Stiemsma to remain with Celtics for season

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Stiemsma to remain with Celtics for season

BOSTON Needless to say, Friday can not get here soon enough for Boston Celtics center Greg Stiemsma.

That's when NBA players like Stiemsma can breathe a collective sigh of relief that their contracts for this season will become fully guaranteed.

Fortunately for him, the Celtics have already made up their mind to keep him around.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, told CSNNE.com that the C's will not waive Stiemsma, thus making his contract guaranteed for this season.

"We like Greg," Ainge said in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon. "He's played well for us. His teammates like him, and the coaches trust him. He's done a good job for us, and has been a good fit."

Although Stiemsma was well aware that the deadline for his contract to be guaranteed was coming up, he refused to give it too much thought.

"I don't get too caught up in the business stuff, once the season gets rolling," he told CSNNE.com Tuesday morning. "Being here, doing what I can control. Let the chips fall wherever they're going to fall."

Stiemsma's role has been very much like his professional basketball career -- a non-stop roller coaster.

He was in Boston's camp, and given little-to-no shot at sticking. It didn't take long for his shot-blocking prowess to make its mark with the Celtics.

In his first game in the NBA, Stiemsma set a Celtics franchise record with six blocked shots -- the most by a player in their first game with the C's -- in Boston's 97-78 loss to New Orleans on Dec. 30.

Three days later, injuries left Celtics head coach Doc Rivers no choice but to give Stiemsma his first NBA start.

He responded with a career-high 13 points to go with seven rebounds in 21 minutes, which were also career-bests for the 26-year-old rookie.

However, the improved health and play of Chris Wilcox has significantly cut into Stiemsma's opportunities to play.

But you won't hear Stiemsma griping or complaining about his role, especially when he thinks about how all the veterans have embraced him and his fellow rookies.

And while he is the only rookie on the team not drafted by the C's, Stiemsma doesn't believe they've treated him any differently.

"These guys have been so great with us (rookies)," Stiemsma said. "They've been willing to teach from Day One. They want to see us succeed. When we've been giving those opportunities (to play), we've been fortunate enough to take advantage of them."

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