Pietrus: 'I came to the Celtics because of Coach Rivers and KG'


Pietrus: 'I came to the Celtics because of Coach Rivers and KG'

BOSTON -- Following the Celtics blowout win over the Toronto Raptors, Mickael Pietrus sat at his locker and talked very passionately for ten minutes about a single topic -- the player who sits next to him, Kevin Garnett.

Pietrus has admired Garnetts game since he entered the league in 2003. Not for his stat line or athletic ability, but rather Pietrus liked Garnetts intensity and wanted to incorporate that into his approach to basketball. So much so, in fact, that Garnett and head coach Doc Rivers were the two driving factors in his decision to play in Boston.

He played hard for 16 years, Pietrus said following the Cs 100-64 victory. Ive been watching him the last 10 years since Ive been in the NBA, and the way he gets ready for a game, he gets ready to compete every night, thats where I got that from. Today, for me to play with him, its great because we have the same mentality and thats what Im trying to bring to the Celtics.

To be honest with you," he added, "the reason I came to the Celtics is because of Coach Rivers and KG. I knew that they had Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, but he makes everybody play hard. I was like, thats going to be a good fit for me to play with the man. I was very happy from when I got here a month ago, he told me, I cant wait to have you on the court with me. I was like, Yeah, were going to have fun.

Read more from Pietrus thoughts on Garnett, why he would never copy his pregame trademark, and just how close he considers his teammate. Oh yeah, cant forget why he doesnt want any other fish than that in Boston.

Sharing the Same Mindset
I love his mentality. I love it. Thats my mentality, too. People who dont understand, they cant call themselves winners. Theyre losers. If you want to win, youve got to play with that man. Hes going to give you some respect and youve got to give him some respect, too. If youre not all about winning, KG and the Celtics, they are not for you. Youve got to go somewhere else and get numbers, but it wont make any sense. Youre going to get numbers but at the end of the day, youre going to watch us in the playoffs.

His Dream Lockermate
Youve got to learn from the best. I love that man. He plays hard. The thing people dont see, on some teams big time players want to take 25 shots but it doesnt take sense to take 25 shots. But what I like with KG, hell share with you on the plane. You sit down, hes going to share some story with you. Hes going to share some of his life. Youre going to share some of your life, too, with KG. Thats what I like. On the floor, he makes things easier for you because he likes to compete and you want to compete too. I love that man. I love playing with KG. thats what Ive got my locker right next to him.

Playing Hard No Matter What
My favorite memories with KG is from watching him when things werent going well for him in Minnesota, and he kept working the same way he is working now. And then that trade came and hes still the same KG. Thats what I like. Some superstars play differently if your team doesnt win, hes still going to bring his best and thats why Ive been watching KG from when he was in Minnesota. That team wasnt good and thats why I kind of learned like whatever team you are, youve got to play hard and get the best out of you and get the best out of your teammates, and thats how youre going to get the respect in the league.

Respecting the Toughness
"We got into a fight last year with the Suns. But that wasnt any fight, like big time. Thats something I like from him is that toughness. I respect that. Thats what he tried to transfer to everybody on the team, is dont take anything for granted. Every day in practice, youve got to come to work. The game, youve got to come to work too. No days off. Every day is a challenge. Every day youve got to step up and try to get the best out of the day. And thats what I like. Thats my main challenge in the NBA since Ive been in the NBA, just keep fighting because at the end of the day good things are going to happen.

From what Ive learned in ten years now is numbers, people always want to get numbers and numbers, and at the end of the day, I told you, Ive seen a lot of scorers in the NBA that dont even have a job. Every day you can do little things to make the team a winning team, thats what it takes. I kind of learned from him, every day the way he gets ready, the way he prepares himself for practice, he prepares himself for the game.

To me, KG and KG off the court is a different KG. If I can spend the summer time, learn from that man I will. I know its kind of too late because Ive been in the NBA ten years, but if I was a rookie Id be sitting right next to him, asking him a lot of questions because hes the man. Hes why the Celtics are the Celtics.

Soaking It In
Im trying to learn from him. Thats why I came to the Celtics, because he has a toughness that I like and Ive got a toughness that he likes. And on the floor we understand each other because its all about working hard and getting stuff done. It was easy for me to be on the floor as a Celtic my first game because from the opposing team when I played him, it was kind of tough to beat the Celtics. Ive seen the other side of the sea and the fish is different. I dont want to go back there.

