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Jared Sullinger admits he could do more to be in better shape: ‘I think conditioning was a big factor’ 07.02.14 at 2:47 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Jared Sullinger got the message loud and clear at the end of the season from Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens. If the big man from Ohio State was going to take that next step in what many – including Celtics‘ brass – see as a successful NBA future, he needs to be in better shape.

Sullinger and Chris Johnson were the only players with two years of NBA experience in attendance Wednesday at the Celtics training facility, as the team continued its two-a-day workouts in advance of this Saturday’s summer league opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Orlando.

“I think conditioning was a big factor,” said Sullinger, listed by the Celtics at 260 pounds. “Late in the game, I’d get tired and stop doing the things that I normally do in the first quarter. I think conditioning will kind of help that out.

“[Joining the summer practice is] another opportunity to play against other guys and kind of push myself to another limit, work on things that I don’€™t normally work on by myself and then I’€™ve got bodies out here. Going against bodies, pushing myself through contact. So everything is kind of helping me with conditioning.”

But to the 6-foot-9 Sullinger, being in good basketball condition has not so much to do with his weight as his endurance.

“It’s more shape,” Sullinger said. “How long I can run, how fast I can run. Pretty much how long I can stay on the court without passing out. I’€™m working on that every day.”

Sullinger, still just 22, averaged 13.3 points and 8.1 rebounds in 27.6 minutes per game last season. Coming off season ending back surgery in his rookie season, he played 74 games, starting 44.

Of course, there is the possibility that the Celtics deal him. If they do, they want to get maximum return. Sullinger isn’t worried about what the front office does or doesn’t do. He’s focused on improving a team that suffered through 25 wins, the worst season of his college or pro career.

“I’€™m not a [general manager]; I’€™m a player,” Sullinger said. “But regardless of what [president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge], [director of player personnel] Austin [Ainge] or [assistant general manager Mike] Zarren do, I’€™m full support. My job is to play, their job is to manage. As long as I don’€™t try to manage and play, I think the Boston Celtics will be a pretty [good] team in the East.”

He may not be in the front office but there is one role he feels he can serve if he sticks around in Boston, and it provided another reason beyond conditioning for him to be in attendance Wednesday – leadership. One of those looking up to Sullinger while working out with him Wednesday was Kelly Olynyk.

“Honestly, yes, there’s things I can help Kelly out with, if I see something he’s not doing well,” said Sullinger, who will not be making the trip to Orlando for the Summer League. “We kind of police ourselves so he helps me out at the same time I help him out. It’s kind of two-way street. It gives me an opportunity to kind of help out the younger guys and kind of test my IQ and see if I really know basketball the way I say I do.”

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Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Chris Johnson, Jared Sullinger
Celtics sign Chris Johnson for rest of season 02.07.14 at 8:11 pm ET
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Chris Johnson (12) has earned a stay with the Celtics for the rest of the season. (AP)

Chris Johnson (12) has earned a stay with the Celtics for the rest of the season. (AP)

Chris Johnson has earned a stay with the Celtics for the rest of the season.

The team announced just before Friday’s game with Sacramento that they have signed 6-foot-6 swingman to a multi-year contract.

Johnson 23, has appeared in eight games for the Celtics and has averaged 7.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 21.6 minutes in eight games. He posted a career-high 12 points against Brooklyn on Jan. 26 and recorded a career-high four steals against Washington on Jan. 22.

He is currently shooting 40.0 percent from the three-point line which is tops on the Celtics since he signed his original 10-day contract with the Celtics on Jan. 17.

Johnson had appeared in 20 games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League earlier this season where he had averaged 19.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.0 block in 37.2 minutes per game.

According to Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com, Johnson will be paid at a prorated rate based on a salary of $320,000 this season, allowing the Celtics to stay below the luxury tax threshold.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chris Johnson, Memphis Grizzlies, NBA
Celtics set to sign Chris Johnson for remainder of season at 8:47 am ET
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Chris Johnson‘s second 10-day contract expired at midnight, but the Celtics have already informed the 23-year-old wing they will sign him for the remainder of the season. Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news.

