|Celtics Tuesday notes: Al Horford ‘just not where [he wants] to be right now’ while Jae Crowder returns||11.15.16 at 8:04 pm ET|
The waiting game continues for Al Horford and the Celtics.
The big man is still dealing with the lingering effects of a concussion and said after practice Tuesday that he’s not sure when he might play again.
Horford suffered the concussion when he was accidentally struck by a teammate at practice on Oct. 31. There was a glimmer of hope when he traveled with the team on the two-game trip through Indiana and New Orleans. But on Tuesday, following a light workout, he told reporters that he’s just not ready.
“I’m just not where I want to be right now, but trying to work through it,” Horford said. “This is something very new to me, so it’s just trying to get used to this.”
Horford declined to get into what is holding him back in the NBA concussion protocol.
“I’m not at liberty to discuss a lot of those things yet,” Horford said. “On-the-court-wise, the times that I’ve been on, I felt good with my workouts. It’s just to play, I’m just not there yet.”
While Wednesday against Dallas has been ruled out, there is the hope that he might be back in time for Friday’s matchup against Golden State at TD Garden. For Horford, it’s just a wait-and-see game.
“I’ve been very motivated to come back. This is just something very different,” Horford said. “Like I’ve said, I haven’t dealt with anything like this before. So we’re really taking it day by day. That’s just all I can do right now.
“I want to be out helping my team, and us growing together. But the last thing I want to do is have a setback, come in when I’m not supposed to, and set myself back for a longer period of time. We’re trying to be as smart as we can about this. I just want to make sure that when I’m ready to go, I’m good to go.”
Horford has missed seven games and the Celtics are just 3-4 in that stretch.
Meanwhile, Jae Crowder took a step forward Tuesday, taking part in shooting drills after practice Tuesday. He suffered a badly sprained left ankle against the Bulls on Nov. 2 and has missed the last six games. He has also been ruled out against the Mavericks Wednesday.
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|Celtics reportedly considering dealing Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder if it means Klay Thompson in return||11.14.16 at 1:49 pm ET|
The Celtics and Warriors might be looking to celebrate their meeting this Friday night at TD Garden in style.
According to Celtics CSNNE broadcaster Brian Scalabrine, the Celtics might be willing to give up their most experienced defensive shutdown player if it means bringing in one of the best shooting guards in the NBA.
On SiriusXM NBA Radio, Scalabrine said he had heard Thompson might be available and that the specific rumor he heard involved the Celtics. According to Scalabrine, the Celtics would send out Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder and the right for Golden State to swap first-round picks with Boston’s pick from Brooklyn.
In return, Boston would land Thompson, with the Warriors then using the Brooklyn pick to acquire a shot-blocking center. He added on CSNNE Facebook Live that Philadelphia’s Nerlens Noel would be a player the Warriors would acquire with the pick.
That might seem like a lot for Boston to give up but if Ainge feels Thompson makes the Celtics a serious threat to Cleveland, he would at least consider it.
“Maybe they’re on what I’m on, and [they feel] it’s impossible to win championships without rim protection against LeBron and Kyrie [Irving],” Scalabrine said. “So who’s your most valuable asset or most unneeded asset at this point?”
|Celtics notes: Brad Stevens gives ‘thought’ to lineup change, Al Horford cleared for non-contact, doubtful Friday||11.10.16 at 3:55 pm ET|
WALTHAM – The Celtics have been without Al Horford for four games now. The likelihood that streak goes to five is very high as Brad Stevens said it’s doubtful that the big man still in concussion protocol will be able to take the court against the Knicks Friday at TD Garden.
But the Celtics did get good news on the Horford front. Horford, who did not travel to Washington for Wednesday’s blowout loss, did return to the court with the team for practice Thursday.
But the practice was not one of high intensity and he has not been cleared for contact or physical work.
“He did some light stuff with us, so he was cleared to go through some of it,” Stevens said. “We didn’t do anything contact, physical, competitive, so I don’t know where that puts him in the protocol. I haven’t gotten the update of what’s next. But he is progressing, He’s feeling a lot better.”
Stevens and Horford spent about 15 minutes talking after practice Thursday.
As for his chances of playing Friday?
“I don’t know, but I would say that would doubt it,” Stevens answered. “But I don’t know what the official diagnosis is, as far as I don’t know the official next step.”
Jae Crowder has missed three games with a sprained left ankle. Crowder was not with the team at practice on Thursday.
“I would doubt we see him until maybe next week when we get back home,” Stevens said. “That’s not for sure either, but that’s roughly the time line we’re looking at, best case scenario.”
It’s no secret the Celtics have been getting their collective doors blown off in the last two first quarters of their last two defenseless losses to the Nuggets and Wizards. Against Denver they allowed 24 first-quarter points to Emmanuel Mudiay and fell behind 42-23. Wednesday in Washington was even worse. They were blown out 34-8 and lost, 118-93.
What are the chances Stevens breaks up the lineup of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jaylen Brown, Amir Johnson and Tyler Zeller?
|Al Horford to miss 4th straight game, Kelly Olynyk (shoulder) makes trip to D.C.||11.08.16 at 1:29 pm ET|
The Celtics will be without their $113 million man for a fourth straight game when they take on the Wizards on Wednesday night. The team announced Tuesday that Al Horford stayed back in Boston to continue in the NBA’s concussion protocol.
Horford has played in just three games this season after suffering a concussion in practice on Halloween.
