BOSTON -- Rookie ETwaun Moore made his postseason debut on Sunday as all 13 active members of the Boston Celtics took the court in their Game 4 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
The 23-year-old guard clocked eight minutes in the fourth quarter, going 0-for-4 from the field while grabbing two rebounds in the Cs 101-79 win.
It was fun playing in my first playoff game, just getting a feel for it, he told CSNNE.com. I played a couple minutes. Even though it was at the end, there were still some things you learned.
Moore, the 55th overall pick in last summers draft, averaged 8.7 minutes in 38 regular season games and over 20 in the final four games before the playoffs.
All the while, he has prepared for each game as if he was going to play. He also stays locked in from the bench in case his name is called.
I just work harder (during the playoffs), he said. The scouting report is much more in-depth. Thats probably the biggest thing, paying attention to the scouting report. When Im on the bench, I just pay close attention to the game, the sets, the plays theyre running and the stuff were running. I know how much time is left, just being aware of whats going on.
Moore will take his eight minutes of playing time and use that experience for his next opportunity.
Its very intense, its hard, he said. For those couple of minutes there, everyones trying to play their hardest. Its similar from when I was watching, I could tell everyone was playing hard. I was like, youve got to be ready. I dont care how much time is left or what point it is in the game.
WALTHAM -- The national anthem protests by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick have had an undeniable ripple effect on professional sports teams across the country. And that includes the Boston Celtics.
“We as an organization know what’s going on,” said Marcus Smart. “We read and see and hear about it every day. It’s a sensitive subject for everybody.”
While it’s unlikely that Celtics players will do something similar to Kaepernick taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem, there’s no question some are figuring out the best way to utilize their platform as athletes to express their views on current social issues.
“Us athletes have to take advantage of the stage we’re on,” said Jae Crowder. “Try to make a positive out it. You can’t fix negative problems with negative energy. I don’t want to do anything negative; I want to do something positive, shed light on the situation.”
Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, and a number of professional athletes have tried to have more attention paid to recent killings of African-Americans by police officers where, based on the video footage, it appears excessive or unnecessary force was used.
It is a topic that has brought a wide range of responses from many in the sports world, including the dean of NBA coaches, San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich.
During the Spurs’ media day this week, he was asked about the Kaepernick’s protests.
“I absolutely understand why they’re doing what they’re doing, and I respect their courage for what they’ve done,” Popovich told reporters. “The question is whether it will do any good or not because it seems that change really seems to happen through political pressure, no matter how you look at it.”
As examples of the political pressure he was referring to, Popovich mentioned Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ability to galvanize group, as well as the NBA and other organizations pulling their events out of the state of North Carolina because of its legislation as it relates to the rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.
“The important thing that Kaepernick and others have done is keep it in the conversation,” Popovich said.
And while there may be differing opinions as to whether Kaepernick or any other athlete should be protesting, the one common thread that seems to bind the Celtics players and the front office is them having the right to speak out not only as professional athletes, but Americans.
“The biggest thing is we all really value the freedoms that we have and that we’ve been allotted,” said coach Brad Stevens, who added that he has had individual discussions with players on this subject. “We certainly support an individual’s freedoms. It’s been great to engage in those discussions. It’s been really fun for me how excited our guys are about using their platform.”
And that more than anything else is why Crowder feels the Celtics have to have a united front as far as the message they present to the masses.
“If we want change we have to do it together,” Crowder said. “I feel like those guys (other athletes) used their platforms well. I think more athletes should do the same. You can’t do it with any hatred; you can’t do it with any negative. You have to do it with positive energy.”
Abby Chin reports from Celtics Media Day, where Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford addressed the media