Celtics

Arroyo can't arrive fast enough for Celtics

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Arroyo can't arrive fast enough for Celtics

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

MILWAUKEE Carlos Arroyo will be with the Boston Celtics when they play the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

And his arrival can't come soon enough.

The Celtics survived an 89-83 win at Milwaukee on Sunday night, but it was clear that Boston's playmaker extraordinaire, Rajon Rondo, needs some rest.

For long stretches, he didn't move with the kind of swiftness we're used to seeing.

That allowed Bucks guard Brandon Jennings, who is lightning-quick to begin with, to put together a strong performance for most of the night.

Jennings and Boston's Paul Pierce shared game-high scoring honors, with 23 points.

Meanwhile, Rondo played 38-plus minutes and finished with six points and eight assists. But what was really distressing was the season-high eight turnovers he committed.

It was the kind of game in which Arroyo, had he been available, might have been able to cut into Rondo's minutes . . . which in turn, might have cut down on Rondo's turnovers.

Arroyo, who was waived by the Miami Heat last week, isn't coming in as some type of savior or anything like that.

"We just needed another guard," said coach Doc Rivers, who added "we just needed the help, the security blanket."

Delonte West was supposed to be that guy for the Celtics, but his propensity for getting injured is not encouraging. A 10-game suspension to start the season, coupled with injuries, has limited West to just eight games this season.

With that kind of track record, the Celtics felt they had little choice but to add another point guard to the roster.

Rivers said he hopes Arroyo can come in and pick up the Celtics' system pretty quickly.

The C's have tried to allow Avery Bradley to run the offense. While he has shown flashes of being a good NBA player, his youth and inexperience makes the Celtics extremely vulnerable.

And when you throw all the new faces into the mix, it's understandable how Bradley has struggled in limited action as the team's point guard.

"It's almost unfair to Avery," Rivers said. "He's learning how to run a team. He didn't know what to call, and there's nobody to help him because they don't know."

Even though he is the newest "new" guy, that shouldn't be as big an issue for Arroyo.

"He's a veteran point guard," Rivers said. "We're hoping when he comes in and kind of learns our stuff, he can get us in our stuff and organize the team when he's on the floor with a bunch of new guys. Because he's a veteran, he'll have the ability to do that."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

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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