Sweetney not giving up on NBA return


Sweetney not giving up on NBA return

BOSTON -- Michael Sweetney has been around the world and back since the last time he played on the Celtics training camp roster in 2009.

Hes played in Erie, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and even as far as China pursuing his goal of getting back in the NBA.

Along the way the 29-year-old forward has tried to adapt a new way of life, one that he hopes can help him get back on the court.

Ive pretty much just trying to get in better shape, he told CSNNE.com prior to Wednesdays Celtics-Raptors preseason game. Ive been struggling with that a lot in my career, my weight going up and down. Ive been working on it, trying keep it down.

Listed at 295 pounds, he would not comment on his weight but says he is less than he was his first go-around with the Cs.Its uncertain how the adjustment will pay off - the Celtics have to trim the roster for the start of the regular season. But the change in diet is something that will help Sweetney beyond basketball.

You see a lot of guys dropping like flies, he said. And I dont want to be one of those people.

Sweetney has struggled with his weight his entire life. The battle intensified after his rookie season with the New York Knicks when his father passed away. Sweetney says he went through a stage of depression. He has since received help and wants to keep plugging away at his goals.

With the help of his wife, who went to culinary school, he has adopted an organic diet. Reading labels and examining ingredients has become a part of his everyday life.

I actually had to change my whole diet, he said. I watched the show Food, Inc. and I didnt know all this stuff. If I go to the store and I buy chicken, Im thinking ok its good. But I didnt know all the stuff thats in it, all the steroids and hormones.

"Thats why see kids walking around now like that because theyve been putting steroids in their body. So theres little things I didnt know and I had to change it up. Its hard. I had to cut a lot of the junk food and juices out and try to drink a lot of water.

Whether he makes the Celtics roster or not, Sweetney is set on pursuing a return to the NBA.

Its my passion, he said. I love to play, I love the game. Why not keep trying?

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Following Thursday’s 105-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls, the Boston Celtics will be on the prowl to rebound – literally – from its first defeat of the season.

Because for all that did not go right in Thursday night’s loss, the way Boston was beaten on the boards stands out emphatically.

“They got 24 more shots than us. We only turned it over (12) times,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters after the loss. “So that’s the obvious place they’re getting their possessions, on the glass. That’s going to be the number one thing, that has been the number one thing. It’s something we’ve talked about. We have to get better at it.”


Boston was out-rebounded 55-36 on the boards which heavily factored into Chicago’s 18-5 advantage in second-chance points.

In the Celtics' 122-117 win over Brooklyn on Wednesday, Boston won the overall rebounding battle 47-44, but had just 12 offensive rebounds compared to Brooklyn's 15 offensive boards. Despite the close margin, the Nets won the battle on the offensive glass running away, outscoring the Celtics 23-13 in second-chance points.

Stevens decided to start Tyler Zeller ahead of Amir Johnson to begin the third quarter, hoping Zeller would be a better matchup on the glass than Johnson who did not grab a single rebound in the 11 minutes of court time he got in the first half.

While Zeller did do a few good things on the glass and scoring in half-court sets, it wasn’t enough to swing the momentum Chicago was steadily gaining due to its ability to control the boards.

“I wasn’t real surprised but at the same time I knew it could happen,” Zeller told reporters, referring to Stevens’ decision to have him start the second half. “They did a good job of coming out and setting the tone. They beat us up on the boards, especially the first half. It’s something we have to get better at and continue to grow at.”

And it’s not a one-player or one-position issue, either.

Usually we think of bigs when it comes to rebounding. But Boston’s guards need to step up their rebounding game as well.

The struggles thus far have to be put in the context of this being just two games, the latter being the season opener for the Bulls who were jacked up more than usual due to it being the first game for Chicago native Dwyane Wade and ex-Celtic Rajon Rondo.

“We have to focus on boxing out,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown. “Guards have to do a better job. Guys like me, Al (Horford), Amir (Johnson), Tyler (Zeller) ... We have to do a good job of coming in the weak side and grabbing those; just focus on it, pay more attention to detail.”