|Celtics assign James Young, Jordan Mickey to D-League||11.03.15 at 5:33 pm ET|
Add this to the Celtics‘ list of unsurprising moves: James Young and Jordan Mickey have been inside to the Red Claws, Boston’s D-League affiliate in Portland, Maine.
The first of the C’s three draft picks received in return for trading Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Nets, Young has been inactive for the first three games of the season. He averaged 21.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and two assists in 32.9 minutes over 17 games during 11 trips back and forth from Maine last season.
“I guess it’s something that I remind myself, but James is still only 20, and as a matter of fact, he recently turned 20″ Celtics president Danny Ainge said on media day when asked about Young’s progress. “I think he would have been one of the top 10 youngest guys in this year’s draft. I think James has made great strides. He had a terrific year last year in the D-League. I had numerous coaches tell me he was one of the best prospects they’ve ever seen in the D-League at age 19 last year.”
This marks Mickey’s first assignment to the D-League after being drafted No. 33 overall in June and receiving the heftiest contract for a rookie second-round pick in league history. He played two minutes at the end of the season-opening win over the 76ers — collecting two points, two rebounds and one assist in the process — but has been inactive since fellow rookie R.J. Hunter returned from illness.
It's not about where you start at its about where you finish at
— Jordan Mickey (@Jmickey_02) November 3, 2015
In an odd bit of statistical nonsense, Mickey currently leads the NBA in offensive rating (243.1 points per 100 possessions), and that’s not likely to change soon. Although, both Young and Mickey will be recalled and re-assigned to the Red Claws more times than you can count on two hands this season, so get accustomed to it.
|Celtics stick with starting lineup, deactivate James Young||10.28.15 at 7:09 pm ET|
Prior to Wednesday’s season opener against the hapless Philadelphia 76ers, Celtics coach Brad Stevens confirmed he would employ the same starting lineup he used to finish out the preseason: Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder, David Lee and Tyler Zeller.
The two inactives for the C’s: R.J. Hunter (illness) and James Young, whose benching officially establishes him as the last guy on the 15-man roster. Rookie second-round pick Jordan Mickey earned the spot final spot over him. And if Young can’t crack the depth chart when Hunter is ill, then he likely won’t be seeing time in Boston soon, since they play the same position.
Meanwhile, the 76ers will start Boston area native Nerlens Noel and lottery pick Jahlil Okafor along with three guys you may have never heard of — Hollis Thompson, Jakarr Sampson and Isaiah Canaan. The league’s tanking experiment gone wrong for the past several seasons, Philadelphia offers a prime opportunity for the Celtics to start the season off with a win in front of their home crowd.
|James Young improves defense, gains weight||09.26.15 at 8:08 pm ET|
In preparation for the 2015-16 NBA season, James Young spent the majority of the summer working on his body and his one-on-one defense.
At Friday’s annual media day at the Celtics‘ Waltham practice facility, Young talked about gaining weight over the summer and how he’s entering his second season feeling more confident about his defense.
“I just got in the gym and worked out harder,” said Young. “This season is going to be special for the team and me. I just want it to be great — got in the gym every day, [twice] a day.
“Just to absorb the contact from bigger and stronger guys, you can’t just go in the lane and be at 200 pounds; you’re going to get pushed over. So, you [have to] add weight, and that’s what I did. I want to add more — not done yet.”
Young split his rookie year between Boston and Maine. He played 17 games for the Red Claws, averaging 21.5 points and shooting an impressive 44.2 percent from behind the 3-point arc.
Young finished his rookie campaign with the Celtics averaging 3.4 points in 10.7 minutes per game. While adding weight to his frame to improve his offense, Young says he has a better understanding of what to do on the defensive end.
“My footwork is a lot better,” he said. “I know what to do now. Pulling over, communicating, everything is working a lot better now. I know what to do now. I didn’t know then, but now I know.”
“He’s really improved his defensive abilities,” said Stevens. “His defensive awareness was great in summer league, and he’s a guy that we know offensively has some skill and some talent. The other thing about James that I’m excited about is he’s bigger and stronger, and he’s only 20 years old.”
|Celtics summer league scouting reports: Marcus Smart, James Young, Terry Rozier, R.J. Hunter and Jordan Mickey||07.08.15 at 1:03 pm ET|
Before we get to our Celtics scouting reports, a few quick thoughts …
- Are we ever going to see Colton Iverson in a Celtics uniform?
- Isn’t it time CSNNE stops advertising its free agency coverage?
- Has somebody told C.J. Fair to stop shooting yet?
- Should we be concerned when Marcus Smart, James Young, Terry Rozier, R.J. Hunter and Jordan Mickey closed Monday’s loss to the Utah Jazz as a unit, and Rodney Hood was the best player on the floor?
- How long until Jay Larranaga becomes a head coach in the NBA?
… OK, now to the scouting reports. We’ve seen some good and some bad from each of the young C’s in Monday’s 100-82 loss to the Jazz and Tuesday’s 76-62 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Below are the pros and cons we’ve seen so far.
- Jazz 100, Celtics 82: 26 points (6-20 FG, 2-10 3P, 12-13 FT), eight assists (2 turnovers), five rebounds, two steals and one block in 30 minutes.
- Sixers 76, Celtics 62: DNP (rest)
+ Getting to the rim: Using strength to get to basket and draw fouls more often
+ Court savvy: Drawing fouls, posting up smaller defenders, etc.
