West pushes for mid-January return


West pushes for mid-January return

By Jessica Camerato

BOSTON - As the Celtics lose player after player to the injury bug, one is optimistic for his return.

Delonte West believes he could be back out on the court next month.

"I might be back a lot sooner than people think," he told CSNNE.com following the Celtics-Hawks game. "I'm pushing for mid-January."

West has been sidelined since breaking his right (non-shooting) wrist on November 24 against the New Jersey Nets.

Even though there is no timetable set for his return and there were initial projections that West could miss the majority of the regular season, West believes he will be back sooner than that.

"I feel wonderful, first and foremost," he said. "I use a bone stimulator for 10 hours a day. I get this cast off in two weeks, but I've already started conditioning, shooting jumpers and working out already."

He says there are no medical restrictions to the number of shots he can take. There is, however, a signal of when he should stop . . . and it isn't pain.

"I can shoot as much as I want to," he said. "It's just that the more I sweat, the more my hand starts to stink, so I try to keep it at a minimum. But as soon as I get this cast off it's all about rehabilitation from there, seeing how weak the hand actually is."

The next steps in West's recovery process will be determined after his current cast is removed. There is no question he would like to get back on the floor, but he has to think with his head and not with his heart.

West had played in just five games this season after serving a 10-game suspension from a guilty plea to weapons charges stemming from last season. He was averaging nearly seven points in 18 minutes before his injury and was a critical spark off the Celtics bench.

But he isn't the only one sidelined - the Celtics were down to nine players by the end of Thursday's game. Even though the team could use more bodies, West knows he can't rush his recovery. A premature return could result in more problems down the road.

"It'd be more than the perfect Christmas gift," he said of a mid-January return, "But I can't get ahead of myself. The most important thing is the longevity. I know all the guys would love to have me back and I want to be back, but I don't want to rush it and hurt myself again. It still time remains to see what it feels like when I take this cast off."

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Stars, studs and duds: Stevens shows confidence in Brown


Stars, studs and duds: Stevens shows confidence in Brown

Jaylen Brown made a costly turnover in the final minute that contributed to Boston’s 105-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

The fact that he was even in the game at that point speaks to not just his potential, but the level of confidence the rookie has already garnered from the Boston Celtics coaching staff.

Brown, who had nine points on 4-for-7 shooting on Thursday, turned the ball over with less than a minute to play and the Celtics trailing 101-99 at the time.

Moments after the turnover, Chicago’s Dwyane Wade drained a step-back 3-pointer that sealed the Bulls’ victory.

Disappointed with the game’s outcome, Brown acknowledged that it meant a lot to him for Stevens to have enough confidence in him to keep him on the floor down the stretch.

But with that faith comes added pressure for Brown to come through and deliver.

“It means I have to do better and try and execute for my team and earn everything I get,” Brown told reporters after the game. “I don’t want anything given to me just because I’m the number three pick in the draft.”

Stevens was asked about having Brown on the floor in the game’s closing seconds.

“He (Brown) was playing pretty well and I thought we were better off playing small,” Stevens said. “I wanted to keep Jaylen in there. I thought he did a lot of good things tonight.”

“Obviously that play didn’t go his way,” Stevens said.

On the play in question, Brown was matched up with Chicago’s Nikola Mirotic. Brown began to make a move, and eventually spun away from Mirotic and left his feet.

Brown was called for the turnover when he left his feet to make a pass, but didn’t release the ball until after he had landed – a traveling violation.

“I was looking for an outlet,” said Brown in explaining his late-game miscue. “I should have just shot the ball but I was thinking it was a bad shot. I probably should have just shot it. I just saw Mirotic on me, slower feet. Coach (Stevens) told me to drive him so I tried to be aggressive. I should have made a play.”

Brown added, “Just have to come out and execute, and play the game the right way. I want to make coach feel like he has a reason to put me out on the floor.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Thursday night’s game.



Dwyane Wade

The Chicago native gave his family and friends plenty to cheer about on Thursday. In his first game playing for his hometown Chicago Bulls, Wade had 22 points which included a back-breaking 3-pointer with 26 seconds to play that pretty much sealed the Bulls victory. Consider this: He made a total of seven 3-pointers all last season. He had four on Thursday.

Isaiah Thomas

For the second straight game, Thomas tallied 25 points and continued to shoot the ball extremely well. His 25 points on Thursday came on 10-for-15 shooting. He also had four assists and three rebounds.

Jimmy Butler

Butler was among the Chicago players who shot the ball much, much better from 3-point range than they usually do. He finished with a team-high 24 points which included him knocking down four of his six 3-point attempts.



Avery Bradley

Bradley provided a nice offensive complement to Thomas’ high scoring night, finishing with 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting. Bradley also made his presence felt on the boards and as a distributor with six rebounds and five assists.

Nikola Mirotic

He may have lost out on a starting job to Taj Gibson, but Mirotic’s value to the Bulls is clear. Mirotic had 15 points off the bench, shooting 6-for-11 from the field in addition to nine rebounds.



Second-chance points

Boston’s only two games into the season, but second-chance points looks to be an issue with no clear-cut solution. For the second straight game, Boston was outscored by double digits in second-chance points. On Thursday, Chicago had an 18-5 advantage in second-chance points.