Baynes confident he and Morris will provide physical play to Celtics frontcourt

Baynes confident he and Morris will provide physical play to Celtics frontcourt

BOSTON –  Aron Baynes doesn’t have to say a single word when he walks into a room.

Standing 6-foot-10, 260-pounds, his mere presence says a lot about his focus when he's on the floor which is to be a physical, tough guy.

And Boston’s other addition from Detroit, Marcus Morris?

He’s cut from the same cloth which is a good thing for the Celtics who could use a few more bangers in the frontcourt.

Baynes is confident that he and Morris will provide Boston with the kind of physical play it needs to build upon the success the team enjoyed last season.

“He’s got a great work ethic and I love the way he plays,” said Baynes, referring to Morris. “You know he brings a bit of toughness to it and yeah, I’ve always had fun playing with him and he played with our second unit a lot in Detroit and we always did good things when we were together on the court so I’m excited that he’s here as well and yeah, we look forward to bring some extra toughness.”

The Pistons didn’t have nearly as much success as Baynes or Morris would have wanted, but it certainly wasn’t due to their play on the floor together.

The duo formed Detroit’s best two-man unit defensively with a defensive rating of 93.5 - tops among all of Detroit’s two-man units which played at least 30 games together.

In addition, their offensive rebounding percentage of 22.2 and defensive rebounding percentage of 82.2 speaks to how they can be a force on the glass as well.

As a team last season, Boston’s offensive rebounding percentage was 21.2 which ranked 25th in the NBA, while their defensive rebounding percentage of 75.3 ranked 27th in the league.

While Morris doesn’t dispute the toughness he and Baynes can bring to the Celtics, it’s not something he spends much time thinking about.

“You know I don’t think that’s the thing you work on,” Morris said. “You just have to have that type of attitude and you know I think it’s just the NBA’s instilled in me to bring that toughness so I don’t think that’s something we’re going to have to worry about.”

And as far as Morris’ take on Baynes, he sees Baynes as – you got it – a tough competitor whose presence and play will help Boston this season.

“He’s a tough guy,” Morris said of Baynes. “At practice, he competes at the highest level every day. Since I’ve been in Detroit with him, he came and (brought) it and you know that’s the type of guy you want to play with and not against. So, I’m happy he’s on our team. I think he’s going to be a big, major piece for us.”

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics streak comes to an end


BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics streak comes to an end

0:41 - Tom Giles, Kayce Smith, and DJ Bean discuss the Celtics 16-game winning streak being snapped by the Miami Heat.

6:05 - Tom Curran and Mike Giardi talk about Tom Brady missing practice due to an Achilles injury and Randy Moss’ chances to make the Hall of Fame.

11:15 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the mental and physical fatigue that the streak had on the Celtics and if there is a sense of relief that the streak is over.  

16:11 - With it being the 5th anniversary of the Butt Fumble, we compare it to other embarrassing sports moments in history. 

Little things prove costly for Celtics as streak comes to an end

Little things prove costly for Celtics as streak comes to an end

When you reflect upon Boston’s 16-game winning streak which came to an end with Miami’s 104-98 win on Wednesday, there were moments in just about every game that played a major factor in their success.

So it was only fitting that in the Miami loss, it would be a whole lot of little things that ultimately brought the fourth-longest winning streak in franchise history to a screeching halt.

  • Al Horford missed a pair of free throws.
  • Marcus Smart split a pair that had he made both, would have tied the game up in the fourth quarter.
  • Jayson Tatum had his only turnover of the game, in the fourth.
  • Terry Rozier had a rebound that he could not corral and bounced off his hands out of bounds.

And that doesn’t even factor in the missed open shots and unforced turnovers that collectively played a major role in Boston’s winning streak being a thing of the past now.

“I turned it over, we missed some free throws . . . we had some unfortunate things happen,” Tatum told reporters following the loss.


Even with the loss, the Celtics (16-3) still boast the best record in the NBA.

Kyrie Irving has elevated his all-around play to a level to where he’s legitimately in the conversation as a league MVP candidate.

Jayson Tatum has established himself as one of the league’s top rookies from his draft class.

“As you could see, they kept hitting us, hitting us, until we were knocked out,” Irving said. “They deserved that win tonight.”

Disappointed with the loss, but it was not at all surprising to head coach Brad Stevens who has been raising concerns about his team’s attention to detail for the past few games and sensed it would catch up to them sooner or later.

“I told you, we’re not as good as the 16-game win streak,” Stevens said. “But we do have a lot of resolve. I can’t say enough about our guy’s will to come back. It’s incredible we were able to erase that lead that quickly and give ourselves a chance.”

Indeed, the Celtics rallied from a double-digit deficit to come within a single point in the fourth quarter. But unlike previous games, Boston couldn’t find a path to victory.

“We’re just going to continue to learn and continue to get better,” Irving said. “It’s the same things echoed when we were winning. Just continue to get better and understand, there’s still a lot for us to accomplish going forward.

He added, “It was a good streak, and it’s finally come to an end.”