The 6-foot-6 Johnson has averaged 7.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 steals in 21.6 minutes over eight games in a Celtics uniform, registering an impressive 60.9 true-shooting percentage. His performance convinced Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to fill one of the team’s two open roster spots for a pro-rated minimum salary that translates into less than $500,000 against the cap.

“I think it’€™s a great story, but it’€™s not like it’€™s some miracle,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters after Thursday’s practice. “It’€™s the result of hard work, doing the right things, not being scared of the moment, taking advantage of opportunities, those type of things.”

As the Celtics did with Chinese imports Shavlik Randolph, D.J. White and Terrence Williams last season, they are expected to give Johnson, who was playing for the D-League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers three weeks ago, a non-guaranteed deal for next season that will keep him around until training camp.

Thanks to the Courtney Lee deal, the Celtics still have roughly $1 million worth of wiggle room under the luxury tax line after signing Johnson, granting them some flexibility as the trade deadline looms.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chris Johnson, NBA,
Celtics sign Chris Johnson to second 10-day contract 01.28.14 at 11:01 am ET
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As expected after Chris Johnson tweeted, “off to New York,” the Celtics have signed the 23-year-old swingman to a second consecutive 10-day contract.

In four appearances for the undermanned C’s, Johnson has impressed, averaging 10.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 26.8 minutes while filling in for Avery Bradley (ankle), Jerryd Bayless (toe) and Keith Bogans (just chilling). Bayless is expected to return to the Celtics lineup on Tuesday.

Johnson’s first 10-day contract expired after Sunday’s loss to the Nets, and his signing to a second such deal prior to Tuesday’s game will keep him on the roster for the next four games against New York, Philadelphia (twice) and the Magic.

On Feb. 6, the Celtics will be faced with a decision on whether to sign the Dayton product for the remainder of the season or let him walk, since players are limited to two consecutive 10-day contracts for the same organization.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chris Johnson, NBA,
Celtics search for a big man 03.15.12 at 11:57 pm ET
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SACRAMENTO — After not making a move at the trade deadline, the Celtics are going forward with the core of their roster intact, but they are by no means a finished product. After learning that Chris Wilcox will need aortic surgery and miss the rest of the season, the search is on for a big man, and possibly two.

The market is limited, but there is some hope that a few players will become available by March 23. That’s the deadline for players to be bought out of their contracts and waived and still be eligible for a postseason roster. It’s important to note that players can sign at any point up to the end of the regular season as long as they are not on someone’s roster after the March 23 deadline.

“We do need to add a big man,” team president Danny Ainge said. “We need to find the best big man available and we’ll be a little bit patient in that.”

Here’s a list of some of the big men who are, or may become available.

Chris Kaman – The biggest name by far, Kaman is averaging 12.7 points and 8.3 rebounds for the Hornets who have to tried to trade the 7-footer most of the season but found no takers for his $14 million contract. Hornets GM Dell Demps told reporters on Thursday that the team plans to keep Kaman.

“Everything is always a possibility,” Demps said. “I mean there’s no reason to say I’m certain, 100 percent sure. There’s always a possibility. I never want to say never. But our intention is to keep Chris.”

If Kaman is waived, the Celtics will have competition. Yahoo! reported that the Spurs and Heat would also be interested in signing him.

Jermaine O’Neal – This may be a stretch, but his situation remains murky.

“I don’t think he’ll be back, but nothing clear,” Doc Rivers said on Thursday. “It’s not been final but I don’t see him playing.”

Still, Ainge said later that he hasn’t closed the door on O’Neal who has been working out at the team’s facility and he plans to meet with him on Friday. “I don’t know what’s going to come from that meeting,” Ainge said.

It’s an indication of how thin the big man market is that O’Neal could be a lot of team’s Plan B if Kaman isn’t available.

