Barbosa gets his feet wet at Celtics practice


Barbosa gets his feet wet at Celtics practice

WALTHAM Leandro Barbosa is getting a crash course in what it takes to play for the Boston Celtics.

With the team set to start their season in six days, Barbosa worked with Celtics staff on Monday and Tuesday two days that Rivers gave off for the rest of his team.

On Wednesday, Barbosa took part in his first real practice with the team.

"It was a good practice," Barbosa said. "I have to get to know the plays from the defensive standpoint and all the things that they've been doing at training camp when I wasn't here. I think it was OK. The coaches have been giving me a lot of attention at the beginning, but also the players have been helping too."

C's coach Doc Rivers, who said Barbosa could play either guard position, was happy with what he saw.

"He was terrific. He's been here for three, four days so the last two days we ran him through all the stuff so he had a concept of what we were running, Rivers said. "He's played against us for so long, so that helped as well. But he had a great practice."

Barbosa admitted that he hadn't been playing much basketball in Brazil, but conditioning seemed fine. That said, the team didn't do any full-court action today. Tomorrow they look to go up and down, and that could determine just where he's at in his conditioning.

Going into his 10th year in the NBA, he's been on some deep teams with the Phoenix Suns, and also won a Sixth Man of the Year Award while there. But Barbosa has averaged 24.6 minutes per game in his career. With Rajon Rondo, Courtney Lee, Jason Terry, and eventually Avery Bradley, those minutes will undoubtedly shrink by a lot. That seems fine by Barbosa.

"Yes, I'm OK for whatever," he said. "Whatever minutes I have on the court I'm going to try to do my best and help my teammates. But if I don't come to the court it's fine for me too as long as the team is successful."

Rajon Rondo sees one thing right away that Barbosa can bring with him on the court.

"Speed," said Rondo.

Speed, OK. But they already have speed . . .

"We don't need more but it's nice to have more. More is better," Rondo said.

Rondo also noted that Barbosa was "very vocal" on the court as the point guard today.

"He moved Jet (Jason Terry) to the side and I think they both liked that situation because Jet is more of a scoring point guard. And Barbosa set a lot of those guys up today in practice."

So while Rivers looks to play Barbosa at both guard positions, it looks like he'll fit in nicely at the point.

Bradley returns to Celtics' lineup for Sunday's game vs. Heat

Bradley returns to Celtics' lineup for Sunday's game vs. Heat

BOSTON -- Avery Bradley, whose flu-like symptoms landed him in the hospital and forced him to miss Friday’s game against Phoenix, tells that he will play tonight.
“I didn’t get [out of the hospital] until [Saturday] evening,” Bradley told “My stomach still hurts a little bit, but I’m all right. I’ll be good.”
The importance of Bradley to this team cannot be overstated.
His ability to make a major impact both as a scorer and an elite defender separates him from not only his teammates but from most guards in the NBA.
However, his health has been a season-long issue in some form or another, which can be seen in the fact that he has missed 24 games via injury or illness -- more than any other player on the Celtics roster.
When he has played, Bradley has delivered on several fronts.
He’s averaging 16.9 points per game while averaging 6.2 rebounds per game - both career highs -- which rank second and third, respectively, on the Celtics roster this season.

Five things to look for from the NFL annual meetings this week

Five things to look for from the NFL annual meetings this week

PHOENIX -- Bill Belichick may not be speaking with the media here this week, but there will be plenty for us to examine at the annual league meetings. 

Reporters were informed via a team spokesperson that the Patriots coach would not be in attendance at the AFC coaches breakfast Tuesday morning -- where in the past orange juice has been sipped and tape recorders have been bulldozed -- due to a scouting conflict. 

The breakfast is not mandatory for coaches so for Belichick to use his time at a college pro day (Florida, Texas and Iowa State all have theirs scheduled for Tuesday) or a private workout comes as little surprise. He's been busy on the Trail of Due Diligence in recent weeks, making visits to Vanderbilt, Ohio State and Michigan in order to get a closer look at prospects.

Five weeks behind, remember? No days off. 

Patriots owner Robert Kraft is planning to meet with reporters on Monday so we'll have an opportunity to hear from him on a variety of topics when that comes to pass. 

Here are some of the other Patriots-related stories we'll be doing some digging on this week as we keep you updated with blog posts, occasional television hits, tweets (@PhilAPerry), Instagram shots (@PhilAPerry), and maybe even a podcast or two.

-- What does the rest of the league think when it sees the way the Patriots have attacked this offseason? How will the new pieces fit? Do other coaches and executives see it as Belichick going all in on 2017? Or is this just a case of a team adhering to its motto of doing "what's best for the football team" -- both in the short and long-term?

-- What's next for the Patriots? They're not done building the roster, so where might they turn next? Will they add other lower-level free agents? Will they be looking to trade back into the first and second rounds? Which positions seem to be of interest to them in the draft, and how might that signal the direction this roster is headed?

-- What is the feeling on the future at the quarterback position in New England? We know the Patriots aren't looking to give away Jimmy Garoppolo, but do people around the league really feel as though a haul of draft picks won't get the Patriots to think twice about trading him? Is it possible that in this rare scenario -- where the franchise quarterback is playing at an MVP-level but headed into his 40-year-old season -- people could see the Patriots paying two passers a starter's salary?

-- Will anything happen with Malcolm Butler before the meetings are out? Some have speculated that if his status as a restricted free agent (with an unsigned first-round tender) is to change anytime soon, it could happen here, where presumably his agent will be able to hear offers from one or more clubs in person. Will Butler find a team willing to give him an offer sheet and relinquish its first-round pick to the Patriots? Or will he sign his tender -- whether it's with the intent to play for the Patriots in 2017, or to be traded?

-- Rules changes are coming. We just don't know which ones. Will the linebacker leap (executed by Jamie Collins and Shea McClellin under Belichick) be eliminated? Will Stephen Gostkowski soon be looking to blast kickoffs through the uprights due to the passing of a rule that would place the ball at the 20 as opposed to the 25 for such a feat? Will real-time replay decisions suddenly shift from the officials on the field to the NFL offices at 345 Park Avenue? We'll let you know which proposals are held up, which fall flat, and how the Patriots might be impacted. Belichick and his staff did not submit any proposals for the second consecutive year.