|10.25.13 at 10:12 am ET|
Despite Brad Stevens‘ assurance that Rajon Rondo is the lone Celtics player who won’t be available for Wednesday’s opener, both Gerald Wallace and Vitor Faverani reportedly missed Thursday’s practice for “preventative” measures.
Dressed in a Patriots sweatshirt and a walking boot, Wallace told reporters after practice that he received a cortisone shot in a left ankle that’s bothered him “all summer long.”
Meanwhile, Faverani will consult with doctors on Friday after undergoing an MRI for a sore lower back, according to ESPN.com’s Chris Forsberg. Faverani’s back reportedly stiffened during warmups prior to totaling 15 points, seven boards and six blocks over 28 minutes in a preseason victory against the Nets.
Still, Stevens assured the media, “It’s all very preventative.”
Meanwhile, Jared Sullinger returned to practice after missing Wednesday’s game due to illness.
The Celtics are expected to announce the release of training camp invitees Damen Bell-Holter, DeShawn Sims and Kammron Taylor shortly. The fourth invitee, Chris Babb, is still practicing with the team, but he’s doubtful to make the final roster because of the salary cap predicament his signing would create.
|10.25.13 at 9:46 am ET|
— Rajon Rondo (@RajonRondo) October 25, 2013
— Rajon Rondo (@RajonRondo) October 25, 2013
|10.24.13 at 12:45 pm ET|
From time to time, I’ll be checking the Celtics hashtag on various social media sites for the best fan reactions to an utterly unpredictable 2013-14 season. This is the best I’ve seen so far. Love this kid’s analysis. Spot on. If you have one you’d like to share during the year, use #CelticSocial or drop me a line on Twitter @brohrbach.
|10.24.13 at 11:29 am ET|
Perhaps you’ve heard this one from Rajon Rondo before: “I’ll be returning in the 2013-14 season.”
It’s the exact line the Celtics point guard used on Media Day last month to describe his timeline for returning from ACL surgery: “The 2013-2014 season. Probably some time in the winter. Maybe the fall. You just never know.”
And pretty much the same line a straight-faced Rondo delivered to a Chinese reporter during the unveiling of his new Anta shoe two weeks ago: “I’m right on schedule. I will return this year.” Good times.
Well, he used it again during an impromptu press conference following the C’s preseason upset of the Nets bench. Rondo should go on the road with this shtick. Reporters in New York, Philadelphia, Toronto and beyond will surely get a kick out of it, too. Then again, it might grow tiresome if he doesn’t have new material come February.
So, let’s all just agree there’s no timetable for Rondo’s return. He’ll come back when he’s ready, and he’s not, although he did apparently get fitted for his first knee brace in preparation of his first contact during practice.
In the meantime, enjoy some more of Rondo’s comedy stylings.
|10.23.13 at 4:10 pm ET|
Johnson, who coached the Nets for 2½ seasons and was dismissed shortly after the Celtics trounced Brooklyn last Christmas, will be adding a very distinct voice to the ESPN airwaves this season, sharing his insight every Wednesday on “NBA Countdown.”
In a one-on-one interview with WEEI.com, Johnson shared his thoughts on the state of the Celtics, as well as the Nets’ decision to go all-in.
‘This is a totally different year for the Celtics,’ Johnson said. ‘A lot of the pieces that were there last year, those guys are pretty much in the twilight and near the end of their careers. They still had a lot of great basketball in them and can carry a team during the regular season, but that was an aging team.’
Johnson, known as the ‘Little General’ during his playing career, believes the Celtics were never the same after Ray Allen‘s departure to Miami as a free agent last offseason.
‘The loss of Ray Allen was too much,’ Johnson said. ‘They never really were able to fill his shoes in terms of the great work he did on the court for the Celtics over the years during their championship runs.’
Similar to the beginning of his run with the Nets, a team that only won 24 games in 2011, Johnson sees a team in Boston with an uncertain future.
