Celtics

Barbosa reaches agreement with Celtics

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Barbosa reaches agreement with Celtics

NEW YORK The Boston Celtics have filled the only gaping hole in their roster -- a backup point guard -- by adding veteran guard Leandro Barbosa.

Barbosa's one-year, veteran minimum deal gives the Celtics 14 players with guaranteed contracts, one short of the NBA maximum.

Prior to Boston's 97-96 loss to Brooklyn on Tuesday, C's coach Doc Rivers said that the Celtics planned on carrying the league-maximum of 15 players.

That likely means that the Celtics will keep second-round pick Kris Joseph for the entire season.

Adding Barbosa is a major coup for the Celtics, who were noticeably short-handed at the backup point guard position when Keyon Dooling announced his retirement prior to training camp.

Barbosa, a 6-foot-4 combo guard, gives Boston a player with Rajon Rondo-like speed who can run a team in addition to keeping opponents honest defensively with his long-range shooting.

Adding him means Jason Terry can spend most of his time off the ball, which is where he is at his best. Ditto for Courtney Lee.

However, the C's may have a bit of a perimeter logjam when Avery Bradley returns in the middle of December.

With Rajon Rondo starting, the rest of the C's guard lineup includes Terry, Lee, Barbosa and Bradley.

The idea that the Celtics would play five guards is unlikely, which means the C's are going to have a talented player sitting most nights barring injuries.

But if you're Doc Rivers, that's the kind of problem you would love to have heading into the regular season which is less two weeks away.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?

0:41 - Kyle Draper, Brain Scalabrine, Tommy Heinsohn, and Mike Gorman break down the Celtics loss to the Cavs and Gordon Hayward’s injury.

4:22 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions to the gruesome injury to Gordon Hayward and how it impacted the game.

9:39 - Dr. Chris Chihlas joins BST to give his medical opinion on Gordon Hayward and if he thinks there is a chance Hayward could return this season. 

13:40 - Chris Mannix and A. Sherrod Blakely discuss what the feeling was like in the arena when Hayward went down but how there is actually a 'cautious optimism' surrounding the injury.

Jayson Tatum flashes potential with double-double debut

Jayson Tatum flashes potential with double-double debut

CLEVELAND – Jayson Tatum has seen plenty of games featuring Cleveland’s LeBron James.

And in the Boston Celtics’ preparation for Tuesday night’s matchup, the 19-year-old rookie had seen plenty of James on film.

But facing him, up close and personal, was something entirely different.

“He’s way bigger than I thought,” Tatum said. “He’s way better than I imagined. That’s the reason why he is who he is.”

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James’ play was among the key factors in Cleveland handing Boston a 102-99 loss on Tuesday night.

But Tatum showed he too has some big-time potential by finishing with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds which included some nifty drives to the basket as well as showing the ability to hold his own on the glass in terms of rebounding the basketball.

The last Celtics rookie to post a double-double on opening night?

That was Larry Bird back in 1980, helping the Celtics to a 114-106 win over the Houston Rockets.

What’s even crazier?

Bird had 14 points and 10 rebounds in that Rockets game, too.

Tatum’s solid performance didn’t seem in the making in the first half when Tatum had missed all five of his shot attempts while tallying just two points.

But as the Celtics mounted their comeback, Tatum’s play was a key to the team’s improved play.

“Just being more relaxed” was how Tatum described his improved play in the second half.

Tatum added, “first half, I think I was nervous and anxious. And then the game slowed down for me. That helped out a lot.”

And the Celtics will need even more from Tatum going forward after Gordon Hayward’s left ankle injury that will keep him sidelined indefinitely.

There was plenty of room for him to improve upon following Tuesday’s game.

But for the most part, head coach Brad Stevens liked what he saw from the rookie.

“Jayson was pretty good,” Stevens said. “He did a pretty good job for a first game. That’s pretty hard to do, to be thrown into this environment, first game and play that well.”

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