Can Williams help the Celtics?


Can Williams help the Celtics?

I'm willing to bet that Sean Williams gets a little run tonight when the Celtics tip off in Atlanta, if for no other reason than because the C's don't have anyone else.

Paul Pierce. Kevin Garnett. Rajon Rondo. Ray Allen. Mickael Pietrus.

They're all staying in Boston. So, unless Doc Rivers feels like dusting off his old sneakers and a vintage pair of short-shorts, he's going to have to play everyone.

But here's the question: Can Williams help Boston in the playoffs?

Obviously, my instincts say no. First of all, because regardless of any raw skills that he may possess, there's a reason he was available. There's a reason he didn't last with the Nets, or with Fujian Xunxing in China, or with Mets de Guaynabo in Puerto Rico, or with Maccabi Haifa in Israel, or with the Mavericks. He can't get out of his own way.

Throw in the fact that Doc is already pretty set with his playoff rotation, and has never really been known to roll the dice with an inexperienced player unless he absolutely has to, and it's fair assume that Sean Williams' playoff contributions will be few and far between.

But I'll say this: With a guy like Williams, you always have to wonder. After all, it's never been a matter of talent. It's all in his head. And sometimes in situations like that, all it takes is finding the perfect situation. And considering the foundation and leadership that's in place with the Celtics you never know.

Hey, look at Gerald Green down in Jersey, finally figuring it out, FINALLY finding a place in this league. Sure it's a lot easier working your way into the Nets rotation than surging Celtics, but there's certainly some opportunity for Williams here in Boston. The Celtics front court is no deeper than your average kiddie pool. And Danny Ainge obviously thinks that Williams still has something to offer. Otherwise, why bring him on? Certainly not for his presence in the locker room.

So, will this be the time that opportunity knocks, and Williams actually answers the door?

Let's hope so.

Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Celtics-Bulls preview: C's quickly turn page to new-look Bulls


Celtics-Bulls preview: C's quickly turn page to new-look Bulls

BOSTON – Change is an inevitable when it comes to NBA rosters.

Just as the Boston Celtics significantly altered the outlook many had for them this season by signing Al Horford to a four-year, $113 million contract, they face a Chicago Bulls team tonight that has also undergone significant change.

The Bulls traded away one favorite son (Derrick Rose) and went about adding another in Dwyane Wade.

In addition to Wade, Chicago also signed former Celtic All-Star Rajon Rondo to join a team headlined by All-Star guard Jimmy Butler.

As easy as it could have been to worry about the struggles they had in disposing of the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, the Celtics knew they had to immediately turn the page and shift their focus towards a Chicago Bulls team that’s looking to start its season with a quality win over the Celtics.

“They’re a good team. They have great players over there,” said Jae Crowder. “They’re trying to figure it out. They’re going to be very excited to play of course. We have to take care of business, play the way we want to play and impose our will even more.”

One of the keys to knocking off the Bulls will be to get better play from their second unit.

Boston’s backups were outscored 58-40 but more significant than that was their inability to hold off the late-charging Nets which forced head coach Brad Stevens to bring his starters back on to the floor with about two minutes to play.

Among the reasons contributing to the bench’s ineffective play on Wednesday was the fact that Marcus Smart (left ankle sprain) was out.

Remember, Smart has been with the second unit for all of training camp minus the second half of their 121-96 preseason loss to the New York Knicks.

Crowder believes not having Smart, who will be out for another week or so, was indeed a factor in the second unit’s struggles.

“They trying to figure it out on the fly,” Crowder said. “With a few days of practice and probably one tough day of practice without him. It’s tough but they’re figuring it out. There’s no other way to figure it out but in a game. They’ll figure it out as soon as possible.”

Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League


Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League

CLEVELAND -- David Ortiz is heading into retirement with some more hardware.

The Boston Red Sox slugger captured the Hank Aaron Award on Wednesday as the top hitter in the American League this season. Budding Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant was honored as the top hitter in the National League.

The award was presented before Game 2 of the World Series between the Cubs and Cleveland. It was determined through a combination of fan voting and a panel that includes Aaron and other Hall of Fame players.

The 40-year-old Ortiz hit .315 with 38 home runs, 127 RBIs and 48 doubles in the 20th and final season of his major league career. His 541 career home runs rank 17th all-time.

The 24-year-old Bryant hit .292 with 39 home runs and 102 RBIs while helping the Cubs cruise to the NL Central title and eventually a spot in the World Series. Shortly after being honored, Bryant singled in the first inning for his first Series hit.