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What Jordan Crawford means to Celtics 02.21.13 at 2:54 pm ET
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Celtics president Danny Ainge could’ve gone two ways at the NBA trade deadline — completely rebuilding or fortifying the current roster with precious few pieces to deal in return — and he appears to have chosen the latter.

In trading Jason Collins, his 8.1 personal fouls per 36 minutes and the injured Leandro Barbosa‘s expiring veteran minimum contract to the Wizards in exchange for Jordan Crawford, Ainge got the backcourt support he was looking for, partly at the expense of the team’s frontcourt depth.

In acquiring Crawford, the Celtics save a few hundred thousand dollars in salary and open another roster spot this season. They owe the 24-year-old shooting guard $2.1 million next year before he becomes a restricted free agent in 2014-15 — nothing too steep for a fourth guard option behind Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. Meanwhile, they hold on to The Fab Melo Project and inch closer to getting under the luxury tax line.

Considered a below average defender with poor shot selection, decent ball-handling skills and a knack for scoring in transition, Crawford is a poor man’s Barbosa, and since Ainge recently admitted players of Barbosa’s caliber aren’t available, he appears to be the best available option. The C’s weren’t going to get J.J. Redick at this price.

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Report: Celtics trade Leandro Barbosa, Jason Collins for Jordan Crawford at 1:51 pm ET
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The Celtics acquired Jordan Crawford from the Wizards, as first reported by David Aldridge.

Despite speculation that the C’s would send Fab Melo in return, team president Danny Ainge instead dealt little used backup center Jason Collins and the injured Leandro Barbosa — both on expiring veteran minimum contracts — according to Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski.

The 6-foot-4, 195-pound shooting guard averaged 13.2 points , 3.7 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 26.2 minutes a night for the woeful Wizards. His field goal (41.5%) and 3-point (34.5%) percentages are both career-highs. Over three NBA seasons, Crawford has shot 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from beyond the arc.

Here’s former ESPN.com analyst and current Grizzlies vice president of basketball operations John Hollinger‘s scouting report on the 24-year-old:

  • Shoot-happy guard who takes terrible shots. Capable passer when mood strikes.
  • Very quick and has a good handle. Can finish, but poor long-range shooter.
  • Abysmal defender. Undersized for 2. Must add strength and dial up effort.

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Doc Rivers: ‘We are really right at the threshold’ 02.13.13 at 9:31 pm ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers touched on just about every issue facing his team — and there are many — prior to his team’s final game before the NBA All-Star break: 1) the season-ending ACL injury suffered by Leandro Barbosa (who he “absolutely” wants back next season); 2) the search for a point guard (or any warm body, for that matter); 3) losing Barbosa, Jared Sullinger and Rajon Rondo in the locker room (a bigger deal than people think); 4) his depleted roster (“We are really right at the threshold”); 5) whether we’ll see more Fab Melo (we won’t); 6) similarities between Rondo and reigning NFL MVP Adrian Peterson (few beyond the ACL tear); 7) Michael Jordan‘s 50th birthday (“I wish they were all like that”), he hit them all. Here goes:

On Leandro Barbosa’s absence: “You don’t know a player or a coach or anybody until you actually coach with them or play with them, and he’s one of those guys you just like in your locker room — forget the basketball part. His spirit has been really good for us, and losing that, that’s big. And then he was our wild card. It’s good to have a wild card. When you throw him in, it could go either way, but you knew he was going to be aggressive.”

On point guard prospects: “In the last 48 hours, [Celtics president] Danny [Ainge] and I have probably covered every human being that’s breathing and can dribble and shoot. We’re just going to take our time. At the end of the day today, that’s basically what we came to. You don’t want to rush anything. We don’t have a lot of flexibility cap-wise. We’re just going to wait. If somebody shakes loose or you can get somebody, we will, but until then we’re stretched at the guard spot.”

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Barbosa officially done for season with torn ACL 02.12.13 at 4:02 pm ET
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Multiple reports indicate that Celtics guard Leandro Barbosa is officially done for the season after suffering a torn left ACL in Monday’s loss to the Bobcats in Charlotte. Barbosa went down with the injury in the third quarter of Monday’s game and had to be carried off the court. (After the game, teammate Kevin Garnett told the media that Barbosa was going to be sidelined for the rest of the year.) The 30-year-old reserve was averaging 5.2 points and 1.4 assists in 41 games with the Celtics this season.

(UPDATE, 4:51 p.m. The Celtics have issued a statement that reads in part: “The Boston Celtics announced today that guard Leandro Barbosa underwent an MRI this morning at New England Baptist Hospital after his left knee injury last night against the Charlotte Bobcats. The MRI revealed that Barbosa suffered a torn ACL in his left knee. No surgery date has been scheduled and he will be out for the remainder of the season.”)

For more Celtics news, check out weei.com/celtics.

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Kevin Garnett says Leandro Barbosa’s season over after knee injury 02.11.13 at 11:11 pm ET
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Leandro Barbosa's season may be over after a knee injury on Monday. (AP)

Leandro Barbosa’s season may be over after a knee injury on Monday. (AP)

The Celtics endured a dual setback on Monday night, losing 94-91 to Charlotte and also seeing guard Leandro Barbosa exit the game due to a non-contact injury to his left knee. Barbosa had to be carried off the floor in order to keep weight off the knee.

While coach Doc Rivers told reporters that Barbosa’s injury “doesn’t look great,” he also said the team would know his diagnosis more precisely after an examination on Tuesday. Teammate Kevin Garnett, however, suggested that the initial prognosis for Barbosa was ominous.

“It’s tough, man. It’s tough all the way around,” Garnett told reporters. “You work with these guys and all of a sudden you see a season-ending injury. We’re grinding right now, on top of a back-to-back emotional game. Tonight was a very tough game.”

Barbosa did not talk to reporters after the game. He reportedly left the locker room under his own power but limping.

The 30-year-old Barbosa, who signed with the Celtics in October, entered Monday averaging 5.3 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game while averaging 12 minutes a night. However, he’d emerged as an increasingly important contributor in the aftermath of the injury to Rajon Rondo, scoring 8.7 points with 2.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists in an average of 22 minutes per game in the seven contests without Rondo.

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Kevin Garnett powers Celtics past Raptors 02.06.13 at 9:34 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett. (AP)

Kevin Garnett had 27 points in the Celtics’ win. (AP)

Kevin Garnett led all five Celtics starters in double-figure scoring with a season-high 27 points and powered a key run at the start of the fourth quarter as the Celtics outlasted the Raptors, 99-93, Wednesday night at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. His turnaround jumper with 46.6 seconds left put Boston up 96-91.

Garnett’s three-point play with 8:46 remaining capped a 10-0 run at the start of the final period as the Celtics overcame a sloppy third quarter to win their fifth straight game and improve to 25-23 on the season. Garnett was 11-of-18 from the field and added 10 rebounds in the win.

Paul Pierce had 12 points and 11 rebounds while former Raptor Leandro Barbosa chipped in 14 points off the Boston bench. Courtney Lee (15), Avery Bradley (11) and Brandon Bass (10) also scored in double figures. After dominating the previous four games, the Celtics bench was not a major factor Wednesday but still outscored Toronto’s reserves, 24-20.

The Celtics finished the first half on an 11-6 run to take a 50-45 lead. The Celtics scored first in the third quarter to increase their lead to seven, but Rudy Gay then came alive. Gay, who was 8-of-22 from the field, scored 13 of his team-leading 25 in the third.

The Raptors appeared ready to steal the game with a 17-4 run late in the third quarter. The Raptors would outscore the Celtics 34-19 to take a 79-69 lead heading into the final 12 minutes. The Raptors had five of their 11 steals in the quarter as Toronto took command.

But Garnett led a Celtics charge that saw Boston outscore Toronto 30-16 in the final 12 minutes to wrap up a fifth straight win. Barbosa had 12 of his 14 in the final period to help Garnett and the Celtics put the game away.

The Celtics will have little time to rest as they fly back to Boston and take on Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on Thursday at 8 p.m. at TD Garden. The Lakers will not have the services of Pau Gasol, as the Lakers big man was diagnosed with a torn plantar fascia.

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

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Leandro Barbosa on M&M: Trade demand ‘definitely a miscommunication’ 01.31.13 at 2:15 pm ET
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Leandro Barbosa

Celtics guard Leandro Barbosa chatted with Mut & Merloni on Thursday to discuss the team’s reaction to hearing the Rajon Rondo news, the rumors that he wanted to be traded and more Celtics topics.

Barbosa scored seven points in the Celtics’ 99-81 victory over the Kings on Wednesday night, the team’s second victory in a row since losing Rondo for the season.

It was announced on Sunday, during the nationally televised game vs. the Heat, that Rondo would be out for the rest of the season. The players did not find out the news until after the win, though.

“It was pretty sad, very sad and shock,” Barbosa said. “We saw him in the shootaround before the game, a couple of minutes before the game. He was walking and just talking about some weird pain that he had in his leg. We knew that he probably would be out that game, but not for the whole year. … We’re hoping he’s feeling OK and he gets back as soon as possible to the court.”

On Jan. 17, a report from his home country of Brazil indicated that Barbosa had asked to be traded numerous times from the Celtics, but the nine-year veteran denied it.

“It was definitely a miscommunication,” Barbosa said. “I never said that. I never said that I wanted to get traded, and if I wanted to get traded I wouldn’t be talking to the media first. I would have talked to Danny Ainge, and then after, my teammates, and then the media.

“I knew my role was going to be like that and that’s why I came to the Celtics. It was a dream come true for me and I’m happy to be here.”

With the injury to Rondo, players like Barbosa figure to receive more playing time, but he said he is simply happy to be a part of such a historic team.

“Like I said, [it's a] dream come true,” Barbosa said. “It was a team that I was always watching when I was a little kid and there was a lot of good players that [have] been around this team and I just thought that it could be a good experience for me, even though I didn’t have many minutes or opportunity to play. But it was a great situation for me to learn from the older guys and the experienced guys. So, it was great.”

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.

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