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James Young, Coty Clarke recalled from Maine, available in Phoenix 03.26.16 at 8:17 pm ET
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Coty Clarke meets with reporters on March 7 after signing a 10-day contract. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Coty Clarke meets with reporters on March 7 after signing his first 10-day contract. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

The Celtics have reinforcements as their five-game Western swing begins. 

Coty Clarke and James Young were recalled Saturday from the Maine Red Claws. Both are expected to be with the team in Phoenix as the Celtics take on the Suns.  The reinforcements will help the team deal with the continued absence of Jae Crowder, who is expected to miss his seventh straight game with a high sprain of his right ankle. Crowder is with the team out West and Brad Stevens said he’s still hopeful Crowder could be back playing before the end of the trip. 

On Friday night, in the Red Claws’ 120-113 victory over the Austin Spurs, Clarke scored 21 points, eight rebounds, two assists and one steal in 32 minutes of action. Clarke, who signed his second 10-day contract on March 18, has played in 42 games for Maine this season and is averaging 16.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals in 26.0 minutes per game.

Also on Friday night, Young finished with nine points, eight rebounds, two assists and one steal in 29 minutes against Austin on March 25. He has appeared in 12 contests for the Red Claws this season and is averaging 14.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.0 steal in 28.0 minutes per game.

Both also played Wednesday night in the first game of the two-game trek through Texas, a 137-111 loss to Rio Grande. Clarke had 22 points and seven rebounds while Young scored 21 points and six rebounds. 

Read More: Boston Celtics, Coty Clarke, James Young, Maine Red Claws
Brad Stevens says young Celtics bench stepping up: ‘They’ve all had their moments’ 03.21.16 at 7:37 pm ET
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Tommy Heinsohn has lovingly called the back end of the Celtics bench a “D-League” group. While that’s more a clear reference to their youth and not necessarily their skill, the point is still there that it’s a unit that probably is not ready to step forward and produce at the NBA level for a team that fighting desperately for home court in the upcoming playoffs. 

But to Brad Stevens, the group led by Terry Rozier has been much more than just a group of throwaways. It’s been a group that’s been put in a position where they have no choice to step up with injuries to Kelly Olynyk, Jae Crowder and Jonas Jerebko. 

Rozier, R.J. Hunter, James Young, Coty Clarke and Jordan Mickey have all come off the bench for the Celtics, and not just at the end of games where the decision is already determined. All five of those players have seen action in the first half of Boston’s last five games at one time or another. When the Celtics were getting roughed up by the Pacers, Thunder and Raptors, Stevens turned to the back end of the bench to provide a spark. Against the Pacers and Raptors, it helped the Celtics stay in the game well into the second half. 

“They’ve all had their moments. They’ve all had their opportunities. I told our team if Coty Clarke is open, we should probably throw it to him since he’s never missed a three in an NBA game,” Stevens joked, referring to Clarke’s three in Indiana. “But hey, James has had good moments, especially I thought he did a good job in the first half of the Oklahoma City game, come in and kind of stem the tide as we were going to the bench. R.J. hit some big shots against Toronto. Jordan is obviously, Jordan. He’s just in the position where we have the most depth. So, I think they’ve all had their moments.” 

Rozier is the one player who has seen the most playing time of the group because he’s a guard who can come in and provide some support in Boston’s weak rebounding game. 

“I think Terry has really added to us in the last couple of games because I feel like he’s been able to handle the ball, make plays for others and rebound. That’s a big deal for our team. Rebounding has not been our best strength this entire season.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens, Dwight Howard, James Young
Jordan Mickey recalled in time for Celtics’ trip to Indiana 03.14.16 at 6:01 pm ET
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Jordan Mickey

Jordan Mickey

Before taking off for their trip to Indianapolis and a Tuesday meeting with the Pacers, the Celtics recalled forward Jordan Mickey from the Maine Red Claws of the D-League.

The move is likely just depth at the 3/4 position as the Celtics cope with the loss of Jae Crowder for at least two weeks with a high ankle sprain to his right foot.

Mickey has turned into a shot-blocking phenom, blocking four shots (three in the first quarter) against Grand Rapids on Sunday in the Red Claws’ 129-123 victory.

Mickey also tallied a double-double with a team-high 28 points, 11 rebounds, one assist and a steal in 32 minutes of action. He has played in 23 games for Maine this season and is averaging 17.4 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 4.4 blocks per game in that span.

Mickey blocked three shots in a span of five seconds last Wednesday in a win over Memphis at TD Garden. 

Coach Brad Stevens said the team would likely consider a number of options to replace Crowder’s minutes, most likely involving Evan Turner and James Young. 

Read More: Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Jae Crowder, James Young
With Jae Crowder out, James Young might finally be ‘shooting’ his way to playing time at 10:01 am ET
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Celtics forward James Young defends Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) in a December game at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Celtics forward James Young defends Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins in a December game at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

WALTHAM — The time may finally be right for James Young to show what he’s got. 

The second-year forward out of Kentucky, drafted in the first round of the 2014 NBA draft by the Celtics (17th overall), is one of the leading candidates to fill in while Jae Crowder heals from a high ankle sprain suffered last Friday against the Rockets.

