Celtics newcomers get first taste of the Garden


Celtics newcomers get first taste of the Garden

By JessicaCamerato

BOSTON - Theres a common thing among the new members of the Boston Celtics.

As they suit up to play their first game in green at TD Garden, they are still soaking up everything that has happened to them in the past week.

Take Troy Murphy as an example. He arrived in Boston yesterday and, as a he prepares to make his Celtics debut, is still processing the new stage in his career.

Im not sure, he laughed when asked how he feels to play his first game in Boston. Its kind of a whirlwind the last couple of days.

Murphy, Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic, and Chris Johnson are getting used to their new surroundings. And as they settle in to the Celtics locker room, they are all anxiously awaiting their first game under the rafters on Wednesday night against the Phoenix Suns.

I know the crowd is going to be amazing, said Green. Ive played here early in my career and it was great. So Im looking forward to being part of it on the good side this time.

The good side.

The newcomers have quickly embraced their new home, with Green and Krstic making references to being in the visitors locker room as if it were years - not days - ago that they were on the opposing team.

Its great. Ive played here before, obviously against Boston, but never in a Boston uniform, said Krstic. Its really a great feeling, but I can just imagine how its going to be when the game starts with the crowd and the arena.

The game aside, simply being in the Celtics locker room has been a special experience for the players.

Just walking into the practice facility and the locker room, all the history thats here is pretty cool, Murphy told CSNNE.com.

Murphy, Green and Krstic have already experienced an NBA franchise before. It was a little different for Johnson, though. The former D-League Dakota Wizard was lying down after practice in Bismarck, North Dakota when he got the call. Days later, he is sitting in a locker next to Ray Allen.

Theres a lot of legends that played here, a lot of tradition here., Johnson said. Also being with guys who you have posters of on your wall growing up, Im very excited right now.

As the newcomers anxiously await their Garden debuts, they share a common sentiment of excitement.

It feels good, said Green. Im ready to be part of this franchise.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA

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.”