Celtics name new assistant coach

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Celtics name new assistant coach

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
PHILADELPHIA The Boston Celtics, having lost their lead assistant for the second year in a row, have filled the void from within.

Mike Longabardi, who has been with the Celtics since the 2007-2008 season, has been promoted to bench assistant coach.

The previous two lead assistants, Lawrence Frank and Tom Thibodeau (who are now coaching Detroit and Chicago, respectively), were both known for their defensive coaching prowess. Longabardi's strength is also on the defensive end of the floor, but it's unclear if he'll be the C's lead assistant.

"I'm looking forward to adding Mike to our bench," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "He has been in the fold the last four years and he's more than ready for the next step."

Prior to coming to Boston, Longabardi was with the Houston Rockets for four years. He worked as an assistant coachvideo coordinator for two years, the video coordinator for one season and an assistant video coordinator for a year.

His NBA experience came after spending a number of years as a college basketball assistant at Pfeiffer University, Adelphi University, Lafayette College and Towson University.

The Brooklyn, NY native graduated from Frostburg State University with a degree in health and physical education.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics are about to hit one of the toughest stretches of the season and they’ll have to do it for at least one more game without their leading scorer, Isaiah Thomas. 
 
Thomas, who suffered a right groin injury on Monday against the Houston Rockets, did not play on Wednesday against Orlando and said that he will not play in Friday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors. 
 
“It’s day to day. I want to play. I want to be out there but it’s the smart decision to hold out and wait until it’s 100 percent,” Thomas said during a Season of Giving event for children of the Military Friends Foundation held at the Celtics’ practice facility. “If it was a playoff game I would be out there for sure.”
 
However, after consulting with a number of medical personnel, Thomas decided the best thing for him and the Celtics was to sit out Friday’s game which, along with Wednesday in Orlando, will be the first two he has missed since the 2014-2015 season. 
 
Thomas said there’s no specific timetable for his return, but he said he is planning to travel with the team to Oklahoma City for their matchup against the Thunder on Sunday. 
 
“It’s eating me a live to sit, but I have to do what’s best for my body, I have to do what’s best for this team,” Thomas said. “I need to be 100 percent healthy to give this team what I can give them.”
 
The Celtics are hoping for similar success they had Wednesday in Orlando (a 117-87 victory) on Friday against Toronto.
 
“They played a hell of a game last night,” Thomas said. “They’ll be ready tomorrow.”
 
The fact that Thomas intends to travel with the team is a good sign that the groin injury isn’t too serious. 
 
If he doesn’t play at Oklahoma City, that likely means he’ll return to action on Wednesday at San Antonio. 
 
“I’m going to do what I can to get back out there on the court,” Thomas said. “I gotta be smart about this. I don’t want this to linger on this season.”
 
Replacing Smart in the lineup against Toronto will most likely be Marcus Smart. 
 
Smart, who has been a replacement starter at small forward and point guard this season, had 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals against the Magic.