Johnson, Moore run the floor like old times

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Johnson, Moore run the floor like old times

BOSTON -- For over 20 minutes, Celtics rookies JaJuan Johnson and ETwaun Moore ran the court in a scene reminiscent of their previous four years at Purdue University.

The former college teammates have both received limited playing time this season on a veteran team. But with a shorthanded lineup on Tuesday against the Miami Heat, the two played meaningful minutes together.

Johnson recorded six points, three rebounds, two blocks, and a steal in 23 minutes. Moore posted seven points, seven boards, and one assist in over 24.

Following the Celtics 78-66 win, Johnson and Moore talked to CSNNE.com about playing together once again:
Back in Action Together

Johnson: It felt good. Its always fun to just play with somebody youre really, really comfortable with. Especially getting a win, thats the most important thing. It was just fun that we were able to contribute and have a good time.

Moore: It was definitely fun. I know his game, I know what he likes to do. Its always great when we play together. It was just fun.

College vs. the NBA

Johnson: The biggest difference, I guess, in college we were like the guys who you know were getting the ball. So you kind of play off of that a lot. Obviously at this level weve got to pay our dues and keep trying to improve. Thats the difference. Youve still got to play within the team offense.

Moore: Its not a whole lot different. Were doing kind of similar things -- pick-and-roll, pop, hand off, things like that. Its kind of similar.

Assessing One Another Then and Now

Johnson: I think ETwaun has slowed down a lot. His ball handling has got a lot better. Hes been running the sets, he gets people more organized, and everything like that. Its been good just to see that from him.

Moore: I see JaJuan has definitely got a little stronger, more physical. That was definitely a step up. Hes always learning more. That (Johnson was called for an offensive foul) was what he needed, a little physical.

Amir Johnson a game-time decision for Game 4 with shoulder injury

Amir Johnson a game-time decision for Game 4 with shoulder injury


CLEVELAND – Brad Stevens won’t know until shortly before tip-off tonight if he will have to make another lineup change.
 
Amir Johnson, whose right shoulder was injured in the Celtics' 111-108 Game 3 win on Sunday, is questionable for tonight’s Game 4.
 
“It’s better for sure,” Johnson told CSN this morning. “Yesterday, it was hard to lift. Today, I can move it all around. In shoot-around, I’m going to get a couple shots, see how it feels and go from there.
 
He added, “it’s definitely going to be a game-time decision. I’m going to go and shoot around, just to get a feel. And then for the game-time, I’ll shoot around some more, see how it feels and take it from there.”
 
Healthy or not, Johnson being with the starting group is far from a given.
 
The 6-foot-9 veteran has consistently been the first starter subbed out and usually winds up playing the fewest minutes.
 
In Game 3, two of his backups – Kelly Olynyk (15 points) and Jonas Jerebko (10 points) – shined brightly.
 
Here are some other highlights from the Celtics’ morning shoot-around.
 
THOMAS UPDATE: Isaiah Thomas met with a hip specialist on Monday, according to Stevens. “Still collecting information,” said Stevens, adding, “We’ll wait and see or we’ll discuss second, and third, and fourth, and fifth opinions.”

Thomas injured his right hip March 15 and later re-aggravated it in the first half of the Game 2 loss Friday. Less than 24 hours later, he was deemed out for the remainder of the playoffs.
 
He was replaced by Marcus Smart in the starting lineup and Smart responded with a career-high 27 points in Game 3, which included seven made 3’s which is a career-best mark as well.
 
BOUNCE-BACK CELTICS: The Celtics winning Game 3 sent shockwaves throughout the league, especially coming on the heels of a 44-point home court drubbing at the hands of the Cavs. “If you’re in sports long enough you’re going to have clunkers,” Stevens said. “You’re going to have games that don’t go your way. And our guys took seriously the idea of responding and just playing the next possession as well as they could.”
 
ROZIER HOMECOMING: The second-year guard grew up in nearby Youngstown, Ohio (75 miles southeast of Cleveland), so you can expect he’ll have a decent contingent of fans at tonight's game.
 
While he’s all-in for the Celtics, the same is not true of his friends and some family members.
 
“My family does a good job of staying on my side except for my one younger cousin,” Rozier said. “She loves LeBron.”