Celtics

Ainge: 'Unlikely' anything will get done before deadline

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Ainge: 'Unlikely' anything will get done before deadline

DENVER The Celtics are still keeping all options open between now and Thursday's trade deadline. That said, Danny Ainge doesn't sound too optimistic that the C's roster will look radically different from where it stands now.

"It looks unlikely that anything will be done," said Ainge, the Celtics' president of basketball operations.

He said the Celtics would likely fill out the remaining holes in their roster by signing free agents or possibly by picking up a player or two who might be bought out in the coming days.

Boston is close to having Terrence Williams on the floor. He and the C's have come to terms on a 10-day contract, but the Celtics are still waiting for a letter of clearance from the team he played for in China, the Guangdong Southern Tigers.

"Sometimes that's quick, sometimes that's a long process," Ainge said of receiving the letter. "I'm hopeful it will get done soon."

Williams is with the Celtics now in Denver, but unable to participate in practice or game preparation until the letter of clearance is received.

The addition of Williams speaks to how far and wide the Celtics have to go in order to add talent with an extremely limited budget. Boston is inching closer and closer to the league's cap limit of 74 million, which has left Ainge and the C's little choice but to pinch a few pennies.

That's why they waived second-round pick Kris Joseph and later, signed Jarvis Varnado to a 10-day contract but didn't pick it up after 10 days. Instead, he has signed with the Miami Heat for the rest of the season.

Being busy is a given this time of year for Ainge, although there has been more dialogue between the C's and other teams this season than past years.

"We've had injuries," explained Ainge. "We wouldn't have been talking so much if we hadn't had so many injuries."

With a healthy roster, Boston has 13 players. But with three players (Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger and most recently, Leandro Barbosa) out with season-ending injuries, the C's depth has been stretched about as thin as it's going to be.

That leaves the C's with just 10 available players, a number that will increase to 11 once Williams is cleared to play.

"There's been a lot of conversation around the league and we've certainly been busy at it," Ainge said. "Trades are very challenging to make."

It becomes even more complicated when a team gets on a roll like the Celtics have the past couple of weeks.

Boston comes into tonight's game having won eight of their last nine games, which includes a triple-overtime thriller against the Nuggets in Boston on Feb. 10.

"We like our guys; I like watching this team play," said Ainge who added, "we just need to find a way to give them the best chance to win with the resources we have."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions on the Celtics getting their first win of the season and a comparison between Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving in the 4th quarter.

7:17 - Phil Perry joins BST to break down the tale of the tape between the Falcons and the Patriots as he breaks down the quarterbacks, offense, defense, coaching, and intangibles between the two teams.

11:57 - Our crew on BST discuss number 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and number 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum going up against each other and debate who seems like the better pick so far. 

16:35 - In this segment of Irrelevant Questions, Tom Curran interviews Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett as he asks him a bunch of random questions. 

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Larkin rises to occasion, says he's ready when Celtics call his number

Larkin rises to occasion, says he's ready when Celtics call his number

PHILADELPHIA – Near the end of a preseason game against Charlotte, Boston Celtics guard Shane Larkin was killin’ the Hornets with pick-and-roll action.

It was a preseason game that at the time, didn’t seem to have much value other than to get some of the end-of-the-bench guys a little run up and down the court.

But as it turned out, Larkin's play in that game was one of those things head coach Brad Stevens tucked away, knowing at some point he would count on Larkin to provide similar play in a regular season game.

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Well, that game was Friday night at Philadelphia, a game in which several players for Boston stepped their games up in helping the Celtics get their first win of the season, 102-92.

But you would be hard-pressed to find a bigger game-changer for the Celtics in this game, than Larkin.

He finished with 10 points off the bench, eight of which came in the decisive fourth quarter when the Celtics rallied from five-down to get a hard-fought, much-needed victory.

“You have to always be ready for your name to be called, especially when you have injuries,” Larkin said. “You never know whose night it’s gonna be.”

Boston was playing without Marcus Smart who suffered a left ankle sprain in their 108-100 loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday. Smart was in the starting lineup having replaced Gordon Hayward who underwent left ankle surgery and is expected to be out for the remainder of this season.

“When coach (Stevens) called my name, I had to go out there and be aggressive, play my game,” Larkin said. “And it worked in our favor.”

And while Stevens had watched Larkin play prior to the Celtics signing him this summer, it was a preseason game against Charlotte that really convinced him that the 5-foot-11 guard could help when called upon.

“You’re always watching,” Stevens said. “And if you remember that exhibition game, he finished out that Charlotte game, just running simple spread pick-and-rolls. He’s such a handful with his speed and quickness, and he allows other guys to play off of him. He’s a small guy, but he makes up for it with his speed and skill.”

Al Horford benefited more than any other Celtic with Larkin’s pick-and-roll play which factored into Horford scoring nine of his 17 points in the fourth.

“Shane is a player who understands the game and for us, it was me trying to set a good screen for him and having him make a play,” Horford said. “He just made the right reads, when to shoot it, when to pass it. He just looked very comfortable in that position.”

And to think that Larkin’s big game came about in part because of how well he performed in a preseason matchup against the Hornets.

“I did not know it was that specific game,” Larkin said. “But whenever I step on the court I try to do my best. That’s offensively, defensively, and do what the team needs me to do.

Larkin added, “Whenever my number is called, if he (Stevens) calls it again, I hope he does. I’ll be ready to go out there and do it again.”

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