Johnson, Moore run the floor like old times

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Johnson, Moore run the floor like old times

BOSTON -- For over 20 minutes, Celtics rookies JaJuan Johnson and ETwaun Moore ran the court in a scene reminiscent of their previous four years at Purdue University.

The former college teammates have both received limited playing time this season on a veteran team. But with a shorthanded lineup on Tuesday against the Miami Heat, the two played meaningful minutes together.

Johnson recorded six points, three rebounds, two blocks, and a steal in 23 minutes. Moore posted seven points, seven boards, and one assist in over 24.

Following the Celtics 78-66 win, Johnson and Moore talked to CSNNE.com about playing together once again:
Back in Action Together

Johnson: It felt good. Its always fun to just play with somebody youre really, really comfortable with. Especially getting a win, thats the most important thing. It was just fun that we were able to contribute and have a good time.

Moore: It was definitely fun. I know his game, I know what he likes to do. Its always great when we play together. It was just fun.

College vs. the NBA

Johnson: The biggest difference, I guess, in college we were like the guys who you know were getting the ball. So you kind of play off of that a lot. Obviously at this level weve got to pay our dues and keep trying to improve. Thats the difference. Youve still got to play within the team offense.

Moore: Its not a whole lot different. Were doing kind of similar things -- pick-and-roll, pop, hand off, things like that. Its kind of similar.

Assessing One Another Then and Now

Johnson: I think ETwaun has slowed down a lot. His ball handling has got a lot better. Hes been running the sets, he gets people more organized, and everything like that. Its been good just to see that from him.

Moore: I see JaJuan has definitely got a little stronger, more physical. That was definitely a step up. Hes always learning more. That (Johnson was called for an offensive foul) was what he needed, a little physical.

Are Celtics better off building through draft or via trade?

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Are Celtics better off building through draft or via trade?

Steve Buckley joins Arbella Early Edition to give his opinion on how the Boston Celtics path to becoming a title contender will come, through the draft of via trades?

Ainge: 'This offseason is bigger' than others for Celtics

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Ainge: 'This offseason is bigger' than others for Celtics

WALTHAM, Mass. – There was very little sizzle in the moves made by Boston during last season, one in which they were hoping would be a summer full of basketball fireworks.

Well the bar is once again set relatively high for the Celtics this offseason, one in which the chances of making an impact, fireworks-worthy deal appear to be even better now than they were a year ago.

The Celtics have Brooklyn’s first-round pick in next month’s draft that has a 15.6 percent chance of being the top overall selection, and will be no worse than the sixth overall pick.

That’s just the first of eight picks for the Celtics in next month’s draft.

Boston has the potential to shed enough salary to offer a pair of near-max contracts to free agents this summer.

“We look forward to every offseason,” said Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations. “This offseason is bigger. My expectations are high this offseason. And yet I also know that it takes good fortune.”

There’s the NBA draft lottery later this month.

“We need some ping-pong balls to bounce our way, give us the best opportunity,” Ainge said.

The Celtics own Brooklyn’s first-round pick courtesy of the Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce trade with Brooklyn in 2013. That pick will be no worse than the sixth overall selection this season but has a 15.6 percent chance of being the top overall selection.

“Whether we use that pick, trade that pick and … in free agency we have opportunities. That’s all we have,” Ainge said. “We have no guarantees of great things happening. We have a lot of hope. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We have to have Plan A through Z; usually it’s A through G.”