Celtics' Collins remembers Pierce, Garnett from AAU days

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Celtics' Collins remembers Pierce, Garnett from AAU days

One of the highly-touted seniors was intense,JasonCollinsremembered, while the other effortlessly hit his shots.

Nearly 20 years before he signed with the Boston Celtics,Collinsfaced current teammates Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in a 1994 Las Vegas AAU Tournament. Collinswas entering his sophomore year at the time and was well aware of his older competition.

As a student at Harvard-Westlake in Los Angeles, he had played against Inglewood native Pierce in previous AAU games. Even though Garnett attended his first three years of high school across the country in South Carolina, there was nationwide buzz about the teenager going straight to the NBA.

Kevin was the same way intense, talking trash, playing hard,Collinstold CSNNE.com. He had 19 blocks in the game so he wasn't letting anything go. Paul had the same style, all-around game. He was a scorer, just knocked down shots.

Collins team, ARC, lost the game, but the matchup stayed with him throughout the rest of his high school career.

That was my first time playing against a really good big man, the seven-foot center said. Their team won the game, but I learned a lot because I was two years behind those guys and that helped me tremendously for stuff I needed to work on.

Collinswent on to become a McDonalds All-American and played college basketball at Stanford University. He joined Garnett and Pierce in the NBA when the Houston Rockets selected him with the 18thoverall pick in the 2001 Draft. 11 years later, they became teammates when Collins signed with the Celtics in July.

I didnt know I was playing two future Hall of Famers, but I knew I was playing against two highly talented basketball players, he said. I took away from that game what things I needed to work on. When you're going up against better competition, it only makes you better. It shows you your weaknesses and what you need to improve upon. Two years later, I'm a McDonald's All-American and someone behind me is learning from going up against me.

Now playing on the Cs,Collins, Garnett, and Pierce are pushing their younger teammates together, the same way in which Garnett and Pierce pushedCollins years ago.

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
 
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
 
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
 
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
 
This season, all-NBA first team defender is  the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
 
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.


 

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

WALTHAM, Mass. – To dunk or not to dunk with the best in the NBA?
 
That is the question Celtics rookie forward Jaylen Brown is grappling with these days.
 
The 6-foot-7 Brown confirmed that he has been invited to be part of the league’s Slam Dunk competition at All-Star weekend, but hasn’t made up his mind as to whether he will participate.
 
Brown said he’ll likely make a decision about it sometime this weekend.
 
While he certainly understands that is indeed an honor for any player to be asked to participate in All-Star weekend, Brown said his trepidation about being part of the slam dunk competition has a lot to do with its potential impact on his body and how that may affect his ability to recharge over the weekend and get ready to finish out his rookie season strong.
 
If he decided to enter the contest, he would be facing some really stiff competition from last year’s winner Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, whose battle last season put their slam dunk competition among the best ever.
 
Facing tough competition is not something that concerns Brown.
 
“I’m not worried about anybody or anything,” Brown said. “I think I have a lot to offer. Just like your rookie year, your body and everything … it’s a lot. All those dunks, they look cool but it takes a toll on your body for sure. I want to put myself in the best position to help the team.”
 
While his focus has been on the Celtics, Brown acknowledged he has been getting a few tips on the competition from teammate Gerald Green, who is also a former Slam Dunk champion.
 
“[Gerald] Green has been coaching me up, giving me a lot of good ideas I wouldn’t have thought on my own,” Brown said. “If I do decide to do it, it’ll be some stuff [nobody] has seen before.”