Celtics

Celtics bench flexin' to show support

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Celtics bench flexin' to show support

PHILADELPHIA If the camera pans over at the Boston Celtics bench following a big play by the C's, there's a good chance that you'll see Keyon Dooling, Marquis Daniels or some other backup with doing a double-fist pump in what they refer to as, "flexin'."

"It's something we do, it's like a rallying celebration," Dooling told CSNNE.com. "It could mean a lot of different things. It definitely means, 'Let's go, it's time to bring the energy up.' We usually do it after a good play; something to get our teammates going."

Dooling added, "We're all connected. Just because guys don't play a lot or whatever, we still have a role on the team. We still feel those guys are playing through us, and we try to help them any way we can."

And "flexin'," Dooling says, is one way they achieve that goal.

"(Flexin') . . . is something, it's a verbal, sign language communication," Dooling said. "It gets our guys going."

Celtics coach Doc Rivers has spoken glowingly about how this Celtics team has been, in terms of team harmony and unity, about as close a team as he's ever coached.

"This group, in a lot of ways they're just a great group to coach," Rivers said. "Even though we had a lot of highs and lows injury-wise, we haven't had a lot of highs and lows in the locker room. Our guys everyday, they just come and compete. That doesn't mean they're gong to win. But you know you got the right group, and that's always nice."

Moving to power forward 'presents a different challenge' for Horford

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Moving to power forward 'presents a different challenge' for Horford

PHILADELPHIA – For the third time in as many games, the Boston Celtics will field a different lineup.

It will have a domino effect on Boston’s usual starters, but no one more than Al Horford who will slide over to power forward with Aron Baynes inserted into the starting lineup where he’ll be charged with trying to defend Sixers 7-footer Joel Embiid.

Meanwhile, Horford will be assigned to defend Robert Covington who is one of Philadelphia’s better perimeter scorers.

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“I feel like one of my strengths is being able to play multiple positions,” Horford told NBC Sports Boston. “It presents a different challenge for me, which is making sure I do a good job of covering him out on the perimeter, staying between him and the basket.”

In Philadelphia’s 120-115 season-opening loss to Washington, Covington led all Sixers with 29 points which included him going 7-for-11 from 3-point range in addition to grabbing seven rebounds.

While Covington will be Horford’s first defensive assignment, he knows he will also be called upon at times to defend Embiid who ranks among the best centers in the NBA despite having played just 32 games over the course of three NBA seasons.

In the loss to the Wizards, Embiid had a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Horford’s defense will be critical for Boston (0-2) to get its first win of the season, but the Celtics will also need him to take advantage of scoring opportunities as well.

“We have some guys down, but that creates opportunities for other guys to step up and contribute,” Horford said. “It’s going to all of us, the veterans, the young players, all of us to get that first win.”

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens agreed.

“I think that’s how we have to look at it,” Stevens said. “We’re going to have to make a few tweaks on how we do things, obviously. Hey, it’s gonna be something that we’re going to have to do really, really well on the fly.”

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