Johnson learned from brief Celtics tenure


Johnson learned from brief Celtics tenure

BOSTON Chris Johnson was a Boston Celtic for 10 days - 10 days that he says had a significant impact on his NBA career.

"I took a lot from that," Johnson told "I learned a lot. Plus I was here for training camp, so I learned a lot from that, too."

Johnson, who now plays for Portland, said he paid attention to all of the C's. But he paid particular attention to the Big Four of Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

"From KG, how to play defense and man-up, one-on-one in the post. You get advice from Paul, Ray and future Hall of Famer Rondo," Johnson said. "It was a bunch of good guys."

After the C's released him to make room for Carlos Arroyo, the Blazers picked him up.

It didn't take Johnson long to put the lessons he learned with the Celtics, to good use.

In his second game with Portland after the Celtics waived him in March, Johnson had a seven-point, 3-rebound, 3-blocked shot night in a Blazers win over Washington.

The breakout performance did not come as a surprise to the Celtics, who had a tougher time waiving him than anticipated.

After waiving him following training camp, the Celtics kept close tabs on him when he went to the D-League.

"We needed a body and he can play a little bit," C's coach Doc Rivers said shortly after the Celtics signed him to a 10-day contract.

Johnson said he had no hard feelings towards the Celtics for waiving him.

"I understood the move they had to make, by getting Arroyo," Johnson said. "You can control what you can. All I can control is working hard, trying to get better everyday."

This season, Johnson has seen limited action for the Blazers. He has appeared in 17 games this season, averaging 1.5 points, 0.7 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.