OFFSEASON

Krstic still learning the ropes with the Celtics

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Krstic still learning the ropes with the Celtics

By Rich Levine
CSNNE.com

SALT LAKE CITY At some point, well have to stop falling back on the fact that he doesnt yet know the plays or doesnt have chemistry with his teammates or is still getting adjusted to his new situation. But seeing that Nenad Krstic is only two games, and zero practices into his Celtics career, that's in the future.

For now, all Krstic, his coach and teammates can hope for is continued improvement and overall progress until hes completely inundated into the Celtics system. And Monday night in Utah, Krstic did exactly that playing 30 minutes, scoring 11 points and grabbing 5 rebounds in Bostons five-point victory over the Jazz.

Yeah, I felt a little bit more comfortable tonight, Kristc said afterward, but Im still learning everything. It was better then the game before. Every game, me and Jeff Green, acquired with Krstic from Oklahoma City last week are going to get more comfortable offensively and of course defensively. So Im just looking forward to the next games, and practice. We havent really had a lot of practice the last few days, and Tuesday we dont have practice so you know, we need to get to the games.

The best part of his game on Monday was undoubtedly the first quarter, where he scored 10 of his 11 points as the Celtics jumped out to an early nine-point lead. But Krstic said the outburst wasnt as much about him getting more comfortable in Bostons offense as it was the fact that his Celtics teammates are so unbelievably unselfish.

I was just in the right place, he said. These guys pass the ball every time so its just being there and just run the floor. I understand that when you play with unselfish guys youre going to get the ball.

And for now, thats the only way hes really going to score. Just being around, and being ready. Especially when Rajon Rondo has the ball. Im not used to all his passes yet, Krstic said, but I will be.

For now, its all future tense for the Celtics new acquisitions.

Its too early, Doc Rivers said about Krstic and Green. Theyre just playing basketball right now. They dont know half the stuff. Their heads are spinning. So Im not even looking for growth. Im just looking for minutes.

And in the meantime he has the support of his teammates, including the locker rooms toughest judge.

Kris is very versatile, said Kevin Garnett. I didnt know he was that good of an offensive rebounder, the way hes active. I just have to learn some more small things about him. What he likes to do. But so far so good.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrlevine33

OFFSEASON

Celtics second in Larry Sanders’ Twitter poll for his next team

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Celtics second in Larry Sanders’ Twitter poll for his next team

Veteran forward Larry Sanders, who hasn’t played since December of 2014, has taken to Twitter to get feedback on “Which team do you believe will utilize my skills the best?”

So far, it’s his last team, the Milwaukee Bucks leading, with the Celtics edging the Cavaliers for second place.  

Sanders, 27, has been away from basketball after two drug-related suspensions and issues with anxiety and depression led him to accept a buyout from the Bucks.  The 6-11 Sanders was a solid rim protector. He averaged 1.8 blocks a game in his career. Could the Celtics, with an already crowded roster, take a flyer on him as a low-cost option? 
 

OFFSEASON

Michael Jordan: ‘I can no longer stay silent’ on racial issues

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Michael Jordan: ‘I can no longer stay silent’ on racial issues

By Dan Feldman, NBCSports.com Pro Basketball Talk

Michael Jordan might have never said “Republicans buy sneakers, too.”

But that quote has defined him politically.

Whether the perception has been fair or not, he’s clearly trying to change it.

Jordan in ESPN's The Undefeated:

As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.

I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers – who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all – are respected and supported.

Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognize that for many people of color their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine. I have decided to speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change.

To support that effort, I am making contributions of $1 million each to two organizations, the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

You can read Jordan’s full statement here.