Celtics

Celtics cut Stephane Lasme, Mario West

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Celtics cut Stephane Lasme, Mario West

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - The Celtics trimmed their roster Wednesday by waiving training camp invitees Stephane Lasme and Mario West.

Lasme, a University of Massachusetts alum, emerged as a fan favorite during the preseason. The Gabon native had been en route to Russia this summer but returned to the United States in order to maintain his residency and be with his wife and family. After giving up a contract overseas, he earned a spot on the Celtics' preseason roster. Lasme wasted no time, scoring 12 points in his first outing.

Now the forward is focused on staying in the game.

"I'm just going to sit around with the family and see what happens. I'm sure my agent is going to call me with something, and go from there," he told CSNNE.com following the Celtics' game against the New Jersey Nets.

"I feel pretty confident about myself. I talked to a couple of the vets. They reassured me that I deserve to be in the league, that I'm an NBA player. I talked to Doc Rivers. He likes me a lot. We had a long talk in his office. After what he said, I'm pretty confident I'll be somewhere."

Lasme is open to the option of playing for the Maine Red Claws, the Celtics' NBA Development League affiliate. And if he does, there is the chance he could be joined by West.

The Red Claws still have the rights to West, a guard who played the last three years in the Atlanta Hawks organization. In the meantime, West will return home to Georgia and work on improving his offensive game. He sees himself developing into a player like Bruce Bowen or Raja Bell, one who focuses on defense first and then finds his niche offensively.

"I have things I need to work on but I think they were, overall, pleased with the effort I gave," West told CSNNE.com. "I was just grateful for the opportunity, to be honest. Any time you get an opportunity to come in with a championship-caliber team, I took a lot of pride in putting on that jersey and practicing with those guys. I feel like I made life-long brothers in this locker room."

The Celtics roster stands at 16, including the recent addition of Tiny Gallon.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comJCameratoNBA.

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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