Boston Celtics

Doc Rivers pre-game in Golden State

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Doc Rivers pre-game in Golden State

By: Rich Levine
CSNNE.com

OAKLAND The Celtics are ready to kick off the second half of the season against the Warriors, but before they do, Doc Rivers met with the media to discuss injuries, trades and, of course, Carmelo Anthony.

Heres a quick look at what Doc had to say:

On Shaquille ONeal whos rehabbing his injured Achilles down in Florida:

Hes just doing rehab. We have our guy down there with him and hes just working out. Were not (in Boston), and we have our guy down there, so we dont care where hes at, as long as hes doing it.

On when they expect Shaq back:
Im hoping after we get back (to Boston), maybe even join us on the trip. So hes close. Weve had a couple conversations, and hes feeling a lot better; hes working out every day. He looks good. His weights down from when he got injured. So hes doing all the right stuff.

On Delonte West returning to the court:

Hes healthy, as far as his hand but Im sure theres got to be a little fear with his hand. The first day he came back, he hurt it, so you just hope he plays through and isnt tentative. Its something to watch.
On the new look Knicks:

Theyre pretty good. Its a heck of a trade. It was a good trade for both teams. I thought Denver got everything they could possibly get in the deal. And the Knicks did a good job as well. They got Carmelo and Corey Brewer and Chauncey Biillups. So that makes things more interesting.

On the lack of chemistry for the second unit:

Nothing you can do about it. We dont have it together yet. Well figure out how to try and get around that when we eventually do have them together. We need to get them together, though. Were losing time in that way, and thats my biggest concern.

On, if they were to make a trade, how hard it would be to integrate a new player into the second unit:

It wouldnt be that hard because the second unit doesnt have any chemistry. Obviously, Thursday is coming, and well be glad when its come and gone. Were not that involved with a lot of things. But were looking.

Brown ready to embrace role with new-look Celtics

Brown ready to embrace role with new-look Celtics

BOSTON – Like most of us, Jaylen Brown watched intently as the Boston Celtics overhauled their roster in a way in which no one on the payroll could untouchable.

Armed with the number one overall pick in last June’s NBA draft, the Boston Celtics traded down two spots to pick up a wing player (Jayson Tatum) who plays the same position as Brown.

Later on, the Celtics traded away Avery Bradley to Detroit.

Soon after, Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas were Cleveland-bound in a deal that brought Kyrie Irving to Boston.

Things have changed, quickly.

MORE: Celtics storylines: Who fills out the starting lineup?

But being a high-profile high school player who spent one year in college before entering the NBA, Brown is well-versed on how to adapt quickly to new surroundings.

Brown might find himself getting used to yet another new role as an NBA starter this season.

When training camp opens next week for the Celtics, there will be at least two positions in the starting five up for grabs courtesy of Bradley and Crowder being in Detroit and Cleveland, respectively.

Thomas’ starting job will be handled by Irving who will be joined in the starting lineup by Al Horford and another new face to the Celtics roster, Gordon Hayward who signed a four-year, $127.8 million contract with Boston this summer after having spent his first seven NBA seasons in Utah.

Brown said he hadn’t put too much thought into all the changes that Boston was making this offseason.

“I knew a lot of stuff was going on and it was a lot of changes but it was above my pay grade,” Brown said. “Right now my job is to come in and play basketball and leave the politics up to the front office and you guys. It had nothing to do with me. I just try to come out and play hard, and try and be the best person and basketball player. . .  I can be. I try not to think too much of it.”

But it’s hard to ignore the possibility that he could be in the starting lineup on opening night, an opportunity he will have to earn with his play in training camp.

“(Head coach Brad Stevens) is going to do whatever he feels is best for the team and I support that,” Brown said. “Whatever it is that he decides, is what he decides. But I’m here, I’m available and I’m ready to work. It’s going to be a good year.”

The possibility that Brown could be in the regular starting lineup in his second season isn’t all that unusual for a player taken with the third overall pick in the draft.

But unlike most rookies, Brown wasn’t selected by a team where playing time was a given.

He joined an experienced squad that had its sights on a deep playoff run, something that runs counter-intuitive to what most high draft picks experience their first year.

But the Celtics advanced all the way to the Eastern Conference finals before falling to Cleveland in five games.

And as Boston went deeper into its season, Brown steadily worked his way into regular minutes which has helped put him here, potentially on the cusp of being a regular starter.

“My mindset is the same in a lot of ways, and is different in a lot of ways,” Brown said. “It’s the same in the sense where I’m just working, trying to get better each and every day just like last year; just constantly push myself for greatness. Where it’s different now, my mindset is I know a little bit more, I have my feet under me. A little bit more is expected of me.”

Throughout the summer, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has been pleased with the growth he has seen in Brown’s game.

But for him to help the Celtics this season, Stevens believes it’ll have to come on the defensive end of the floor.

“Jaylen has to become a lockdown defender for us," Stevens said on the Vertical Podcast with Chris Mannix, earlier this summer. "That's where, as you go into an offseason and you are an individual player, there's a ton of things that you want to get better at, and there's a ton of things you want to add to your game. But ultimately, when you get back to your team, it's what do you do that's different to make your team unique to give yourself the best chance of adding value to winning. We need him to become that."

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