Celtics dont stand up to Rockets backcourt


Celtics dont stand up to Rockets backcourt

By Jessica Camerato

BOSTON -- Aaron Brooks looked up at the numbers hanging in the rafters.

Then he stared across the court at the names on his opponents jerseys.

He soaked it all in . . . and attacked.

Brooks scored 24 points on Monday night against the Boston Celtics, bringing his total at the TD Garden to 54 over the past two seasons. The offensive spark is no coincidence.

Theyve got all those numbers up in the rafters, he said. Sooner or later, theyre going to add 9, 34, 5, and 20. So I want to be able to say, Hey, those guys up there, I beat them at least once or twice.

The Rockets beat the Celtics, 108-102, extending their streak in Boston to three straight wins.

They were led by Brooks and Kyle Lowry (17 points), who teamed up to pester the Celtics with a backcourt duo that both got in the paint and found the open man on the wing.

By the end of the night, the undersized guards had made a major impact.

They always looked to attack, said Nate Robinson. As small guards, youve got to play with chips like that. Youve always got to use your ability to your advantage, and they did that.

Rather than trying to beat the Celtics with individual efforts, Brooks and Lowry played off each other and formed a two-headed monster of sorts.

Weve got two guys in their creating and shooting the ball, said Brooks. As long as Kyle can guard the two-man, that makes us really dangerous because Kyle can rebound the ball down there . . . We just wanted to get in the middle and kick it out to our shooters. I think we both did a good job of finishing in the paint so they have to respect that.

Brooks knocked down five three-pointers while Lowry shot a perfect eight-for-eight from the free-throw line. When they werent scoring, the pair was getting their teammates open looks. Lowry dished eight assists and Brooks added five.

This ball movement helped the Rockets shoot 50 percent (10-for-20) from 3-point range and score 30 points from behind the arc, including three treys by Chase Budinger. The Celtics entered the game holding their opponents to 34.4 from three-point range.

The Celtics are one of the best defensive teams out there, so youve got to pick your spots and when you get an open look, you have to take it, said Budinger, who scored 24 points (6-for-8 3PG) against the Celtics last season. You cant second-guess yourself. You cant try to create for another person because they only will give you that one opportunity when youre open. I think we did a good job of that tonight at finding our spots and everybody took spots when theyre open.

Ray Allen agreed. The Celtics defense struggled to challenge the Rockets looks at the basket.

They just moved the ball, Allen said. They moved the ball and they got to their spots. I dont think at any time we made them kind of veer off of the path that they were set. Offenses are designed to you cut here, go here, you have your shot, screen, whatever. The whole time we kind of let them go to their spots.

There are a handful of backcourt match ups dubbed as the ones to watch every season, headlined by stars like Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose. Brooks and Lowry arent exactly at the top of the list, but after teaming up to tackle the Celtics, they showed they should have been watched more closely.

Weve got a good backcourt, Lowry told CSNNE.com. Weve got an awesome backcourt, to me. I think we have one of the top backcourts in the NBA.

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Gerald Green's injury may give others a shot a Celtics camp


Gerald Green's injury may give others a shot a Celtics camp

WALTHAM, Mass. – Gerald Green’s hip flexor injury isn’t anything he or the Celtics are overly concerned about.

They know Green as well as any player on this roster, so him missing a couple days will have no effect on his status in their eyes.

But in shutting him down for a couple days, his absence affords a number of players an opportunity to stand up in what is an absolutely pivotal, potentially career-altering season.

James Young is in his third training camp with the Celtics and no one has a real feel for where he fits into the pantheon of NBA players.

He hasn’t played enough to call him a bust, but hasn’t done enough to feel as though he has a bright future in this league either.

And then there’s R.J. Hunter, who came into the NBA with the reputation of being a spot-on shooter.

As a rookie last season, the 6-foot-6 shooting guard struggled knocking down shots when he got playing which for most of the season, was limited.

So, what does that have to do with Green’s injury?

His absence means those two players will get more reps on the floor, providing each with potentially more chances to impress the coaching staff.

It means Young will get a few more shots at showing the added strength, weight and improved skills will enhance his chances to not just make the 15-man roster but also compete for potential minutes.

As for Hunter, he has to make shots.

It’s that simple.

While he showed potential as a rookie to do a number of things on the floor, the easiest way for him to solidify a spot on the roster is to do what he does best which is make baskets.

At the end of the day, one of these guys will not be in a Celtics uniform this season. Between now and then, every opportunity they get to impress the coaches has to be taken advantage of which is exactly what they each will get courtesy of Green’s short-term injury.



Rozier ready to compete for serious minutes in Celtics rotation


Rozier ready to compete for serious minutes in Celtics rotation

WALTHAM, Mass. – Summer league was in full bloom and Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier was killin’ it.
Dropping dimes.
Swooping in for rebounds.
Young fella was having the kind of summer that breeds confidence for him as well as the franchise that shocked many in selecting him as high as they did in 2015.  
But as well as he played, he knew getting on the floor wasn’t going to be easy because he would have to cut into the minutes of already-established players.
And then he got the news that Evan Turner was leaving for Portland after agreeing to a four-year, $70 million contract.
Turner’s departure meant Rozier’s chances of playing regular minutes had indeed arrived.

“Nobody wants to lose a guy like ET; great looker room guy, great down the stretch,” Rozier told CSNNE.com. “But that gave me even more of an opportunity to play and step up. It gave me a better feeling about this year, knowing I could get minutes.”

On Monday during media day, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was asked about the void on the Celtic’s roster with Turner now playing for the Blazers.
“I miss Evan Turner already; loved having him around,” Ainge said. He’s not going to be easy to replace and neither will Jared Sullinger (he signed a one-year deal with Toronto). But we do have some exciting young players. Jaylen (Brown) and Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier … very exciting players. I don’t know who will get all of Evan’s minutes, but they will be shared and we can fill that void.”

But Turner’s 28.0 minutes per game will likely serve as a portion of the minutes Rozier will carve out for his own this season.
“I know he’s going to try and take some of my minutes,” said Celtics all-star guard Isaiah Thomas earlier this summer. “But that’s what it’s about; competing.”
Rozier’s competitive nature has stood out during his short time in Boston, with the 22-year-old finding a way to balance that with not being too pushy or too hungry to play.
“He’s an All-Star,” Rozier said of Thomas. “I look at it like this. To go up against someone like (Thomas) every day is a blessing.”
But Rozier soon adds, “I’m trying to get better, but I want to play too. Getting his minutes, anybody’s minutes, I’m going for it. But I know he’s not going to lighten up and make it easy for me. I know that. I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
And as he gradually establishes a role for himself on this team, maybe then people will warm up to a player that so many had doubts about when the Celtics selected him with the 16th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft.
“I’ve been doubted all my life,” Rozier said. “It ain’t hurt me. I always tell myself, ‘they’re gonna fall in love with me because I play hard and they’re gonna fall in love with my intensity level. People didn’t know who I was; that’s fine. They’ll find out about me soon enough.”