Celtics braced themselves for the Blake (Griffin) effect


Celtics braced themselves for the Blake (Griffin) effect

By A. Sherrod Blakely

BOSTON The Boston Celtics are used to playing in front of sold-out crowds at the TD Garden.

Wednesday night's 108-103 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers was no exception.

While most came to see the Celtics defeat the Clippers, witnessing Blake Griffin up close and personal for the first time is just as enticing.

The 6-foot-10 forward has been dominating the league this season as a rookie, averaging 22.7 points and 12.5 rebounds per game.

But his impact was minimal, as the Celtics limited him to 12 points and seven rebounds.

Usually Griffin's impact is felt in his play.

On Wednesday, it was more about his presence which seemed to open things for the rest of his teammates.

"He's definitely proven himself to be a man among boys," said Boston's Ray Allen. "The age that he's at, really first year in the league. A lot of people thought when he was injured, he wouldn't be as good. But he came back this year, and he showed a lot of people that he can be one of the best players if not the best player in the future in the NBA."

Celtics coach Doc Rivers has been impressed with Griffin's play all season.

After spending time with him during All-Star weekend, Rivers said he was even more impressed with Griffin as a person than he was about Griffin the player.

"He just seems like a solid kid," Rivers said. "For us coaches, whenever you see that, that's really nice."

In an earlier interview, Rivers talked about how a player with Griffin's ability to combine power with the ability to play above the rim, has a way of making for a miscue here and there by a point guard or whoever is trying to get him the ball.

"I was the worst lob passer in NBA history," Rivers said. "But no one knew it because I had Dominique Wilkins. You could throw the ball anywhere. Blake Griffin is more of that. All bad passes are good passes; just throw it."

Rivers said Griffin challenges the Celtics' defense in a similar fashion to Orlando's Dwight Howard.

"You gotta make him make shots over the top of you," Rivers said. "Which he's capable of making. But at least you're controlling the type of shots he gets."

Although their games are different, Rivers said Griffin's athleticism reminds him of a young David Robinson.

"But David Robinson to the second power," quipped Rivers. "He's just an unbelievable athlete."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn.

Jaylen Brown steps away from social media to prepare for playoffs

Jaylen Brown steps away from social media to prepare for playoffs

BOSTON –  Like most of the NBA’s Millennials, Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown is active on social media.

But if you holla at him on Twitter or Instagram these days, don’t be surprised if you don’t hear back anytime soon.
That’s because Brown is stepping away from the social media game to better focus on his first postseason journey with the Celtics, which begins next month.
Brown said he isn’t the only player inside the Celtics locker room who has pledged to do things differently leading up to the playoffs.
More than anything, the changes Brown speaks of are symbolic to illustrate the need for everyone to make sacrifices critical for a team’s success.
“I’ve paid attention to that, how a lot of guys are making the sacrifices necessary to add to this team,” Brown said. “Some guys are only drinking water. Some guys are cutting out cursing or other aspects. Some guys have some personal stuff...Everybody is putting themselves in that mind frame to sacrifice for the betterment of the team.”
He added that taking a step back from social media was just one of a handful of changes he has made leading up to the playoffs.
“Some are personal, but some, just being a lot more focused and more locked in, eliminating distractions,” Brown told CSNNE.com. “This generation, we’re so social media dependent. So just eliminating that, filling that in with other stuff whether it’s gym time or film or just time to yourself instead of it being so predicated on the cell phone.”
Brown understands the battle Boston (48-26) is in for the top spot in the East heading into the playoffs and how important getting that would be to this team.
“It means a lot, especially being a rookie from my perspective, being on a team that’s number one seed in the East and being a contributor.” Brown said. “What more could you ask for, coming in to the league, coming into the NBA. It’s been great for me. It’s been a blessing.”
While Brown has had his share of ups and downs as a rookie, there’s no ignoring the fact that he’s progressing at a brisk rate.

“Offensively, I’m getting a little more comfortable scoring the ball; mid-range game, I’m developing,” he said. “Defensively, being in the right spot at the right time, stuff like that. I’ve come a long way and I still have a long way to go.”

Five takeaways: By cooling off Heat, Celtics look out for No. 1


Five takeaways: By cooling off Heat, Celtics look out for No. 1

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