Rivers keeping eye on son at Duke


Rivers keeping eye on son at Duke

DORCHESTER Freshman guard Austin Rivers came to Duke as one of the nation's top players, the kind of lofty status that always generates a bunch of one (year)-and-done talk.

But with the NBA lockout already wiping out hundreds of games already - and more likely to come in the coming weeks - you have to wonder if he or any other highly-touted player is all that eager to make that jump.

Austin's father, Celtics coach Doc Rivers, said his son hasn't really paid too much attention to the many issues that have factored into the stalemate between the owners and the union.

"He's just trying to be a better player. He's had good games and bad games already as a freshman," the elder Rivers said. "He's just trying to not be a freshman."

In three games for the Blue Devils (3-0), Rivers has averaged 12 points per game while shooting 37.5 percent from the field.

Rivers said he wouldn't be surprised if there are some highly regarded college players following what's going on with the NBA, rather closely.

"I can tell you he's not," Doc Rivers said. "He's more concerned about winning."

Austin Rivers opened his college career with a couple of solid scoring nights against relatively weak opponents in Belmont and Presbyterian.

But in Duke's 74-69 win over Michigan State at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, he was limited to just five points while missing six of his seven shots from the field.

"He played the other night in the Garden and got in foul trouble (he finished with four personal fouls for the game) and didn't play great," Rivers said. "But he got to be part of one of the biggest wins in college basketball history.

With the win over Michigan State, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski picked up career victory No. 903, which makes him the winningest coach in men's Division I basketball history.

"That's pretty cool," the elder Rivers said of the milestone. "I think he's (Austin Rivers) more into that right now."

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics will be a bit shorthanded for the first few games of the season with Marcus Smart being out with a left ankle sprain injury.
The Celtics were holding out slim hope that it would heal in time for tomorrow’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.
Smart confirmed a CSNNE.com report shortly after the injury on October 19 that it would likely be at least a couple weeks before he returned to action.
Following Tuesday’s practice, one in which Smart watched from the sidelines, he gave an update on his ankle injury which occurred in the Celtics’ last preseason game, a 121-96 loss to the New York Knicks.
“A couple weeks, that’s the projection (of a return) they gave me,” Smart said. “They want to make sure we can limit this from happening again.”
Smart said the two-week timetable began from the time of his injury, which means it’s likely that he will miss the Celtics’ first four games of the season.
That’s a much rosier timetable than the left ankle sprain injury Smart suffered as a rookie which kept him sidelined for several weeks afterwards.
“It shouldn’t be too long,” Smart said. “Better safe than sorry.”
His absence will certainly have an impact on a Celtics defense that ranked among the NBA’s best a year ago, and has only gotten stronger with the addition of Al Horford.
But the Celtics have been a "next man up" team for since Stevens has been the head coach. With Smart out, that’s not going to change.
“That’ll be a great opportunity for someone else to step up in his place,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Boston guard Isaiah Thomas echoed similar thoughts.
“When somebody’s hurt, the next man has to step up,” Thomas said. “Guys have to take advantage of these opportunities.”
And for Smart, it’ll mean displaying his leadership skills from the sideline.
He’s totally comfortable taking on that role right now.
For his teammates, it might take a little bit of getting used to. Smart has been very loquacious on the Celtics sideline since suffering the injury.
“These last four days, he has been yelling … I told him to shut up a few times,” quipped Isaiah Thomas. “That’s just him, especially when he’s not playing. He’s very vocal.”
Terry Rozier, the likely benefactor in terms of minutes played due to Smart’s injury, agreed.
“He’s been sitting right there in that seat,” said Rozier, adding, “and he hasn’t shut up yet. It’s good; you’re going to need a guy like that who is going to talk to you. It’s like a guy, he says things … it’s like he’s been in the league 10 years. He knows his stuff.”
Smart’s knowledge bank includes understanding that his current injury will probably happen again at some point. The key isn’t dealing with the injury, but how you move forward from it.
“This isn’t my first ankle sprain and I know it won’t be my last,” Smart said. “I just have to let it heal on its own and let your body do what it does.”