Barbosa plans to bring energy, defense to Celtics


Barbosa plans to bring energy, defense to Celtics

BOSTON - Days after signing with the team, Leandro Barbosa has quickly picked up on the Boston Celtics way of basketball.

"I will bring energy, a lot of energy," he said on Sunday prior to the Celtics' preseason game against the Philadelphia 76ers. "I like to run, I like to bring a lot of offense, I like to score too. But we have a lot of scorers on the team, so we'll see. Whatever situation I'm in I'll try to do."

And what about wait for it

"Defense," he stated. "Defense is the first standpoint on the team."

The 29-year-old combo guard, who played with the Pacers and Raptors last season, had conversations with the Los Angeles Lakers before joining their rival, the Celtics. He comes to a team deep with backcourt production, meaning there is no guarantee on his minutes. That's OK with Barbosa, who is looking forward to a chance to win.

"It's a kind of situation I've been looking for, especially to play with Rajon Rondo. He likes to run and I love to run. I think it will be working really well," he said, adding, "They're all good players. I'm here just to help. As soon as I get my chance to get on the court, I'm just going to try to do my best to succeed and help the team."

Barbosa signed with the Celtics less than two weeks before the start of the regular season. Coach Doc Rivers said he was surprised Barbosa was still available. Had he had joined an NBA team, the only country Barbosa would have considered playing in was his native Brazil.

"I played there when I was in the lockout so it was great, but it's nothing compared to the NBA," he said. "I'm glad to be back."

Barbosa did not play on Sunday against the 76ers because of his visa. He expects to be able to play by Opening Night on Oct. 30 in Miami.

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Following Thursday’s 105-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls, the Boston Celtics will be on the prowl to rebound – literally – from its first defeat of the season.

Because for all that did not go right in Thursday night’s loss, the way Boston was beaten on the boards stands out emphatically.

“They got 24 more shots than us. We only turned it over (12) times,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters after the loss. “So that’s the obvious place they’re getting their possessions, on the glass. That’s going to be the number one thing, that has been the number one thing. It’s something we’ve talked about. We have to get better at it.”


Boston was out-rebounded 55-36 on the boards which heavily factored into Chicago’s 18-5 advantage in second-chance points.

In the Celtics' 122-117 win over Brooklyn on Wednesday, Boston won the overall rebounding battle 47-44, but had just 12 offensive rebounds compared to Brooklyn's 15 offensive boards. Despite the close margin, the Nets won the battle on the offensive glass running away, outscoring the Celtics 23-13 in second-chance points.

Stevens decided to start Tyler Zeller ahead of Amir Johnson to begin the third quarter, hoping Zeller would be a better matchup on the glass than Johnson who did not grab a single rebound in the 11 minutes of court time he got in the first half.

While Zeller did do a few good things on the glass and scoring in half-court sets, it wasn’t enough to swing the momentum Chicago was steadily gaining due to its ability to control the boards.

“I wasn’t real surprised but at the same time I knew it could happen,” Zeller told reporters, referring to Stevens’ decision to have him start the second half. “They did a good job of coming out and setting the tone. They beat us up on the boards, especially the first half. It’s something we have to get better at and continue to grow at.”

And it’s not a one-player or one-position issue, either.

Usually we think of bigs when it comes to rebounding. But Boston’s guards need to step up their rebounding game as well.

The struggles thus far have to be put in the context of this being just two games, the latter being the season opener for the Bulls who were jacked up more than usual due to it being the first game for Chicago native Dwyane Wade and ex-Celtic Rajon Rondo.

“We have to focus on boxing out,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown. “Guards have to do a better job. Guys like me, Al (Horford), Amir (Johnson), Tyler (Zeller) ... We have to do a good job of coming in the weak side and grabbing those; just focus on it, pay more attention to detail.”