Boston Celtics

Moore hopes to have bigger role with Celts next season

653966.jpg

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.

NBA adds 'Harden Rule' and 'Zaza Rule' for players' safety

houston-rockets-james-harden-rule-change-92217.jpg

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.