Leaving KGs Pregame Tradition Alone
Some people have their way to get ready for a game. (Garnett bangs his head on the basketball stanchion before tipoff.) No I like my forehead. Im not going to do that to my forehead. (Rubs forehead) It would have dents in it. My forehead, I like, were going to be ok, dont worry. Im not going to do that to you.

More than a Teammate
KG to me is not a friend. No. He is part of my family because we are trying to win a championship together. Were trying to make a big thing together. At the end of the day, once we retire and we win a championship, hes going to be a friend. But right now the Celtics, this is all about family. Thats why everybody stays together, eats together, does stuff together. On some teams its not like that. You dont have the same feelings. Its hard. But I definitely want to be here.

UConn falls to Central Florida, 24-16


UConn falls to Central Florida, 24-16

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -McKenzie Milton threw for a season-high 317 yards and three touchdowns to lead Central Florida to a 24-16 win over UConn.

The freshman completed 29 of 45 passes and the Knights (4-3, 2-1 American) moved over the .500 mark by scoring 17 unanswered points and holding the Huskies (3-5, 1-4) scoreless in the second half.

Arkeel Newsome ran 21 times for 101 yards and Noel Thomas had his fifth straight 100-yard receiving game for UConn, catching nine passes for 165 yards.

But Thomas dropped a pass in the end zone on a third down with just over 3 minutes remaining, and quarterback Bryant Shirreffs came up short on a fourth-down scramble.

The Huskies got the ball back near midfield with just over 2 minutes left and drove to the 21, but failed to convert a fourth-down pass.

The Knights took the lead on the first drive of the second half, when Milton hit running back Adrian Killins over the middle for a 39-yard touchdown. It was the third consecutive drive of more than 70 yards for UCF.

A career-long 50-yard field goal by Matthew Wright early in the fourth quarter pushed the lead to eight points.

UConn scored the game's first 13 points, capped by a 3-yard touchdown run from Newsome.

The Huskies final points came on a 35-yard Puyol field goal, one of three he kicked in the first half.

The lead was the first at halftime this season for the Huskies.


UCF: The Knights have apparently found their quarterback in the freshman Milton, who started again over senior Justin Holman. It was Milton's fourth start this season. His 317 yards passing were the most since Holman threw for 336 yards against Temple in 2014.

UConn: The Huskies have two offensive weapons in Newsome and Thomas and need to find a third. Shirreffs was again the team's second leading rusher with 49 yards. Alec Bloom was the team's second-leading receiver. He had two catches for 20 yards.


UCF: The Knights visit No. 11 Houston next Saturday

UConn: The Huskies travel south to face East Carolina.

© 2016 by STATS & The Associated Press

Still wait-and-see on Smart's status for Celtics' opener


Still wait-and-see on Smart's status for Celtics' opener

BOSTON – Marcus Smart’s sprained left ankle injury continues to heal, but the Celtics remain in wait-and-see mode when it comes to his availability for the season opener on Wednesday against Brooklyn.
Smart sprained the ankle in the second quarter of a 121-96 preseason loss to the New York Knicks when he stepped on the foot of Knicks guard Justin Holliday.
He was helped off the floor by teammates Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas along with head trainer Ed Lacerte.
Since the injury, the Celtics have been pleased with the healing progress of the ankle, the same ankle he sprained as a rookie which kept him out for several weeks.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Smart is no longer in a walking boot and continues to be day-to-day as he receives a steady diet of treatments to help speed up the healing process.
Smart will undergo a series of tests to determine the ankle’s strength, prior to getting any kind of clearance to play.
That’s why Stevens isn’t worried about Smart returning to the floor too soon.
“I trust our staff. Our staff and Marcus will make that decision well,” Stevens said. “Then I play guys, if they are available.”
Smart has established himself as one of the Celtics’ top reserves, with the ability to play both guard positions and some small forward depending on the lineup on the floor. The Celtics have to prepare for the possibility that he will not be able to play in the opener (or the first few games considering Boston opens with three games in four nights.

His absence would create more playing time for Terry Rozier in addition to likely resulting in extended minutes for starters such as Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder.
As eager as Smart is to get back on the floor, he and the Celtics are mindful of the big picture.
This team wants to make a deep playoff run and they’ll everyone – Smart included – to do so.
That’s why as much as Smart wants to get on the floor immediately, he has to remember – or be reminded of – that this is an 82-game season and his long-term value to this team and its goals can’t be taken for granted.