Boston Celtics

Celtics, Rockets deal for Battier not happening

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Celtics, Rockets deal for Battier not happening

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

SAN FRANCISCO Did you feel that chill?

That would be the annual trade winds that sweep across the NBA landscape this time of year as teams inch closer to the trading deadline.

And once again, the Boston Celtics are among the teams looking to make a deal prior to Thursday's deadline.

With Marquis Daniels (bruised spinal cord) looking more and more like he'll be lost for the rest of the season, the Celtics are looking long and hard for a backup small forward to Paul Pierce.

One of the players Boston is reportedly pursuing is Houston's Shane Battier.

It makes sense for the Celtics to inquire about Battier, who is in the final year of a contract that pays him 7.35 million this season.

However, a league source confirmed to CSNNE.com Monday night that a deal involving Battier coming to Boston will not happen.

Far too often, trade rumors tend to omit two necessary factors that are in always in play with trades.

The team initiating the trade has to 1) see a player they want to acquire, and 2) put together a package that's enticing enough to the other team.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers acknowledged what we all have known for weeks.

The C's don't have a lot of trade chips to play, and thus find themselves struggling to gain much trade traction.

"Obviously, we're out there looking," Rivers said. "We're not going to just go and do something, to do something. We're clearly looking. We don't have a lot of assets to move. We'll see what happens."

The biggest fear for the C's right now is that they're unable to make a trade, and Daniels isn't able to return.

"That would be tough, because of our size," Rivers said. "We would have a huge gap at the 3-spot. When you look at who we'd have to go through, Luol Dengs, LeBrons, Kobes . . . that would make it tough."

It puts even more pressure on Paul Pierce to not only produce, but do so while staying healthy and relatively free of foul trouble.

"I'm not going to do nothing different," Pierce said. "I can't even think about that. We got guys who are going to have to fill in that role. Von Wafer, Delonte West. The guys we got have to fill in that role. I can't change the way I play."

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

NBA adds 'Harden Rule' and 'Zaza Rule' for players' safety

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NBA adds 'Harden Rule' and 'Zaza Rule' for players' safety

NEW YORK - NBA referees will be able to call flagrant or technical fouls on defenders who dangerously close on jump shooters without allowing them space to land, as Zaza Pachulia did on the play that injured Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in last season's playoffs.

Officials will also make sure jump shooters are in their upward shooting motion when determining if a perimeter foul is worthy of free throws, which could cut down on James Harden's attempts after he swings his arms into contact.

The new rules interpretations are being unofficially called the "Harden Rule" and the "Zaza Rule". The Washington Wizards accused the Celtics' Al Horford of a dangerous closeout on Markieff Morris that injured Morris and knocked him out of Game 1 of their playoff series two weeks before the Pachulia-Leonard play.

Leonard sprained his ankle when Pachulia slid his foot under Leonard's in Game 1 of Golden State's victory in the Western Conference finals. After calling a foul, officials will now be able to look at a replay to determine if the defender recklessly positioned his foot in an unnatural way, which could trigger an upgrade to a flagrant, or a technical if there was no contact but an apparent attempt to injure.

"It's 100 percent for the safety of the players," NBA senior vice president of replay and referee operations Joe Borgia said Thursday.

The NBA had made the freedom to land a point of emphasis for officials a few years ago, because of the risk of injuries. 

Officials can still rule the play a common foul if they did not see a dangerous or unnatural attempt by the defender upon review. Borgia said Pachulia's foul would have been deemed a flagrant.

With the fouls on the perimeter shots - often coming when the offensive player has come off a screen and quickly attempts to launch a shot as his defender tries to catch up - officials will focus on the sequencing of the play. The player with the ball must already be in his shooting motion when contact is made, rather than gathering the ball to shoot such as on a drive to the basket.

"We saw it as a major trend in the NBA so we had to almost back up and say, `Well, wait a minute, this is going to be a trend, so let's catch up to it,"' NBA president of league operations Byron Spruell said.