Joseph embracing trip to D-League

815382.jpg

Joseph embracing trip to D-League

BOSTON When Kris Joseph got the news that the Boston Celtics were sending him to the D-League, he could not have been any happier.

While he has enjoyed his time with the Boston Celtics, he knew that there was little to no chance that he would play soon.

And so the idea of being in the D-League will allow him to do exactly what the league's about - developing his game.

Joseph's first D-League action with the Maine Red Claws came in Friday night's 123-115 win at Canton.

The 6-foot-7 rookie had a game-high 28 points and eight rebounds in rallying the Red Claws (1-0) from a double-digit deficit. Boston's first-round pick Fab Melo had two points and a game-high four blocked shots.

Being a first-round pick, Melo's status is a bit more secure than that of Joseph who was selected by the C's in the second round of last June's NBA draft.

So for him, many of the players that he will face in the D-League are in a lot of ways similar to him in that they too are fighting to prove they are indeed worthy of being in the NBA.

Performances like the one he put on Friday serve as just another example of the promise that the C's see in him.

And for Joseph, the transition from the NBA to the D-League so far has been relatively smooth.

"For one, they're running a lot of the same plays if not all the same plays that we ran up (in Boston)," Joseph told CSNNE.com. "So I was already ahead of everybody. That helped me a lot, knowing the plays and knowing my spots. Me playing with these guys and knowing what level of intensity you have to play with helped me down there, too."

To see him get off to an impressive start with the Red Claws isn't all that surprising.

While with the Celtics, Joseph was often the first to arrive on game day. He would spend time with assistant coaches working on shot, doing various ball-handling drills along with an assortment of other game-related tasks.

It was one of those things that did not go unnoticed by his teammates.

"That's it right there," C's veteran Brandon Bass told CSNNE.com recently. "That's what it takes to be in this league; you have to keep working on your game, trying to get better. He's young, but he gets it. That's good for him; good for us, too."

But there's only so much growth and development that can come about by getting shots up prior to games and after practice.

Eventually, those skills have to manifest themselves in real games which is why the D-League is so important to Joseph.

"They (Celtics) don't want me to just be sitting around," Joseph said. "Me, neither. I want to play; that's how you really get better. I know playing behind Paul Pierce and Jeff Green, there's just not going to be much of an opportunity for me to play right now. That doesn't mean I can't get any better. That's what the D-League is for me; a chance to keep working on my game, keep improving so that when that opportunity does come, I'll be ready."

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

BOSTON (AP)  Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six scoreless innings and the Boston Red Sox took advantage of a sloppy performance by the Seattle Mariners to earn their season-high fifth straight win, 3-0 on Friday night.

It was the third consecutive win for Rodriguez (4-1), who went six innings, gave up just five hits and struck out four while throwing a season-high 112 pitches. Craig Kimbrel earned his 13th save.

Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts, going 4-0 in that span.

The only run support Rodriguez needed came in the second inning, when Hanley Ramirez scored on Josh Rutledge's RBI groundout. Boston added two more runs in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball.

Yovani Gallardo (2-5) took the loss. He lasted 5 1/3 innings, gave up seven hits and was responsible for all three of Boston's runs. Seattle has won just one of its last seven.

Meanwhile, Boston gave Rodriguez got lots of help from his defense. Jackie Bradley Jr. had a pair of nice plays, getting an outfield assist in the second and running down another ball on the warning track in the sixth.

In addition to the pitching miscues, the Mariners had all kinds of issues in the wet conditions, committing two fielding errors.

The Red Sox left 11 runners on base, leaving the door open for the Mariners to get back in the game. But Seattle couldn't capitalize, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners also left seven runners stranded.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: LHP James Paxton (strained left forearm) was slated to make a rehab start Friday night in Double-A Arkansas. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 5. He could be activated for a start at the end of the month against Colorado.

Red Sox: Infielder Marco Hernandez will be out the remainder of the season after undergoing stabilization surgery on his left shoulder on Friday. Hernandez was placed on the disabled list May 4 with a left shoulder misalignment. The 24-year-old hit .276 with two RBI in 21 games. ... A night after he left the game with left knee pain, 2B Dustin Pedroia was held out Friday for what manager John Farrell said was "precautionary reasons" because of the wet playing surface.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Rob Whalen (0-2, 4.09 ERA in Triple-A Tacoma) will be making his major league start since last season with Atlanta. He will be 12th different starting pitcher the Mariners have used this season.

Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) will be making his second major league start this year and third of his career.

---

More AP baseball:https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball