Boston Celtics

Moore demonstrates growth in return to Boston

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Moore demonstrates growth in return to Boston

BOSTON -- E'Twaun Moore was surprised when he heard the news. He had been expecting to be told the Boston Celtics were picking up his contract. Instead, they informed him he had been traded to the Houston Rockets.

"I was just surprised," Moore said in his first return to the TD Garden on Friday. "Of course I didn't know it was about to happen. At the moment I was just shocked."

Moore had posted 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists in his final Las Vegas Summer League game and thought he had shown enough to earn a spot on the Celtics roster this season. Even though he played limited minutes his rookie year, he demonstrated his potential when given the opportunity on the court.

The Celtics were eyeing another guard, though. They packaged Moore, JaJuan Johnson, Sasha Pavlovic, and Sean Williams in a multi-team deal that sent Courtney Lee to Boston in late July. The Rockets then waived Moore shortly after, leaving the former 55th overall pick looking for a job.

Unsure of where he would end up, Moore believed he would land on an NBA team. In September, the Orlando Magic signed him as a free agent and gave him the chance to put what he had learned out on the floor.

Moore is averaging 8.8 points, 2.5 assists, and 2.2 rebounds per game this season, including 14 points and four rebounds in the Magic's 97-84 loss to the Celtics.

"I knock down shots, play the backup point, try to help facilitate the team when I'm in," he said. "My knowledge of the game is a lot better this year. I have more of an idea of what's going on and plays teams are trying to run. From a mental standpoint, I have a better feel for what's going on."

Moore spent most of his rookie season watching the Celtics veterans from the sidelines. Now that he has the opportunity to play increased minutes, he is utilizing all the wisdom and mental notes he gained during his year in Boston.

"I'm just trying to put it all together on the court," he said.

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.