Arroyo can't arrive fast enough for Celtics


Arroyo can't arrive fast enough for Celtics

By A.Sherrod Blakely

MILWAUKEE Carlos Arroyo will be with the Boston Celtics when they play the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

And his arrival can't come soon enough.

The Celtics survived an 89-83 win at Milwaukee on Sunday night, but it was clear that Boston's playmaker extraordinaire, Rajon Rondo, needs some rest.

For long stretches, he didn't move with the kind of swiftness we're used to seeing.

That allowed Bucks guard Brandon Jennings, who is lightning-quick to begin with, to put together a strong performance for most of the night.

Jennings and Boston's Paul Pierce shared game-high scoring honors, with 23 points.

Meanwhile, Rondo played 38-plus minutes and finished with six points and eight assists. But what was really distressing was the season-high eight turnovers he committed.

It was the kind of game in which Arroyo, had he been available, might have been able to cut into Rondo's minutes . . . which in turn, might have cut down on Rondo's turnovers.

Arroyo, who was waived by the Miami Heat last week, isn't coming in as some type of savior or anything like that.

"We just needed another guard," said coach Doc Rivers, who added "we just needed the help, the security blanket."

Delonte West was supposed to be that guy for the Celtics, but his propensity for getting injured is not encouraging. A 10-game suspension to start the season, coupled with injuries, has limited West to just eight games this season.

With that kind of track record, the Celtics felt they had little choice but to add another point guard to the roster.

Rivers said he hopes Arroyo can come in and pick up the Celtics' system pretty quickly.

The C's have tried to allow Avery Bradley to run the offense. While he has shown flashes of being a good NBA player, his youth and inexperience makes the Celtics extremely vulnerable.

And when you throw all the new faces into the mix, it's understandable how Bradley has struggled in limited action as the team's point guard.

"It's almost unfair to Avery," Rivers said. "He's learning how to run a team. He didn't know what to call, and there's nobody to help him because they don't know."

Even though he is the newest "new" guy, that shouldn't be as big an issue for Arroyo.

"He's a veteran point guard," Rivers said. "We're hoping when he comes in and kind of learns our stuff, he can get us in our stuff and organize the team when he's on the floor with a bunch of new guys. Because he's a veteran, he'll have the ability to do that."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Following Thursday’s 105-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls, the Boston Celtics will be on the prowl to rebound – literally – from its first defeat of the season.

Because for all that did not go right in Thursday night’s loss, the way Boston was beaten on the boards stands out emphatically.

“They got 24 more shots than us. We only turned it over (12) times,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters after the loss. “So that’s the obvious place they’re getting their possessions, on the glass. That’s going to be the number one thing, that has been the number one thing. It’s something we’ve talked about. We have to get better at it.”


Boston was out-rebounded 55-36 on the boards which heavily factored into Chicago’s 18-5 advantage in second-chance points.

In the Celtics' 122-117 win over Brooklyn on Wednesday, Boston won the overall rebounding battle 47-44, but had just 12 offensive rebounds compared to Brooklyn's 15 offensive boards. Despite the close margin, the Nets won the battle on the offensive glass running away, outscoring the Celtics 23-13 in second-chance points.

Stevens decided to start Tyler Zeller ahead of Amir Johnson to begin the third quarter, hoping Zeller would be a better matchup on the glass than Johnson who did not grab a single rebound in the 11 minutes of court time he got in the first half.

While Zeller did do a few good things on the glass and scoring in half-court sets, it wasn’t enough to swing the momentum Chicago was steadily gaining due to its ability to control the boards.

“I wasn’t real surprised but at the same time I knew it could happen,” Zeller told reporters, referring to Stevens’ decision to have him start the second half. “They did a good job of coming out and setting the tone. They beat us up on the boards, especially the first half. It’s something we have to get better at and continue to grow at.”

And it’s not a one-player or one-position issue, either.

Usually we think of bigs when it comes to rebounding. But Boston’s guards need to step up their rebounding game as well.

The struggles thus far have to be put in the context of this being just two games, the latter being the season opener for the Bulls who were jacked up more than usual due to it being the first game for Chicago native Dwyane Wade and ex-Celtic Rajon Rondo.

“We have to focus on boxing out,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown. “Guards have to do a better job. Guys like me, Al (Horford), Amir (Johnson), Tyler (Zeller) ... We have to do a good job of coming in the weak side and grabbing those; just focus on it, pay more attention to detail.”