+ Elite defender: Stopped quick guards Dante Exum and Bryce Cotton in tracks
+ Pick and roll: Improved orchestration of game’s most important offensive play
+ Grit: Constantly fighting for position and not afraid of contact on both ends
+ Court vision: Improved decision-making on interior passes
+ Defensive rebounding: Size and strength helps assist bigs on the glass
— Shot selection: Way too many contested long 2’s and 3’s early in the shot clock
— Shooting form: Still doesn’t square up his feet enough
— Gambler: Can be beat backdoor defensively off the ball
— Reputation: Seemingly inadvertent elbow on Jack Cooley earned a flagrant foul
- Jazz 100, Celtics 82: 12 points (4-11 FG, 1-5 3P, 3-4 FT), three rebounds and one assist (1 turnover) in 30 minutes.
- Sixers 76, Celtics 62: Nine points (2-11 FG, 1-7 3P, 4-5 FT), one rebound, one steal and zero assists (0 turnovers) in 21 minutes.
|James Young begins earning his role with the Celtics after breaking out against Hornets||01.06.15 at 9:00 am ET|
James Young had played 18 minutes on the entire season entering Monday night’s game against the Hornets. His last appearance on an NBA court was when he played two minutes in a blowout against the Lakers on Dec 5. Since then, Young has missed time with a shoulder injury and spent time playing for the Maine Red Claws in the D-League.
Monday night was a coming out party for the No. 17 overall pick in this past June’s draft. Young matched his season total by playing 18 minutes in the game against Charlotte, coming up huge by nearly leading the Celtics to a comeback victory. In the second half alone the rookie played 15 minutes, pouring in 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting, while going 3-for-4 from downtown. Young’s finest moment came on a 3-pointer he hit in the fourth quarter to cut the Hornets’ lead to just six points, the smallest it would get after being as many as 22 points.
“I just tried to take every shot with confidence,” Young said following the game. “After one fell I just tried to go for another, and another and that’s how I’ve been playing all my life so I just tried to stick with it.”
Young has been sent to the D-League often of late, playing major minutes for the Red Claws when asked to. In eight games Young has averaged 22.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.5 steals in 32.6 minutes of action. He has also been practically automatic from beyond the arc, shooting 35-of-73 in those eight games. His experience seems to be paying off, though.
“I was king of nervous when I first got in. [It was] My first time playing, really, in the regular season,” said Young of his jitters. “I was just trying to go out there in the second half and just be aggressive, everyone told me to be aggressive.”
So did Young get advice from anyone in specific before his breakout game?
|5 things we learned in the Celtics’ loss to the Hornets||01.05.15 at 10:00 pm ET|
Fresh off of an overtime loss in Chicago, the Celtics returned home on Monday to face the underachieving Hornets at TD Garden. Part of the problem for Charlotte has been injuries, as they were without both Lance Stephenson and former Celtic Al Jefferson for this contest.
Jefferson played a huge role in the Hornets’ 96-87 victory over the C’s back on Dec. 10 in Charlotte, finishing with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Boston was out for revenge this time around, however, they didn’t find it on Monday.
Kemba Walker was dominant for the Hornets in their 104-95 win over the Celtics, seemingly finding a bucket every time the Celtics started to claw back. Walker finished with 33 points to go with five boards and five helpers. Click here for the full box score.
Here’s five things we learned in the loss:
BRAD STEVENS PLAYED EVERY AVAILABLE CELTIC
Ever since the Rajon Rondo trade Stevens has been tinkering around with all kinds of rotations. In the last two games this meant playing 11 different players double-digit minutes. On Monday it meant playing all 13 of his available players (Marcus Thornton and Jameer Nelson sat with injuries) during meaningful action.
“No idea. I think tonight was more of an anomaly because I was throwing darts. I can act like I know the answer to your question but I was throwing darts,” said Stevens.
Gerald Wallace saw minutes in the second half, and rather than filling in for Nelson by letting players in the rotation play more, Phil Pressey stepped in to take Nelson’s role. Playing 13 players before a game even turns into a blowout says a lot about a rotation, mostly negative things. Eventually, Stevens is going to have to pick a direction with this team and establish a rotation that allows his players to find more of a rhythm.
JAMES YOUNG FINALLY BROKE OUT
After going back-and-forth between playing big minutes for the Maine Red Claws of the NBA D-League and riding the bench for the Celtics, 19-year-old rookie James Young played when in mattered for the first time in weeks. Young came in to play the last three minutes of the first half, but didn’t come in gunning like he has done so far in his career.
That all changed in the second half, as Young scored 13 points in 13 minutes on 5-for-6 shooting in the second half alone (including 3-for-4 from downtown), nearly leading the Celtics to a comeback victory. It’s just one game, but Young was masterful on offense, and even played aggressive on the defensive side of the ball. Young is definitely a player to watch going forward as this performance may have carved him out a spot in Stevens’ wild rotation going forward.
|D-tales from the D-League: James Young shines, Marcus Smart struggles||12.05.14 at 12:26 pm ET|
James Young played the best game of his professional career, scoring 31 points and pulling down nine boards for the Maine Red Claws in Thursday’s 110-106 win over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Young was efficient, shooting 9-for-15 from the field, including 7-for-10 from beyond the arc. He still had some defensive lapses, but his shooting stroke was quite impressive.
Fellow Celtics rookie Marcus Smart struggled in his first Red Claws appearance. Turns out he can’t shoot in the D-League either, as he missed his first 11 shots.
Dwight Powell had a great fourth quarter, getting to the rim with ease. He was an efficient 9-for-14 and finished with 21 points.
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