Celtics have backcourt options in D-League affiliate


Celtics have backcourt options in D-League affiliate

The Boston Celtics backcourt has taken its second hit in just over two weeks.

After losing Rajon Rondo for the season to an ACL Injury, backup guard Leandro Barbosa suffered a left knee injury and was carried off the court during Monday's loss to the Charlotte Bobcats. He will undergo an MRI on Tuesday.

Following the game, Doc Rivers said, "It's not looking great" and Kevin Garnett noted, "You're messing with these guys and then all of a sudden you're seeing season-ending injuries, it's tough man."

Without Barbosa on the court, the Celtics backcourt would consist of Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee, and Jason Terry. While it remains to be seen what moves the C's will make (if any), they do have options on their NBA Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.

Take a look at four Red Claws guards who could be options should the C's look to the D-League team to fill a roster spot.

Micah Downs (6-8, G-F): The former Celtics training camp invitee is averaging 18.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.9 steals per game this season. Downs was named to the NBA D-League All-Star Game and will participate in the Boost Mobile Three-Point Contest (he is shooting 39.5 percent from long range). Downs has scored 20 points in five of his last seven games.

Shelvin Mack (6-3, G): The D-League All-Star has already played in 11 games for the Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards this season. He leads the Red Claws with 19.6 points per game, along with 7.6 assists (third in D-League) and 4.7 rebounds. Mack was drafted by the Wizards with the 34th overall pick in 2011 and appeared in 64 games for them last season.

Andre Barrett (5-11, G): After suiting up for six NBA teams from 2004-08, Barrett is leading the NBA Development League with 9.3 assists per game this season. The 30-year-old guard is also averaging 8.3 points and 3.5 rebounds. Barrett has previous experience playing for the Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, and Los Angeles Clippers.

Xavier Silas (6-5, G): Silas has scored in double digits in 10 of his last 11 games, averaging 12.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.0 assists this season. He appeared in 40 games for the Red Claws last season and two games for the Philadelphia 76ers last April. The 76ers waived Silas during training camp in October.

What do you think the Celtics should do? Post your ideas and suggestions in the comment section below.

Celtics aren't asking Al Horford to be 'anything more' than what he is

Celtics aren't asking Al Horford to be 'anything more' than what he is

WALTHAM -- From one media station to the next, Al Horford effortlessly moved about during Boston Celtics Media Day.
In between stations, I jokingly asked the nine-year veteran, "Been through a few of these before?"
"A couple," he quipped.
But Monday was different. And every other Monday going forward this season will be different, too, for the longtime Atlanta Hawks forward, who is now a member of the Boston Celtics after they signed him to a four-year, $113 million contract this summer.
With that significant increase in salary comes -- from those outside the Celtics program at least -- a higher level of expectations.
"We’re not asking Al to be anything more than him," said coach Brad Stevens.  "He’s a good fit for how we play on offense. He’s a good fit for how we play on defense. He’s a professional. He has a routine. He works hard at his craft. He’s a guy that guys can follow by example."
However, Horford joins a Celtics team that -- since the rebuild began in 2013 -- has yet to win 50 games in a single season or get past the first round of the playoffs.
And while it will certainly be a collective team effort for Boston to achieve those goals, make no mistake about it: Horford is expected to be the man leading the way.
"We need to start building good habits from Day One," Horford said.

Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, is a big fan of Horford’s character and versatility, which has been on display throughout his career.
"As much as anything he’s been very consistent over his career," Ainge said. "Shooting the ball, playing multiple positions. He’s a guy that fits in with our system with big guys handling the ball a lot."
Horford’s new teammate echoed similar sentiments about the four-time All-Star.
And when you listen to his new Celtics teammates talk about him and what he’ll bring to a roster that’s loaded with returnees, there are a couple of common themes that seem to develop.
"He brings leadership; hard work," said Avery Bradley.
Bradley had a chance to spend some time around Jeff Teague, one of Horford’s former teammates in Atlanta.
"He just told me I’m really going to enjoy having him on this team," Bradley said. "He’s going to open the floor for everybody. He’s a great player on the offensive end, defensive end. He knows how to play the game of basketball. To have him be a part of this team, I’m just happy about it."
So is Amir Johnson, who will likely start with Horford in the frontcourt for Boston.
Last season, Johnson was Boston’s primary rim-protecting big man. With the addition of Horford, Johnson won’t be relied on as heavily to be Boston’s last line of defense, which makes his life easier and, more importantly, makes the Celtics a better team defensively.
"[Horford] has so many skills he can contribute to the game," Johnson said. "He can run the floor, block shots, shoot the 3-ball, which is big now. He can do it all. It’ll be a big piece to carry us over the top. We just have to put it all together."

Isaiah Thomas: 'I didn't think Boston would be this cool when I came'


Isaiah Thomas: 'I didn't think Boston would be this cool when I came'

Mike Gorman and Brian Scalabrine sit-down with Celtics All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas to talk about the high expectations for the season, the addition of Al Horford, and getting married this offseason.

Also, Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely talk about Thomas, including his very team friendly deal will ever become an issue.

Look for new podcast versions of our media day interviews in the coming days, plus videos and other content as the Celtics get ready for the season.