Celtics add second Brazilian-born player in Barbosa

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Celtics add second Brazilian-born player in Barbosa

The Boston Celtics added their second Sixth Man of the Year to the roster on Wednesday when they signed combo guard Leandro Barbosa. In doing so, they also added the second Brazilian-born player to the team.
Barbosa, a native of Sao Paolo, will join rookie Fab Melo, who grew up in Juiz de Fora.
The 29-year-old Barbosa began his professional basketball career in his home country. He was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs with the 28th pick in the 2003 Draft and started his NBA career at age 21.
Melo, 22, lived in Brazil until he was 17 when he moved to the United States to attend high school in Florida. He played college basketball at Syracuse University and was drafted by the Celtics with the 22nd overall pick in June.
Barbosa and Melo are currently two of only five Brazilian-born athletes in the NBA, along with big men Nen (Washington Wizards), Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs), and Anderson Varejao (Cleveland Cavaliers). This season Melo became the tenth player from Brazil to play in the league. Previous players include Rafael Araujo, Rolando Ferreira, Alex Garcia, Joao Vianna, and Marcus Vinicius.

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics are about to hit one of the toughest stretches of the season and they’ll have to do it for at least one more game without their leading scorer, Isaiah Thomas. 
 
Thomas, who suffered a right groin injury on Monday against the Houston Rockets, did not play on Wednesday against Orlando and said that he will not play in Friday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors. 
 
“It’s day to day. I want to play. I want to be out there but it’s the smart decision to hold out and wait until it’s 100 percent,” Thomas said during a Season of Giving event for children of the Military Friends Foundation held at the Celtics’ practice facility. “If it was a playoff game I would be out there for sure.”
 
However, after consulting with a number of medical personnel, Thomas decided the best thing for him and the Celtics was to sit out Friday’s game which, along with Wednesday in Orlando, will be the first two he has missed since the 2014-2015 season. 
 
Thomas said there’s no specific timetable for his return, but he said he is planning to travel with the team to Oklahoma City for their matchup against the Thunder on Sunday. 
 
“It’s eating me a live to sit, but I have to do what’s best for my body, I have to do what’s best for this team,” Thomas said. “I need to be 100 percent healthy to give this team what I can give them.”
 
The Celtics are hoping for similar success they had Wednesday in Orlando (a 117-87 victory) on Friday against Toronto.
 
“They played a hell of a game last night,” Thomas said. “They’ll be ready tomorrow.”
 
The fact that Thomas intends to travel with the team is a good sign that the groin injury isn’t too serious. 
 
If he doesn’t play at Oklahoma City, that likely means he’ll return to action on Wednesday at San Antonio. 
 
“I’m going to do what I can to get back out there on the court,” Thomas said. “I gotta be smart about this. I don’t want this to linger on this season.”
 
Replacing Smart in the lineup against Toronto will most likely be Marcus Smart. 
 
Smart, who has been a replacement starter at small forward and point guard this season, had 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals against the Magic.