Gilbert Brown to attend Celtics camp

605614.jpg

Gilbert Brown to attend Celtics camp

WALTHAM The days of wanting to be like Mike are long gone.

For guys like Pittsburgh's Gilbert Brown, it's all about wanting to be like Wesley - as in, Wesley Matthews.

Matthews took the NBA by storm two years ago in Utah, putting up big numbers despite being an undrafted rookie.

He was rewarded with a five-year, 26.8 million contract by Portland in July of 2010.

Brown, undrafted in last June's NBA draft, is hoping to follow a similar blueprint for success in Boston.

CSNNE.com has learned that Brown will be with the Celtics when training camp begins on Friday.

"He had a number of options that he considered, but ultimately felt the Celtics were the best fit, best situation for him," his agent, T.J. Doyle, told CSNNE.com on Tuesday.

The Celtics were very close to selecting him in the second round of last June's NBA draft, but instead went with Purdue combo guard E'Twaun Moore.

Ainge didn't waste much time after the draft reaching out to Brown, to reassure him that the Celtics' interest in him was still very strong.

"He (Ainge) told me I could be the Wesley Matthews of this draft," Brown told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Of all the teams I worked out for, Danny was the most excited to have me in. He really feels like I can make their team and contribute the first year. He was really confident in my ability. He felt like I stood out in my workout."

In speaking with a league source whose team had Brown in for a workout, he said, "I don't know about the Wesley Matthews comparisons. I don't think he (Brown) shoots the ball that well, and I don't think he can score the way Wesley does. But the Celtics don't need that. He gives them a guy who has the potential to be a really good defender, the kind of defender they haven't had since Tony Allen, really."

At 6-foot-6, 200 pounds, Brown has the physical size and strength to defend all three perimeter positions.

But for all that he brings to the floor defensively, his ability to score in the NBA and whether his ceiling for improvement has been reached, were among the reasons every NBA team passed on selecting him in June.

Teams applaud bringing in four-year players like Brown, but the fact that he's 24 years old certainly worked against him in the eyes of team executives on draft night.

While his potential to grow may be a concern down the road, his experience should bode well for a Celtics team looking to add an athletic wing player who can come in and contribute immediately.

There's still the matter of him making the team, obviously.

But the chances of him not sticking with the C's and their roster that currently stands at six with guaranteed contracts, are slim.

"He's really excited about this opportunity," Doyle said. "He comes from a structured system at Pitt, so the adjustment to Doc Rivers' system won't be that big an adjustment. And the things that he does well, are the kind of things I know Doc Rivers truly appreciates. It should be a good fit, for both sides."

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Rough start for Al Horford

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Rough start for Al Horford

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of tonight’s game between the Boston Celtics and the Detroit Pistons in which the Celtics lead 54-50.

 

STARS

Isaiah Thomas

At the half he led all scorers with 16 points coming on 6-for-10 shooting from the field.

Reggie Jackson

The former Boston College star has been a main cog in the Pistons’ offense tonight, leading them with 15 points on 5-for-9 shooting with five assists.

 

STUDS

Marcus Morris

He was relatively quiet most of the first half, but came up with a last-second 3-pointer that sent the Pistons into the half with some momentum to cap off a 15-9 run to end the quarter.

Jaylen Brown

Boston is looking for a steady No. 2 scorer to compliment Isaiah Thomas, and Brown was that guy throughout most of the first half. He finished with nine points on 4-for-5 shooting to go with three rebounds.

Amir Johnson

The former Piston looked very much at home around the rim in the first half, scoring just four points but grabbing seven rebounds in addition to dishing out two assists.

Andre Drummond

He had six points and six rebounds in the first half, but didn’t really dominate the way you would expect from the best big man in the building. Boston didn’t give him too many looks at the basket, and when they did they fouled him. He went to the line for five free throws in the half, and missed all of them.

 

DUDS

Al Horford

Boston has made getting him the ball tonight a priority, and the four-time All-Star is simply not finishing off plays. Credit Detroit’s defense which has contested most of Horford’s shot attempts. That said, he has to deliver more offensively than the two points he scored while missing eight of his nine field goal attempts.

Pistons to honor Hamilton, who had impact on several Celtics

Pistons to honor Hamilton, who had impact on several Celtics

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons will retire the jersey number of former UConn star Rip Hamilton tonight, an instrumental figure in the Pistons’ success in the early 2000s that included an NBA title in 2004.
 
Although Hamilton never played for Boston, his impact can be felt within the Celtics locker room.
 
Boston’s Amir Johnson spent his first four NBA seasons as a teammate of Hamilton's in Detroit.
 
In that time, Johnson acknowledges how many of the positive things folks associate with him come from lessons he learned from Hamilton.
 
“He was so relentless when he ran,” Johnson told CSNNE.com. “I remember working out with him one summer. For him to even get his shot off, he sprints full court, goes back down shooting shots, and he just kept doing this over and over and over again, full court sprinting . . . To see that as a young kid, and at his age, just working hard like that, it was great to see.”
 
James Young grew up in nearby Rochester Hills, Mich., so he watched Hamilton’s scoring prowess up close and personal.
 
And as he continued to evolve as a player, Young would see Hamilton during the summer months while attending Hamilton’s basketball camps.
 
“I was there every year, won MVP a few times,” Young told CSNNE.com. “He’s a great guy, a great player.”
 
And, like Hamilton, Young has a lanky frame for an NBA player, which was among the many reasons Young acknowledged Hamilton as being one of his first significant basketball influences as a youth.
 
“For sure,” Young said. “His mid-range game was crazy, great shooter. He was always consistent.”
 
And that consistency has paid off in the highest honor an NBA franchise can bestow upon a player.
 
“That’s big time,” Johnson said. “He’s a champion, great father, great baller. To have his jersey retired is an honor. To see the success he had in the league, and to see his jersey retired with the greats, it's definitely an honor. I’m glad I’ll be there to see that. Kudos to him. He’s a hard worker. Had a great career. I had my high school jersey retired, but to get your NBA jersey retired, that’s great.”
 
Hamilton played 14 seasons in the NBA, nine of which were with the Pistons. A career 17.1 points per game score, he averaged 18.4 with Detroit and was named an Eastern Conference All-Star three times (2006-2008).
 
Although he is known as one of the greatest mid-range shooters of his era, Hamilton began to expand his range over time. During the 2005-06 season, Hamilton shot 45.8 percent from 3-point range (most of them being corner 3’s), which led the NBA that season.