‘This was a team that needed to change,’ Johnson said. ‘Obviously we didn’t know the change would occur with Doc Rivers not being a part of it, but everything’s changed. Now the Celtics have a lot of pieces they’re still trying to figure out. They’re still working on how they’re going to play defensively and offensively, and where they’re going, not only now, but in the future.’
|10.23.13 at 2:26 pm ET|
Brad Stevens first noticed the magical nature of his slumber when he went nighty-night during Game 2 of the American League Championship Series. As Red Slox slugger David Ortiz drilled an eighth-inning, game-tying grand slam and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia lined a game-winning single against the Tigers, the Celtics coach drifted off to a bridge by a fountain where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies.
“I have to admit, I fell asleep at the end of the Red Sox game,” he admitted. “I’m sad to say that, but I woke up as they were celebrating. I don’t know exactly how it happened, but I’m looking forward to watching the YouTube.”
All it took was one more sorcerous snooze to convince Stevens of his powers. As Shane Victorino lofted his go-ahead, seventh-inning grand slam in Game 6, the C’s skipper slipped into a spell set by actual flying Hawaiians.
“I’m absolutely embarrassed and ashamed to say that I fell asleep,” he accepted, “but I was really tired.”
And so goes the story of Brad Stevens’ wondrous siestas and their command of the miraculous 2013 Red Sox.
‘The key to the Red Sox is me falling asleep,” the anointed leader of leprechauns told The Boston Globe’s Baxter Holmes. “Because when I’m watching, it’s hard to score runs. When I’m asleep, magic occurs. It’s unbelievable.’
Seriously, no wonder the Celtics employ a sleep doctor. Their coach is a freaking human dreamweaver. Carlton Fisk‘s home run? Not even a zygote. Don Baylor and Dave Henderson‘s homers? Sound asleep in his Hoosiers pajamas. The Bill Buckner boner? Wide awake on Pop Rocks and Nerds. Pedro Martinez‘s no-hit relief appearance? Passed out at one of those epic Depauw University college parties you always read about. The Aaron Boone disaster? Glued to game film all night. The fall of 2004? Pulled a Rip Van Winkle.
Unfortunately, the C’s preseason finale coincides with Game 1 of the World Series, so it’s best to root for extra innings, granting Stevens ample time to hit the sack. Enter sandman, indeed. Maybe Leonardo DiCaprio and the fellas could induce this Inception directly in his Garden office. Just don’t forget to kick his chair into the bathtub when Xander Bogaerts touches home in the 11th. Same goes for the only other potential conflict, the Celtics’ season opener on Oct. 30. C’mon, admit it. You just don’t get this kind of Boston sports analysis anywhere else.
|10.23.13 at 1:15 pm ET|
‘I knew from the first moment that I talked to him that he was going to be a person that would think not just about what you’re doing but why you’re doing it, and that’s a good thing,” Stevens told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman in their SportsCenter conversation. “This is a great example. When you run a play, there are five guys in five spots, and most basketball players will go to their spot, they’ll do what they’re supposed to do, but they won’t know what the other four spots do, because they don’t understand why you’re doing it. He gets it all, and it’s no different in leading. It’s no different in how we’re coaching or running the organization. He understands the big picture, and I think it’s really important that we continue to share and talk about that, because he’s a big part of this.’
And let’s just say Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge looks at Rondo from a different angle.
“It’s hard to find the perfect situation for everybody,” he told CBSSports.com columnist Ken Berger. “It’s my job to build the Celtics, and Rondo is a big part of that. Will everything be as perfect as he would like it? I don’t believe so, but it’s not perfect for us, either, the fact that he can’t play. I think Rondo is with us. I think he likes a lot of the core guys on our team now, and I think he is optimistic and looking forward to a new chapter.”
Not everyone can capture the enigmatic point guard in words. Actually, nobody quite has. Stevens came closest.
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