Pietrus excited after first win with Celtics

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Pietrus excited after first win with Celtics

BOSTON -- Mickael Pietrus flashed a smile and broke out into song as the media approached his locker on Wednesday night following the Boston Celtics 23-point win over the Toronto Raptors.

Im sexy and I know it, he sang, dancing in his seat to the tune of the LMFAO hit.

Pietrus had plenty to be happy about. After missing the start of the season rehabbing a knee injury, he experienced his first victory as a Celtic. His 12-point performance, including four-for-seven shooting from three-point range, contributed to the final 96-73 result.

Without being asked a single question, Pietrus made his opening remarks.

First win as a Celtic, it feels good, he said. I think we moved the ball extremely well. We were able to get open and make some shots. We started much feeling about ourselves starting the games, so Im confident and always stay positive. We still have to work on a couple things to get us better, but if I think that if we fight like that every night, good things are going to happen.

It has only been one week since Pietrus made his Celtics debut. He has made at least one trey in each of his five games, including seven in his last two contests. His instant energy has given the Celtics bench a boost. The swingman is averaging 8.2 points and shooting 40.7 percent from three-point range this season.

Pietrus has already done far more than I thought he would do this quickly, said Doc Rivers. His energy is just infectious and defensively hes unbelievable. I remember not liking him when he was with the Magic when he came on the floor because of his defensive toughness, and youve kind of forgotten about it. Hes reminding you why you didnt like him. Hes terrific.

Pietrus remembers the receptions he received as the opponent. After playing for the Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic, and Phoenix Suns, he has a better feeling being on the home team inside the TD Garden.

At the Garden, Im just trying to be the fan favorite right now, he said with a laugh. Im not going to lie to you because I was on the opposing team and they hated me. So now theyve got to love me now. Im just trying to enjoy my time with them. All it takes is a smile on a kids face, thats all I need. Thats what I live for. I live with high energy for those people so I ve got to give my best shot.

First-place Celtics continue to focus on playing well, not standings

First-place Celtics continue to focus on playing well, not standings

WALTHAM, Mass. – When it comes to NBA standings, no Celtic pays closer attention to it than Isaiah Thomas.
 
But the 5-foot-9 All-Star is quick to say that while he’s aware of what’s happening with other teams record-wise, Thomas, like his teammates, isn’t obsessed with it, even with the Celtics (48-26) now in first place in the East following Cleveland’s loss at San Antonio on Monday.
 
“It’s a good feeling,” Thomas said. “It’s still not the end of the year; anything can happen. It’s a nice feeling to be the number one seed for once, but we just have to continue to control what we can control.”

The fact that Boston is even in position to finish with the best record in the East is amazing when you consider injuries and illnesses have forced them to use 13 different starting lineups this season.
 
And the preferred starting five of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Al Horford and Amir Johnson has played together 31 times and posted an impressive 24-7 record.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens has been consistent in his message that while having the best record in the East is nice, he’s more consumed with the team continuing to improve.
 
“It doesn’t mean a whole lot right now,” Stevens said of being in first place. “The whole idea is to make progress, get better every day and stay in the moment. You do that if you’re in last place trying to build up or whether you’re in a position where you’re fighting for seeding. Ultimately, we’ve been able to grow and get a little bit better. But I still think we can play a lot better. That’s where my focus is.”
 
And the same holds true for his players. Thomas knows how unusual this season has been for the Celtics, who continue finding ways to win despite frequently being short-handed.
 
The latest example of that involves forward Jonas Jerebko, who is questionable for Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee because of a sore left knee that limited him in Tuesday’s practice.
 
“It’s a long season. A lot of things can happen whether they be good or bad and we know that,” Thomas said. “We just try to withstand the storm we’ve had a few times this year, and continue to try and stay as positive as possible and we’ve done that. We’re in a good position right now. We just have to continue to take care of business.”
  
And that means steadily improving while piling up the wins, particularly against teams such as the Bucks (37-36), who are among a handful of teams that could potentially be Boston’s first-round opponent.
 
Milwaukee comes in having won 11 of its past 14 games.

“It makes the game that much more important,” said Celtics guard Avery Bradley. “Just like the Miami game. We want to let the teams know now, they go up against us in the playoffs, it’s no mercy. We’re going to play hard. We’re going to bring it every single night. We’re going to play Celtics basketball every single night. Them knowing that, we can scare a lot of teams if we’re playing the right way.”

Jerebko questionable for Wednesday against Bucks

Jerebko questionable for Wednesday against Bucks

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics have spent most of this season playing short-handed and Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee will potentially be another one of those games.
 
Veteran forward Jonas Jerebko has a sore left knee and is considered questionable for the Bucks’ game.
 
“Jonas went through about half of [Tuesday’s] practice,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens.
 
Jerebko has missed two games this season due to illness.
 
Because of Milwaukee’s length at seemingly every position, Jerebko’s ability to play both forward positions will be something the Celtics will surely miss if he’s unable to play.
 
This season, Jerebko has appeared in 69 games while averaging 3.9 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 35.0 percent on 3’s.