OFFSEASON

Celtics react to losing Shaq

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Celtics react to losing Shaq

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - Kevin Garnett let out a sigh as he recalled watching Shaquille ONeal hobble off the court.

It wasnt what he wanted to witness, not after ONeal had worked so hard to come back after injuring his right Achilles in February.

That wasnt good to see, Garnett said following the Celtics 101-90 win over the Detroit Pistons. Hes been working his behind off to get back to this point (sighs). He had some momentum going, he definitely gave us a spark. It was good to see him out there.

If you know Shaq, you know hes always in lively spirits and to see him to go like that, it was tough.

ONeal played only 5 minutes and 29 seconds before exiting his first game back since February 1 in the second quarter. He scored six points during that span, a reminder of just how much of an impact he can make down low.

It was almost like a tease having him available for such a short stretch.

It was great. We had size, said Doc Rivers. You know, its amazing what size does.

The Celtics were encouraged, though, when ONeal was diagnosed with a right calf strain. There is no timetable for his return yet, but Rivers projects, I dont think very long, honestly.

Nonetheless, his teammates felt for their big man and hope a speedy recovery.

Its minor, said Garnett. Hes a huge dude. Hopefully he can bounce back from this, but leg injuries are not easy and were just hoping for the best at this point.

Paul Pierce felt for the 39-year-old, given his age and long list of injuries this season.

When you get to that age, those ones tend to hurt a little bit longer, Pierce said. Its tough. Hes been out so long. He tried to do it today without any chance to have any practices. I just hope hes all right. I dont really the know the extent of whats going on, but hes been out so long, resting, trying to get his injuries together, and its very disappointing. He comes out, especially after being out so long, to come down with another injury.

Jermaine ONeal, who recently came back from his own injury, was optimistic for his fellow center. He hopes that Shaqs upbeat attitude was an indication of a quick return.

He seemed to be in good spirits when he left, he said. I think he may be back on there on Tuesday when the Celtics host the Sixers, well see. But he was laughing and joking. It was more of a scare, I think, for the guys on the team and the fans of the Celtics. But I think the lack of practice time hurt him - because he hasnt had the ability to practice, he was kind of on the fly so he wasnt able to test a lot of things - so today he kind of tweaked it. Hopefully for us, we can get him back sooner because he got off to a great start.

As for Glen Davis, he is certain hell be seeing ONeal back on the court sooner rather than later.

Hell be okay. Shaqs always going to be all right. Shaq dont get hurt, Davis said. Shaqs invincible. Thats what I believe in. Hell be back. Hes all steel - man of steel. Thats what Ive believing since I was a little kid.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba

OFFSEASON

Report: Celtics to bring back Gerald Green with one-year deal

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Report: Celtics to bring back Gerald Green with one-year deal

The Celtics will sign free agent Gerald Green, the guard they drafted with the 18th overall pick back in 2005, Sean Deveney of the Sporting News reported.

Green, 30, played for the Miami Heat last season and averaged 8.9 points a game. Deveney reports Green will sign a one-year guaranteed contract. 

Green has been well-traveled since being traded by the Celtics in the Kevin Garnett deal in 2007, the year he won the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk contest. He has played for seven other NBA teams and played two seasons in Russia. His best season was 2013-14 in Phoenix when he averaged 15.8 points a game for the Suns. 

Deveney also reports that sources around the league continue to indicate the Celtics are looking to make a trade for a "star-caliber type" player. Last week, he reported on their interest in the Clippers' Blake Griffin. 

 

OFFSEASON

Celtics are anything but "a middle of the road team"

Celtics are anything but "a middle of the road team"

Charles Barkley said Friday that the Boston Celtics are a "middle of the road team in no man's land." Kevin O'Connor joined Greg Dickerson on Sports Tonight and explained just how foolish of a statement that is.

Make sure you watch the video above, but here are some of the key stats O'Connor mentions regarding the state of the Celtics.

Competitive teams rarely select at the top of the draft, but the Celtics have already done it before and could again in 2017 and 2018. Over the last 40 years, only 10 teams have won at least 45 games and used a top five pick in the draft. Here’s the list:

PLAYER TEAM WINS YEAR PICK
Greg Ballard Washington 48 1977 4
Mychal Thompson Portland 58 1978 1
Magic Johnson LA Lakers 47 1979 1
Kevin McHale Boston 61 1980 3
James Worthy LA Lakers 57 1982 1
Charles Barkley Philadelphia 52 1984 5
Sam Bowie Portland 48 1984 2
Len Bias Boston 67 1986 2
Darko Milicic Detroit 50 2003 2
Jaylen Brown Boston 48 2016 3

Two of those teams won a single championship (Washington and Detroit). Two became dynasties (Boston and the Lakers). Four of the players are Hall of Famers (Johnson, McHale, Worthy, Barkley). You’ll also find Jaylen Brown, who could be a cornerstone even if we don’t know it yet.

If they play their cards right and the Nets struggle as much as everyone expects them to, they’ll be right back in the conversation for another star next season. Due to their tremendous flexibility, that could happen through the draft, the trade market, or free agency.

For more on this topic, click here.

OFFSEASON

Carroll: Crowder doesn't understand what it takes to win in playoffs

Carroll: Crowder doesn't understand what it takes to win in playoffs

Celtics forward Jae Crowder recently said, “Toronto is not a team we’re worried about,” and Raptors forward DeMarre Carroll thinks that's a silly comment to make.

“It’s a comment from a person who hasn’t really been in the playoffs that much. That’s how I reacted to that type of comment. When you haven’t been on that level and you don’t understand what it takes to get to that level. Myself going to back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals, I understand what it takes,” Carroll said on SportsNet.ca. “It’s a comment from a guy who hasn’t been on that level, who hasn’t played on that level. It sounds like a young comment.”

The Raptors won 56 games last season and went all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals before falling in six games to the Cavaliers, so Carroll is right that he’s speaking from experience.

But you can understand the confidence Crowder has. After winning 48 games last season, the Celtics just landed Al Horford, and they have repeatedly said they’re not done making moves. So perhaps their roster will look even better on Opening Night than it does right now.

Carroll doesn’t care about that though.

“We’ll let Jae Crowder do all the talking,” Carroll said. “We’ll just fly under the radar and do what we’re supposed to do.”

The Celtics went 1-3 versus the Raptors last season. They better hope they perform better next season, or Carroll might be the one talking.