Downs joins Red Claws camp as Celtics Affiliate Player

916823.jpg

Downs joins Red Claws camp as Celtics Affiliate Player

WALTHAM For those who didn't get to see much of Micah Downs during his time in Boston Celtics' training camp this fall, never fear.

The 6-foot-8 wing's basketball career lives on not that far away from the C's.

Boston's D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, announced on Thursday that Downs will be among the players to participate in their training camp which begins later this month.

He falls under the D-League's Affiliate player rule, which gave the C's first crack at assigning him to their D-League affiliate after they waived him and not have him count against the league's 15-man limit.

Downs spent three seasons at Gonzaga after transferring from Kansas. This past fall was his first training camp with an NBA team.

"This has been great for me," Downs told CSNNE.com recently. "All the guys have been nice, real helpful. I'm just trying to learn as much as I can, and keep getting better."

He has spent the past three seasons playing overseas in Croatia, Belgium and Spain.

Downs passed on a number of opportunities overseas to participate in Boston's training camp.

Although his minutes were limited most of camp, he had a strong showing against New York in Hartford, Conn. on Oct. 13 in which he grabbed a game-high tying seven rebounds in just under 14 minutes.

"He's a good player," Ainge told CSNNE.com earlier. "He might seem like a mystery to some people, but not to us. He was one of the top players in the country when he came out of high school, so we've known about Micah Downs for quite some time."

And so Downs keeps the dream of playing in the NBA alive, a dream he hopes to someday fulfill as a member of the Boston Celtics.

"I'm out here grinding, doing what I can to make the team and just prove I can play at this level," Downs said.

In addition to Downs, Brian Cusworth - another player in the C's training camp this fall - also joins the Maine Red Claws courtesy of being an affiliate player. The former standout at Harvard (he was a three-year starter), Cusworth averaged 17.8 points per game during his senior season. He has played overseas the past five seasons, primarily in Estonia and Spain. In 2008, he was named All-Estonia Player of the Year and Import Player of the Year in addition to being named to the All-Estonia First Team.

Acciari notches first NHL goal in Bruins win over Predators

Acciari notches first NHL goal in Bruins win over Predators

BOSTON – It took until his 43rd game in the NHL to finally score his first goal with the Bruins, but Rhode Island native Noel Acciari said it made him appreciate it all the more when that moment finally did arrived on Tuesday night. The 25-year-old Acciari finished off a Riley Nash feed on a 3-on-1 odd-man rush that gave the Bruins an insurance goal they badly needed in a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators at TD Garden.

Then David Pastrnak hit Acciari with a shaving cream pie to the face during the NESN broadcast as a way to commemorate his teammate’s big scoring moment, and Torey Krug immediately fished the puck out of the net to make certain that Acciari would get it.

So it was the best of both worlds with the team-oriented Acciari, who watched his Bruins win to go right along with his hallmark scoring moment that he’ll remember forever.

“Your first NHL goal is a special feeling and to finally have it, you know, like I said before I couldn’t have done it without the other guys, the other four, five guys on the ice. But it feels good,” said Acciari, who has a goal and four points in 24 games this season in Boston. “It just shows you how special it is. It’s not going to come the first game you play; it could come 10, 20, for me probably over 40, but it still feels the same.”

Clearly it’s more about providing a physical, heavy and aggressive opponent when Acciari suits up for the Black and Gold, and it’s less about providing offensive production that’s really a bonus from the fourth line. The focus on throwing hits, aggravating opponents and playing with extra energy have been a big part of Acciari’s game since his return from Providence, and that is absolutely been by design.

“I think I kind of strayed [from my strengths] when I got back from my injury – I kind of strayed away from the hitting game,” said Acciari. “Just getting in on the fore-check and, you know, just kind of getting back to that down in Providence was huge and kind of get my confidence up down there helped out a lot. So when I got the call up I was ready for anything.”

He’s certainly played like he was ready for anything while posting a goal and two points along with a plus-4 in his first four games back for the Bruins organization. Acciari did all of that while leading everybody in Tuesday night’s game with eight registered hits in the win over Nashville. So the 5-foot-10, 208-pound Acciari gave a pretty good example against the Predators of just what he can do with steady ice time and the trust of his teammates as all of the hockey clubs in the East gear up to finish strong for the playoffs.

Now all Acciari has to do is continue to play consistently, punish opposing players and chip in a little offense from time and time as he carves out a permanent role on Boston’s fourth line, and helps his team win a few along the way. 

Florio on issues NFL may face with Raiders in Las Vegas

Florio on issues NFL may face with Raiders in Las Vegas

Mike Florio joins Quick Slants to discuss the problems of the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, and the latest NFL rule changes.