Ronny Turiaf: The Nuggets acquired him at the deadline in the JaVale McGee-Nene swap and plan to waive him to make room for the returning Wilson Chandler.

Turiaf is a tough interior presence and a consummate pro, but he played in only four games with the Wizards this season. He also underwent aortic heart surgery in 2005. He’s played without incident since the surgery, but this is a team that has already lost Wilcox and Jeff Green to heart surgery. Still, he’ll be in demand like Kaman and possibly O’Neal.

Chris Johnson – The one-time Celtic is expected to be waived by the Blazers, along with Greg Oden. Johnson appeared in 20 games for Portland this season and played just 93 minutes. He’s 7 feet tall and a shot blocker, and the Celtics are obviously familiar with him after signing him to a 10-day contract last season.

As for Oden, forget it. The former No. 1 overall pick is recovering from his fifth knee surgery and won’t play again this season, if at all.

Leon Powe – The popular former Celtic has been playing in Puerto Rico, but the Celtics have shown little interest in bringing him back since they cut ties with him after the 2009 season.

Earl Barron – Currently playing for the Meralco Bolts in the Philippines, Barron has played  for six NBA teams over seven seasons.

Here’s a look at some of the players in the D-League. Among the names are Brian Butch, Keith Benson and NBA veteran Dan Gadzuric.

Other veterans: Jake Voskhul, D.J. Mbenga, Francisco Elson, Theo Ratliff, Etan Thomas, Brian Skinner.

Read More: Chris Johnson, Chris Kaman, Chris Wilcox, dan gadzuric
Not so fast on Shaquille O’Neal return but hope remains for Delonte West Wednesday 03.05.11 at 2:34 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Shaquille O’Neal will likely not be able to return to the Celtics lineup on Wednesday after all, coach Doc Rivers said following Saturday’s practice. Rivers indicated he was hoping to have both O’Neal and Delonte West back by Wednesday to help them begin getting playing time to gear up for the playoffs.

“Probably not going to be ready Wednesday because his foot is bothering him a little again,” Rivers said. “Delonte, we’re hoping Wednesday.”

O’Neal has missed the last 12 games and has been out since Feb. 1 with a sore right lower leg and sore right achilles tendon. West missed his third straight game Friday with a sprained right ankle. Glen Davis shot free throws following Saturday’s practice but is still nursing patellar tendinitis in his left knee and is expected to miss several more days of practice while Von Wafer, who injured his right calf during Friday’s win over the Warriors is still in a walking boot.

The team also informed center Chris Johnson that they will not renew his 10-day contract for now as Doc Rivers announced the priority is to sign a back-up point guard.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chris Johnson, D-League, Dakota Wizards
Celtics: Irish Coffee 09.29.10 at 8:58 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …

You’d think everything was painted green in Tommy Heinsohn‘s world, but truth be told the Celtics legend does more than just color for his former team. He’s a talented artist, as detailed in this NECN piece.

Tommy recently entered some of his work into an art show that benefited a charity in honor of his late wife, the Helen J. Weiss Scholarship fund for art education amoung children.

“I do something in art every day,” he told NECN. “If it’s only for five minutes.” It’s his relaxation, he joked, from all those terrible referees in the NBA. There’s not enough Tommy Points to give it for that.

Oh, and you’ll never guess Tommy’s prediction for the 2010-11 season. “If they can put on the floor what’s on paper,” he said to NECN, “we’re gonna win a title.”

Training Camp: Day 1

The Celtics practiced for three hours in a hot and humid gym yesterday at Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I. An evening walk-through got pushed until this morning. The news? The veterans’ conditioning is the biggest question going forward, Jermaine O’Neal worked mainly with the starters and Kevin Garnett “just looked explosive,” according to Doc Rivers. “He had his hop back.”

Following the practice, Shaquille O’Neal tweeted, “First day is over, the truth and ray allen didn’t miss a shot, daaayum I wish I was a shooter.”

