Barbosa making impact on offense in limited minutes


Barbosa making impact on offense in limited minutes

ORLANDO If you're surprised at how well Leandro Barbosa has acclimated himself to the Boston Celtics, well join the club.

Even he has been caught off guard at how well he has fit in with the C's so quickly.

Once again, it was Barbosa's instant offense that played a role in a Boston victory as the C's defeated Orlando 116-110 in overtime.

Barbosa led a Celtics' second unit with 15 points in less than 11 minutes of playing time. That in itself is impressive.

Consider this: Of the 15 points Barbosa scored, 11 came within his first three minutes or so of court time.

"That's my game," Barbosa said. "I like to be aggressive every time I am on the court. Coach (Rivers) has been giving me a lot of confidence so every time I am there, I try to of course set up plays for my teammates, but if I see opportunities for me to score, I will score."

Even Rivers finds himself looking on in astonishment at how quickly Barbosa can get going despite coming off the bench.

"We thought he was going to go for a (scoring) record in the first half," Rivers said. "He's a scorer. We don't have a backup point right now, so when we put him in, we're putting him in as a scorer."

And that's a role that the Celtics have to have him play when Rondo's off the floor for extended stretches of time, as was the case on Sunday when Rondo was in foul trouble.

"That's why we brought him in," said Rondo, who still managed to score 15 points to go with 16 assists and nine rebounds. "We know he can score the ball."

Even though Barbosa found himself racking up a hefty number of fouls, it still didn't take away from how he controlled the game for stretches of play.

"To have a point guard as a backup and have that type of effect on the game is big for me and our team," Rondo said.

And while much has been made of what Barbosa has brought to the C's offensively, he has had moments in which his defense has impressed the Celtics as well.

But on Sunday, it was all about buckets for Barbosa.

"Basketball is not all about scoring," Barbosa said. "If I am having one of those nights where I'm not dong well on offense, I am going to try to do my best I can on the defensive end. Tonight my offense was good and I took advantage of it."

And the opportunity to produce so often has been a bit unexpected for Barbosa who credits the C's coaches and his teammates for allowing him to impact games by simply doing what he seems to do best - score.

"They have been giving me a lot of confidence when I am on the court," Barbosa said. "That helps me a lot and I feel comfortable."

Morning Skate: Robust trade market for D-men


Morning Skate: Robust trade market for D-men

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while prepping for Claude Bowl II.

*It’s going to be a robust trade market for defensemen with names such as Jack Johnson, Dion Phaneuf and Oliver Ekman-Larsson highlighting the group that’s available. Paul Martin will be in that select company if he clears through waivers and perhaps Niklas Hjalmarsson will as well with many teams holding D-men they’re willing to part with.

*The Buffalo Sabres apparently want four assets in any deal for rental Evander Kane that includes a draft pick, a prospect and an NHL roster player, and it’s hard to believe anybody is going to do that for a perennial underachiever who's never even scored 60 points in a season before.

*A tough end to the Andrew Cogliano iron-man streak as he’s been suspended for a couple of games after an incident last weekend.

*Brent Burns is the envy of many blueliners around the league because of his hard, accurate shot, which isn’t scoring him as many goals this season

*Year-round Las Vegas resident Deryk Engelland has been rewarded for being a member of the Golden Knights with a one-year contract extension.

*It sounds like the Philadelphia Flyers have got Shayne Gostisbehere thinking more about defense after some up-and-down moments last season in his sophomore effort.

*For something completely different: A profile on a UFC champion and a firefighter all at the same time. Sounds like an interesting dude.


Acciari misses Bruins practice with upper-body injury


Acciari misses Bruins practice with upper-body injury

BRIGHTON, Mass – Noel Acciari was in and out of the Bruins lineup in the Monday afternoon loss to the Dallas Stars with an upper-body injury and the fourth-line grinder was missing from the practice ice on Tuesday as well. 

Acciari has been able to stay healthy the past few months while helping to establish Boston’s fourth line and has added to his hard-hitting style of play with six goals in 28 games this season.

But there's been a litany of injuries the past few seasons given the physical pounding the 5-foot-10, 208-pounder takes given his rugged style of play. This current injury limited him to just 6:05 of ice time in an overtime loss to the Stars. Still, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy was optimistic that Acciari would be able to suit up against the Canadiens on Wednesday night in Claude Julien’s return to TD Garden.

“Jake DeBrusk was under the weather and so was Kevan Miller, so they stayed home,” said Cassidy of Acciari, who has missed 14 games this season mainly due to a broken finger suffered blocking a shot on opening night. “Noel Acciari has a bit of an upper-body injury and it affected his minutes [Monday vs. Dallas]. He’s kind of day-to-day. I suspect that he would play tomorrow, but we’ll have a better idea on [Wednesday] morning.”

Both DeBrusk and Miller are expected to be fine to play against the Habs in their rematch from last weekend this time on Boston's home ice. Here are the line combos and D-pairings for the players that were on the ice for Tuesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena: