OFFSEASON

Continuity an issue with Celtics going into season

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Continuity an issue with Celtics going into season

WALTHAM With so many new faces, you have to wonder how the Boston Celtics' chemistry will come together this season.

"Phenomenal" is how coach Doc Rivers describes it.

The continuity?

"Not very good," he said.

It's not all that surprising when you consider that the C's roster has been put together so quickly, and that there's been little time to practice because of the condensed preseason schedule that concludes Wednesday night against Toronto.

"The continuity is going to take time," he said.

That's the one thing that C's and their revamped roster don't have a lot of right now, not with the season opener only five days away.

Boston currently has 13 players with guaranteed contracts. Of those 13, only six were with the team at the end of last season. Marquis Daniels was not included in that total because the C's traded him to Sacramento, in February.

When you talk about continuity, it has to do with the little things, like knowing how to screen for Ray Allen, or how to catch a Rajon Rondo pass in transition, and finish.

"It definitely takes time," forward Chris Wilcox, one of the team's newcomers this season, told CSNNE.com. "For me, it's helping my game because I have to go against it every day in practice. So working on my defense and things like that, it's really helping me out, too."

Wilcox agrees that the team's chemistry is surprisingly strong considering how the team was essentially thrown together in a matter of days.

As far as the continuity that's definitely a work in progress.

"All the players and coaches we have around, just bringing us all together, making sure we're on the same page; it's going to take a little time," Wilcox said. "But we're definitely getting better, learning each others' games more and more each day."

Rivers pointed out how Wilcox seemed to have the kind of practice on Tuesday that exemplifies both the good and bad that come about when you're bringing together a bunch of new faces.

"Chris had a stretch today that everyone started cheering, 'Hey, he's a Celtic'," Rivers recalled. "And then he had another stretch where he was lost, he was the new guy. That's just what happens."

It's going to be like that for a while, especially for the new guys.

"The guys who have been here, no matter what we do different, they're still ahead because they know each other," Rivers said. "The new guys are trying to figure it out. They're getting it slowly."

Wilcox sees improvement both in the play of the new guys, and their overall understanding of what they can do to help the Celtics be successful.

"We all know who we are, understand what our roles are, and so do the starters," Wilcox said. "It's just a matter of us playing with each other, working together in practice, spending time around each other; just learning each other's games. We're all starting to bond more, gel more and it's starting to show more in practice and hopefully we can carry that over into games, too."

OFFSEASON

Celtics second in Larry Sanders’ Twitter poll for his next team

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Celtics second in Larry Sanders’ Twitter poll for his next team

Veteran forward Larry Sanders, who hasn’t played since December of 2014, has taken to Twitter to get feedback on “Which team do you believe will utilize my skills the best?”

So far, it’s his last team, the Milwaukee Bucks leading, with the Celtics edging the Cavaliers for second place.  

Sanders, 27, has been away from basketball after two drug-related suspensions and issues with anxiety and depression led him to accept a buyout from the Bucks.  The 6-11 Sanders was a solid rim protector. He averaged 1.8 blocks a game in his career. Could the Celtics, with an already crowded roster, take a flyer on him as a low-cost option? 
 

OFFSEASON

Michael Jordan: ‘I can no longer stay silent’ on racial issues

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Michael Jordan: ‘I can no longer stay silent’ on racial issues

By Dan Feldman, NBCSports.com Pro Basketball Talk

Michael Jordan might have never said “Republicans buy sneakers, too.”

But that quote has defined him politically.

Whether the perception has been fair or not, he’s clearly trying to change it.

Jordan in ESPN's The Undefeated:

As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.

I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers – who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all – are respected and supported.

Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognize that for many people of color their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine. I have decided to speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change.

To support that effort, I am making contributions of $1 million each to two organizations, the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

You can read Jordan’s full statement here.