That’s a far cry from Von Wafer‘s tweet at 2 a.m. the morning before practice: “jus woke to use the bathroom back to sleep big day tomorrow.” Thanks for the update, Von. Wafer reportedly tweaked an ankle during the first day of practice.

According to the Fredericksburg (Va.) Free Lance-Star, the C’s are waiting for a letter from FIBA Europe that will clear Chris Johnson to participate in training camp. The 6-foot-11 LSU product apparently attended practice yesterday but didn’t participate. His agent said the process normally takes seven days, and the Celtics sent the letter last week, while Johnson was reportedly participating in unofficial workouts in Boston.

Magic impressions

Members of the Orlando Magic were quick to point out to Fox Sports Florida that the East does not belong to the Heat. The Celtics, if you remember, are the returning Eastern Conference champions …

Dwight Howard: “I got tired of [hearing about the Heat] as soon as LeBron said he was going to Miami. Our discussions are not about Miami and what they’re doing. Our discussions are about what we are going to do to win a championship. What are we going to sacrifice? How are we going to play night in and night out so we can win a championship? We’re not banking on beating the Miami Heat or saying, ‘Hey we need to beat the Heat.’ That’s not our concern.”

Stan Van Gundy: “I don’t think anybody is doubting Miami’s talent and the fact that they’re going to be a serious challenge, but we don’t doubt Boston’s talent or them being a serious challenge. Or Atlanta, Chicago, Milwaukee, Philadelphia [or] Washington. There’s a lot of people who got better in the East. I think the challenge only rises, and I think we’re very confident in ourselves as a team and we look forward to those challenges ahead.”

J.J. Redick also made interesting comments to the Orlando Pinstriped Post during the Magic’s Media Day …

“I still have a bitter taste in my mouth,” he said. “I don’t know if we could have beaten Boston last year because we didn’t play our best game. We just–we got our butts kicked. … [Toughness is] a big reason why Boston beat us. It’s mental, man. Those guys were tougher mentally than us during that series.”

Before Gino, there was Dino.

Top 10 All-Time Celtics

A Lakers fan ranked the top-10 Celtics of all-time on the Bleacher Report (similarly, a Celtics fan ranked the top-10 Lakers of all-time). As shocking as this may be to the person who commented on the Antoine Walker link in yesterday’s Irish Coffee (to quote: “Felger is an idiot but he isn’t stupid like weei people INCLUDINg this writer who was never around befoerw [sic] KG”), Antoine did not crack the top 10. Neither did Dino Radja. I kid. I kid. Paul Pierce did make the list. Who do you think was left off?

Putting a Price on Rondo’s jumpshot

The Herald’s Dan Duggan tweeted, “Rajon Rondo didn’t work out with Mark Price this summer. Said he didn’t do anything special to work on his shooting, but feels good about it.” Jay King at Celtics Town makes a good point: “Why would we even WANT Rondo to do something special to fix his jumper? I mean, it’s not like he shot 21.2% from behind the arc last season. It’s not like defenders were able to sag off him and clog the lane. It’s not like Rondo gives Shaq a run for his money as the worst free throw shooter on the Celtics.” Here’s to hoping Rondo was kidding.

Chicago Bullish on Thibodeau

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls players are getting more than an earful from former Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau.

“He’ll talk for like two or three hours, so you have to shorten your conversation with him real quick, come up with a good lie or something,” Derrick Rose told the Tribune. “Have one of your friends call you and say you gotta go pick him up or something.”

There’s no hint of green envy in Thibodeau’s eyes any longer. Asked if he’d occasionally wear the 2008 championship ring he won with the Celtics, he said, “I have to find it first. That was then. This is now. We want to build championship habits. It’s a lot of rhetoric to talk about. The real serious teams do it every day from how they practice.”

Read More: Chris Johnson, Rajon Rondo, Tom Thibodeau, Tommy Heinsohn
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