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.

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Celtics-Raptors preview: DeRozan, Lowry a challenge for Bradley, C's

Celtics-Raptors preview: DeRozan, Lowry a challenge for Bradley, C's

BOSTON – Avery Bradley doesn’t mind being a standout, but this is probably not what he had in mind. 

Injuries have ravaged the Boston Celtics’ starting five to the point where only one player, Bradley, has been with the first unit in all 22 games this season. 

Just like Bradley was looked upon to step his game up in the absence of Isaiah Thomas (right groin) at Orlando on Wednesday, he will once again be challenged to lead Boston (13-9) to victory tonight when the Thomas-less Celtics face the Toronto Raptors. 

Bradley’s emergence as a two-way talent this season has overshadowed at times what has been another season of elite play defensively. 

And he’ll need to be on top of his defensive game tonight against a Raptors All-Star backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. 

Both Lowry and DeRozan present a different kind of challenge for Bradley who will spend time defending each of them at various points during the game. 

Lowry has good size, strength and deceptive quickness in addition to an under-rated perimeter game that will keep Bradley on his toes for sure. 

This season he's averaging 20.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and a career-high 7.6 assists while shooting 42.9 percent on 3's which is also a career mark. 

And DeRozan is having the kind of season that might get him a few league MVP votes. 

His 28.0 points per game ranks fifth in the NBA, but making his numbers even more impressive is that unlike most guards DeRozan doesn’t generate much offense from three-pointers.

DeRozan averages 1.8 three-point attempts per game which is the fewest attempts among any player ranked among the league’s top-25 scorers.

The 6-foot-7 All-Star is the master of the mid-range game which accounts for 31.5 percent of the points he scores. And when he’s not shooting the mid-range, he’s working a defender in one-on-one iso-situations. 

That helps explain why 76.4 percent of his two-point made field goals are unassisted. 

But here’s the thing about Bradley. 

As much as we give him props for what he does defensively, it’s his offense that has put him on the map as a potential All-Star this season. 

Bradley is averaging a career-high 17.9 points while shooting 47.2 percent from the field. He’s also averaging a career-high 7.8 rebounds per game in addition to shooting a career-high 40.7 percent on 3's.

But for Bradley, individual accolades are only going to come his way by the Celtics winning games; preferably against above-average teams like the Toronto Raptors.

And that would make both Bradley and the Celtics stand out this season.