Young is still only 20 years old but already it feels like he’s been around the block for the Celtics. In his rookie season, he was assigned to the Maine Red Claws 11 times, averaging 20.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.4 steals in 19 games. But it’s the shooting Young has been working to improve. At Kentucky, he shot 40.7 percent from the field and 34.9 percent from 3-point range. In five summer league games this past year, he averaged 9.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in five games but shot just 27.1 percent from the field and 22.7 percent from three-point range. 

This year, the shuttle back and forth has continued, with nine more assignments, including six in this calendar year alone. This year in 10 games for Maine, he’s averaged 14.2 points and 5.7 rebounds. He’s only shooting 36.6 percent but it’s his 6-foot-6 athleticism that could come in handy as the Celtics look for someone to help fill the minutes of the injury Crowder.

“He shot the heck out of it,” Brad Stevens said after practice on Sunday. “One thing James has done is gotten good game reps in, because he’s also played in Maine. He had a good practice [Sunday].”

Young has averaged just 2.4 points and 9.1 minutes in 55 career games for the Celtics. Now, he may get a chance to actually add significantly to those totals. 

Rated a five-star recruit by ESPN.com, Young was listed as the No. 3 small forward and the No. 8 player in the nation in 2013 at Kentucky. He was a starter on the Wildcats team that lost to UConn in the 2014 NCAA title game. He left after that season and missed Kentucky’s run at an undefeated season that ended with a national semifinal loss to Wisconsin last year. 

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Jae Crowder, James Young, Jordan Mickey
Celtics recall James Young, assign Jordan Mickey to Red Claws 03.13.16 at 1:50 pm ET
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Jordan Mickey

Jordan Mickey

WALTHAM — The James Young-Jordan Mickey shuttle continued on Sunday.

The Celtics recalled Young Sunday in time for their practice in Waltham while assigning shot-blocking specialist Jordan Mickey to the Maine Red Claws.

Mickey was in uniform for Maine’s Sunday afternoon game at home against Grand Rapids. He had six points, two rebounds and three blocks in the first quarter, including a monster rejection from behind late in the quarter. Catch the game here on YouTube.

Mickey had three blocks in one possession on Wednesday in the win over Memphis.

Read More: Boston Celtics, D-League, James Young, Jordan Mickey
Celtics recall James Young in time for Monday tilt vs. Jazz 02.29.16 at 2:35 pm ET
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James Young

James Young

James Young is back in Boston. 

The Celtics announced Monday afternoon prior to their home game against the Jazz at TD Garden that they have recalled the 20-year-old 6-foot-6 guard/forward from the D-League Maine Red Claws.

In the Red Claws’ 132-111 victory against the against the Sioux Falls Skyforce on Sunday, Young scored eight points, grabbed four rebounds, handed out two assists and recorded a block in 18 very active minutes. He has played in eight contests for Maine this season and is averaging 15.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals in 28.6 minutes per game.

The move could be insurance for Avery Bradley, who turned his ankle in the second half of Saturday’s win over the Heat. The Celtics still have one roster spot open, as they have not filled the void left by the buyout of center David Lee.

This marks Young’s eighth recall to Boston on the season. 

In 22 games for the Celtics this season, he’s averaging 1.2 points and one rebound per contest. He hasn’t played since playing 96 seconds in the 121-101 win over the Nuggets on Feb. 21 in Denver. He hasn’t scored in a game since matching a season-high five points against Washington on Jan. 25 in a 25-point win. 

Read More: Boston Celtics, James Young, Maine Red Claws,
Brad Stevens working to keep young guns in the mix 02.25.16 at 9:16 pm ET
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Marcus Smart (36) trips over Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) in the second quarter at the Pepsi Center. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today Sports)

Marcus Smart (36) trips over Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) in the second quarter at the Pepsi Center. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today Sports)

While there was some discussion pre-game Thursday of how a veteran like Joe Johnson might add valuable versatility, there was also acknowledgment of the potential of the youth that remains on the roster.

With an average age of 24.4, the Celtics are tied with the Jazz for the youngest roster in the league this season.

The team they played Thursday, the Bucks are next at 24.5 and the Sixers come in at 24.7. The Celtics are by far and away the most successful in that foursome of youth. 

The Celtics have three rookies on their roster in Terry Rozier, Jordan Mickey and R.J. Hunter. Marcus Smart and James Young hail from the 2014 draft and Kelly Olynyk represents the Class of 2013 and Jared Sullinger was drafted in 2012.

Of the last two drafts, only Smart is seeing significant minutes and Young’s yo-yo between Boston and Maine is well documented.

How are the young guns handling not playing?

“I think it’s hard. They’ve played their whole lives,” Stevens said before Thursday’s game. “They’ve never had a year where they’ve sat. But it’s probably not all that unanticipated. It’s part of life as a young player, especially on a team that’s like ours. We’ve talked about that there’s not a ton of separation up and down the roster but there is a lot of depth.” 

With David Lee gone to Dallas, the Jonas Jerebko and Amir Johnson are the oldest at 28 years. Only five of the 14 players on the active roster are over 25.  

“All of our older players, and I say older kind of tongue-in-cheek, but they all are productive NBA players and have a real niche and role,” Stevens added.

R.J. Hunter has had the biggest impact of the 2015 class, averaging nearly 10 minutes a game in the 26 games he’s played. Rozier has played in 20 games and Mickey has seen action in just six games but does have three blocks. 

 

Read More: Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens, James Young, Marcus Smart
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