myself."

Despite the missed opportunity, Lee says this won't have any impact on his confidence in his game moving forward.

"My confidence is always going to be there," he said. "I've been playing basketball for a while now. I can't count or recall how many times I've shot an air ball. You just have to continue to work, and keep practicing, that's all."

His teammates have no concerns that Lee will bounce back - possibly as early as Saturday against the same Sixers team.

"That could have been any one of us," said Jason Terry, who missed 11 of his 12 shots from the field. "I had my share tonight; other guys had theirs. But hey, this is what it's about, jumping right into the fire, new rivalries - obviously this is one of them - and we're going to see them again tomorrow. So it should be fun."

Said Lee: "This is definitely one we could have got. We get to see them (Saturday night); can't take the bitter taste out of our mouths for a while, until we play them (Saturday). But it's going to be good when we get them (Saturday) and we get the win."

Brown taking opportunities with Celtics as they come

Brown taking opportunities with Celtics as they come

BOSTON -- Compared to most high draft picks, Jaylen Brown doesn’t log a ton of minutes for the Boston Celtics.
Playing on an experienced team with legit hopes of making a deep playoff run, rookies seeing limited minutes is a given.
Knowing playing time will come in a limited supply, Brown understands all too well the importance of taking advantage of every opportunity he gets on the floor.
He did just that on Saturday in Boston’s 107-106 win over Philadelphia, and he hopes to do more of the same on Monday when the Celtics take on the Houston Rockets.
When you look at Brown’s stat line, nothing about it looks impressive. He played 15 minutes, scored two points with one rebound and one blocked shot.
But beyond the stats was the fact that he was on the floor for seven minutes in the fourth quarter in a close back-and-forth game on the road. Rookies on the floor in crunch time is not the norm in the NBA.
“It means a lot,” Brown told reporters after Saturday’s win. “I try to be as best I can be for my team; try to put my best foot forward every night out.”
And he did just that on Saturday.
In the fourth quarter with the Celtics leading 87-83, Brown blocked a Gerald Henderson shot that wound up in the hands of Jae Crowder. Moments later, Jonas Jerebko hit a 3-pointer that gave the Celtics their largest lead of the game, 90-83.
And just two minutes prior to the blocked shot, he was out in transition following an Isaiah Thomas steal and threw down a dunk that pushed Boston’s lead to 86-83 with 7:11 to play.
Brown acknowledged making the most of those opportunities bodes well for him and the franchise.
“It’s great for our team in general; not just for me,” Brown said. “Those plays helped us to pull the game out in the end. So I’m glad we got the win. I think we should have played a little better than we did.”
The continued pursuit of self-improvement is a hallmark of what Brown’s focus and desire are at this stage of his pro career. He has talked often about not wanting to be just one of the best in this draft class but also one of the best in the NBA overall.
But he’s also learned that to get there takes time and experience developing both physically and mentally. Part of that mental growth entails having the right approach to games.
“Usually you try to tell yourself not to mess up,” Brown said. “Now that I’m getting more comfortable, it’s just play basketball, bring energy, things like that; come out and do what you’re supposed to do. A lot of times you try to tell yourself to not mess up and it’s counteractive; just come out and play basketball and have fun.”
And by doing so the minutes will come.
“You can’t control that. I just have to control what I can control,” Brown said. “I trust coach (Brad Stevens); I trust my coaching staff. I have to come out and in the minutes I get, play my hand as best I can and take advantage of what I do get and impact this team as much as possible.”
This season, Brown is averaging 4.8 points, 2.0 rebounds while shooting 41.9 percent from the field.

Zolak: Bennett helps with Gronk loss, but Pats need to manage him

Zolak: Bennett helps with Gronk loss, but Pats need to manage him

Scott Zolak said on Pregame Live Sunday that the Patriots are better-suited to survive a season-ending injury to Rob Gronkowski than they were a season ago. 

Zolak said that given the health of Dion Lewis, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and the signing of Chris Hogan, the offense has more stability at other positions to make up for the loss of Gronkowski, whose season is over due to back surgery. As for the tight end position, Zolak said he feels the Patriots traded for Martellus Bennett to protect themselves against scenarios like the one they currently face. 

“This offseason they [acquired] Martellus Bennett, I think for this very reason: to prepare for what really happens year after year, is some sort of issue comes up with Rob Gronkowski and you have to play without him,” Zolak said.

Bennett was questionable with an ankle injury for this week’s game, but is expected to play. Asked about the health of Bennett, Zolak said that he believes the tight end is good to play, but that his importance to the team with Gronkowski out means the Pats will need to be careful. 

“I think he’s healthy enough to get through about 30-35 snaps,” Zolak said. “They’ve got to balance him now moving forward.”