Brad Stevens said after practice Monday that Horford had not made any progress in the protocol. Before getting injured in practice, Horford was averaging 12 points and 5.3 rebounds with seven blocks in three games.
As for another big man, Jae Crowder will miss his third straight game after twisting his left ankle against the Bulls at TD Garden on Nov. 2. Crowder also did not make the trip to D.C. Tuesday as he continues to receive treatment.
With Crowder and Horford out of the lineup the last two games, the Celtics have allowed 122 points in a loss at Cleveland and 123 last Sunday night at home to Denver.
The Celtics could be getting back Kelly Olynyk, who has missed the first six games as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery. Olynyk has been practicing with the team since Oct. 20.
|Brad Stevens on defenseless Celtics: ‘You could see it coming’||11.08.16 at 10:19 am ET|
WALTHAM – The 3-3 start by the Celtics, featuring woeful defense, has caught many off guard.
But that group would not include their coach. Brad Stevens could see cracks in the team’s defensive foundation in training camp. He could see some bad habits forming and now the coach is showing the players, in brutal regular season game detail, what he was trying to get across in camp.
If you’re not in position to defend, you won’t. That was never more clear than in Sunday’s 123-107 loss to the Nuggets at TD Garden, a game they gave up 42 points in the first quarter and trailed 77-52 at halftime.
“You could see it coming, but we also lost guys that I thought were pretty good defensively. ” Stevens said after Monday’s practice.
Stevens did cut his team some slack, noting that Jae Crowder, Al Horford and Marcus Smart haven’t been on the court together at the start of the season, and that does nothing to help team chemistry and rhythm on the court, not to mention spacing.
“Losing guys out of our lineups, obviously Jae and Al and Marcus — we haven’t had all three of those guys in one game; those are three of our best defenders.
“But the reality is that even with that, even with the idea that one, two, or three of those guys are out at once, that we should be better than we’ve been. I don’t think the group that’s played will necessarily be, especially with the group that we had out last night, I don’t think we’re going to be a top-10 defense. But we can be 12th or 13th, right at the end of the season, that’s for sure.”
Stevens has some history to draw upon to think things can get better. Asked Monday what it will take to get better, he referenced his first Final Four team at Butler in 2010.
|Celtics notes: Al Horford not advancing in concussion protocol, Brad Stevens hasn’t decided on lineup changes||11.07.16 at 4:42 pm ET|
WALTHAM — There was some thinking that the sight of Al Horford with the Celtics Sunday night was a sign that perhaps he was advancing in the NBA’s concussion protocol.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens put a damper on those hopes after practice Monday.
Horford, who has missed three games after suffering a concussion in practice last week, was not able to take participate in any team activities Monday.
“He has not advanced in the protocol, based on what I’ve been told,” Stevens said. “I have not gotten anything deeper than that but he did not do anything with our team today.”
The team will not practice in Waltham Tuesday as they leave for Washington and Wednesday’s game against the Wizards.
Stevens was asked if Horford is exhibiting any symptoms that might indicate where he is in his recovery.
“I don’t know what that means yet,” Stevens said. “I’m gonna go find out. But I think that not advancing is telling that the symptoms have been at least prolonged through [Sunday].”
The team’s defense has suffered drastically with Horford and Jae Crowder (left ankle) out of the lineup. They are allowing 118 points per game in their three losses and stand 3-3 on the season. As for Kelly Olynyk, who practiced again Monday, Stevens said he’s going to avoid specific timetables.
“I don’t know. We’ll find out,” Stevens said. “He’s a good player. But I don’t want to make predictions when he’s gonna play or not. But he is around the corner, which I said last night.
With the team defense struggling and rookie Jaylen Brown (who has started last two games) working to pick up the system, there has been some speculation that Stevens might insert Marcus Smart into the lineup in his place Wednesday night.
|After ‘horrible’ film session, Marcus Smart wants his teammates to start ‘punching back’ on D||11.07.16 at 4:20 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Marcus Smart is a man of pride. And when it comes to his game in the NBA, it starts with defense.
What was on display Sunday night – and for the better part of the season – has hit home with the third-year defensive specialist.
The Celtics were blown out on the home court Sunday night in 123-107 loss to the Nuggets. They allowed 42 points in the first quarter and trailed 77-52 at the half. From the start, it was not good.
“We’re just not in it. We’re coming out too cool,” Smart said. “Teams are coming out ready. We’re not sneaking up on nobody this year. We’re the hunted. Everybody is coming out after us and we’re so used to being the guys that are sneaking up on everybody. That’s just not the case this year.
“We played a team that was hungry and was playing with a chip on their shoulder. Their coach ridiculed them and they felt that. They came out ready. They punched us in the mouth and we stood there and took it. Today’s practice was (about) we get punched, we’ve got to be ready to punch back. We’ve got to be ready to be in a boxing match.”
It got so bad that after the game, coach Brad Stevens called his team a finesse team. That might as well be a four-letter word to the ears of Smart.
“Yeah, we definitely do. That’s definitely a challenge. We’re not a finesse team,” Smart said after Monday’s practice. “We understand that. But we did play finesse the other night. So, he was right to call us that. We’ve got to look ourselves in the mirror and we’ve got to own up to it and take responsibility. The good thing about this sport and any sport, especially basketball, you get to go play another game. We’ve got to throw that game out the window and get ready for Wednesday.”
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