Moore hopes to have bigger role with Celts next season

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Moore hopes to have bigger role with Celts next season

BOSTON Having joined such a veteran team, there were plenty of role models for E'Twaun Moore to look up to in his rookie season with the Boston Celtics.

But among them, second-year guard Avery Bradley is the one he wants to emulate.

Bradley did what no other young player could do in recent years -- unseat a member of the Big Three (Ray Allen) in the starting lineup.

Moore doesn't anticipate his stock to rise to the level of being a starter next season, but he does believe that he can have a bigger -- a much bigger -- role than the one he had as a rookie.

And if he's looking for a blueprint on how to do it, he has to look no further than Bradley.

"It's definitely a good thing to know that if you work hard, and make the most of your chances to play, good things will happen," Moore told CSNNE.com. "I feel pretty good about my chances next year."

Moore added, "I've learned a lot from all these guys, Avery included. But we're all players here. We all want to win. We all want to play, too."

He'll get that opportunity next month when the Celtics field teams in both NBA-sponsored summer leagues in Las Vegas and Orlando.

They will serve as opportunities for Moore to not just play, but prove he's worth keeping around in Boston.

As a late second-round pick in last year's NBA draft, Moore signed a two-year deal with only the first year being guaranteed. The second year won't become guaranteed until after summer league.

More than aware of his uncertain status, Moore refuses to put any added pressure on himself.

That's not all that surprising when you consider how he has come across to his teammates and coaches.

"Very confident," C's coach Doc Rivers used in describing Moore. "But not cocky. He feels he's good enough to be here, he belongs and he's not shy about letting you know. That's a good thing."

Added Paul Pierce: "He's one of the best shooters on the team. He's going to be a really solid player in this league, in time."

Like most young NBA players, Moore needs to improve in all facets of his game. But his lack of playing time was dealt a blow before he showed up for his first practice.

With the league starting later because of the lockout, players such as Moore did not have a summer league to play in. And once the season started, developing young players in many ways was put on the back-burner because there were so many other logistical challenges and hurdles all teams had to work around.

"It was a really tough year for our young guys, all young guys in the league, actually," Rivers said. "And when you don't really practice that much, it makes it even tougher to really see their improvement."

But during the early stages of this shortened season, Moore showed flashes of being someone who could contribute immediately.

Despite a shortened preseason with no summer league, Moore had moments early in the season in which he showed considerable promise.

His career-high of 16 points against Orlando on Jan. 26 could not have come at a better time.

Boston trailed by as many as 27 points in the first half of that game before a 91-83 comeback win.

Moore's 16 points included a go-ahead 3-pointer (79-76) in the fourth quarter, the kind of big shot that Moore has no hesitation about taking.

"We have a lot of guys on our team who are confident about themselves and what they can do," Moore said. "Like I said earlier, I feel good about my game and what I can do on the floor when I get an opportunity. It's just a matter of me continuing to work hard, and just be ready when my number is called."

Just like his role model, Avery Bradley.

LeBron James hasn't always been dominant the game after a bad performance

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LeBron James hasn't always been dominant the game after a bad performance

Conventional wisdom has been spreading almost from the moment Avery Bradley's shot (finally) dropped through the cylinder in the closing seconds Sunday night, and it goes something like this:

LeBron James was so bad in Game 3 that, determined to exact revenge, he's going to come out like a force of nature and obliterate the Celtics in Game 4.

Makes sense. But, you know, LeBron has had other playoff games in which he's scored fewer than 12 points. He's always been good the next time out -- certainly better than >12 points -- but nothing sweeping or historic:

And amazingly enough, his teams lost two of those three games.

So if you were thinking the Celtics' Game 3 triumph virtually guaranteed a Cavalier victory and a dominant LeBron James performance in Game 4 . . . well, maybe not.

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.”