Boston Celtics

Smith's call to play against Celtics

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Smith's call to play against Celtics

Apparently the decision as to whether Atlanta's Josh Smith (left knee) will play in Friday's Game 3 matchup against the Boston Celtics is one man's decision -- Josh Smith.
Hawks coach Larry Drew told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the decision on whether Smith will play is his alone.
Its strictly going to go on his call," Drew said. "I know Josh, hes a warrior. If he feels like he can play, he wants to be out there. If he cant go we dont want him out there limping around and injuring the knee.
When told that the decision to play was his to make, Smith smiled.
"Oh, they are going to put the pressure on me like that? It's OK. If it feels good, I'm going to go. I'm not one to harness injuries. I have a high threshold for pain. If I feel like I can go a little bit I'm going to step out on floor."
While this series is filled with a number of future Hall of Famers and all-stars, Smith has distinguished himself as arguably the best player in the series.
In the two games, he has averaged 19 points and 15 rebounds in addition to 4.5 assists and 1.5 blocked shots per game.
Even before the series began, a number of Boston players -- among them, Paul Pierce -- spoke glowingly about Smith's play.
"He is a lot of work," Pierce said. "He's an all-star in my mind. He's playing as good as anybody in the NBA at this point."
"Those guys are Hall of Fame players," Smith said in a recent interview with CSNNE.com. "To hear that come out of their mouths, it really gives me motivation and drive to become an all-star one day."
But first things first.
He has to get back on the floor in this series, something that may happen as early as Friday.
And with injuries that will keep Al Horford (pectoral surgery) and Zaza Pachulia (foot), the Hawks need as many abled-bodies in the frontcourt as possible.
Still, you won't find Smith rushing to get back on the floor if he's not healthy enough to play meaningful minutes.
"I don't want to put that much pressure on me," Smith told the AJC. "I understand how important this series is, but it's more than one game. I don't want to go out there too early and risk getting injured more."

Celtics Storylines: Four factors that will impact ball movement

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Celtics Storylines: Four factors that will impact ball movement

Since Brad Stevens arrived in Boston, sharing the ball has been a strength of the Celtics. But this is a different season and a different roster.

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Photo of Celtics' 1963 White House visit recalls a simpler time

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Photo of Celtics' 1963 White House visit recalls a simpler time

As the controversy raged Saturday over President Donald Trump's tweet rescinding the White House invitation to Golden State Warriors' star Stephen Curry, a tweeted photo recalling a simpler time for sports team's presidential visits appeared. 

The nostalgic Twitter account @the_60s_at_50 posted a photo from the Celtics' visit to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and its principal occupant, John F. Kennedy, on Jan. 31, 1963. JFK had invited his hometown NBA team into the Oval Office for what seemed to be a spur-of-the-moment visit.

A newspaper account of the visit was also posted. The defending NBA champion Celtics were in the Washington area to play the Cincinnati Royals at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House that night and had been taking a tour of the White House when Kennedy invited them in. 

All the team members were there except for star center Bill Russell, who, of course, experienced incidents of racism in Boston that were well-documented. However, Russell's absence was blamed on him oversleeping. His teammates said they didn't know they would meet Kennedy on the tour.  

And yes, that's Celtics legend - and CSN's own - Tommy Heinsohn second from right. Coach Red Auerbach is next to the President on the left, Bob Cousy is next to Auerbach and John Havlicek is the first player in the second row on the left.