Moore hopes to have bigger role with Celts next season

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Moore hopes to have bigger role with Celts next season

BOSTON Having joined such a veteran team, there were plenty of role models for E'Twaun Moore to look up to in his rookie season with the Boston Celtics.

But among them, second-year guard Avery Bradley is the one he wants to emulate.

Bradley did what no other young player could do in recent years -- unseat a member of the Big Three (Ray Allen) in the starting lineup.

Moore doesn't anticipate his stock to rise to the level of being a starter next season, but he does believe that he can have a bigger -- a much bigger -- role than the one he had as a rookie.

And if he's looking for a blueprint on how to do it, he has to look no further than Bradley.

"It's definitely a good thing to know that if you work hard, and make the most of your chances to play, good things will happen," Moore told CSNNE.com. "I feel pretty good about my chances next year."

Moore added, "I've learned a lot from all these guys, Avery included. But we're all players here. We all want to win. We all want to play, too."

He'll get that opportunity next month when the Celtics field teams in both NBA-sponsored summer leagues in Las Vegas and Orlando.

They will serve as opportunities for Moore to not just play, but prove he's worth keeping around in Boston.

As a late second-round pick in last year's NBA draft, Moore signed a two-year deal with only the first year being guaranteed. The second year won't become guaranteed until after summer league.

More than aware of his uncertain status, Moore refuses to put any added pressure on himself.

That's not all that surprising when you consider how he has come across to his teammates and coaches.

"Very confident," C's coach Doc Rivers used in describing Moore. "But not cocky. He feels he's good enough to be here, he belongs and he's not shy about letting you know. That's a good thing."

Added Paul Pierce: "He's one of the best shooters on the team. He's going to be a really solid player in this league, in time."

Like most young NBA players, Moore needs to improve in all facets of his game. But his lack of playing time was dealt a blow before he showed up for his first practice.

With the league starting later because of the lockout, players such as Moore did not have a summer league to play in. And once the season started, developing young players in many ways was put on the back-burner because there were so many other logistical challenges and hurdles all teams had to work around.

"It was a really tough year for our young guys, all young guys in the league, actually," Rivers said. "And when you don't really practice that much, it makes it even tougher to really see their improvement."

But during the early stages of this shortened season, Moore showed flashes of being someone who could contribute immediately.

Despite a shortened preseason with no summer league, Moore had moments early in the season in which he showed considerable promise.

His career-high of 16 points against Orlando on Jan. 26 could not have come at a better time.

Boston trailed by as many as 27 points in the first half of that game before a 91-83 comeback win.

Moore's 16 points included a go-ahead 3-pointer (79-76) in the fourth quarter, the kind of big shot that Moore has no hesitation about taking.

"We have a lot of guys on our team who are confident about themselves and what they can do," Moore said. "Like I said earlier, I feel good about my game and what I can do on the floor when I get an opportunity. It's just a matter of me continuing to work hard, and just be ready when my number is called."

Just like his role model, Avery Bradley.

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
 
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
 
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
 
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
 
This season, all-NBA first team defender is  the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
 
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.


 

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

WALTHAM, Mass. – To dunk or not to dunk with the best in the NBA?
 
That is the question Celtics rookie forward Jaylen Brown is grappling with these days.
 
The 6-foot-7 Brown confirmed that he has been invited to be part of the league’s Slam Dunk competition at All-Star weekend, but hasn’t made up his mind as to whether he will participate.
 
Brown said he’ll likely make a decision about it sometime this weekend.
 
While he certainly understands that is indeed an honor for any player to be asked to participate in All-Star weekend, Brown said his trepidation about being part of the slam dunk competition has a lot to do with its potential impact on his body and how that may affect his ability to recharge over the weekend and get ready to finish out his rookie season strong.
 
If he decided to enter the contest, he would be facing some really stiff competition from last year’s winner Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, whose battle last season put their slam dunk competition among the best ever.
 
Facing tough competition is not something that concerns Brown.
 
“I’m not worried about anybody or anything,” Brown said. “I think I have a lot to offer. Just like your rookie year, your body and everything … it’s a lot. All those dunks, they look cool but it takes a toll on your body for sure. I want to put myself in the best position to help the team.”
 
While his focus has been on the Celtics, Brown acknowledged he has been getting a few tips on the competition from teammate Gerald Green, who is also a former Slam Dunk champion.
 
“[Gerald] Green has been coaching me up, giving me a lot of good ideas I wouldn’t have thought on my own,” Brown said. “If I do decide to do it, it’ll be some stuff [nobody] has seen before.”