Celtics

Celtics not concerned with quick turnaround

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Celtics not concerned with quick turnaround

MIAMI The quick turn-around for the Boston Celtics is seen by most as a bad thing.

The C's are an older team that's coming off a long, seven-game playoff series against Philadelphia. They're facing a younger, more athletic team in the Miami Heat who will be well-rested after wrapping up their playoff series with Indiana on Thursday.

No one questions the value that comes with added rest, young or old team. But the way the Celtics tell it - or spin it, depending on your choice of words - rhythm is more important at this point in the playoffs than rest.

That's why they're actually glad -- at least that's what they're saying now -- to have games every other day of the Eastern Conference finals, beginning with Game 1 in Miami on Monday.

"I like it that way," said Celtics forward Paul Pierce. "It keeps us in a rhythm, it keeps us playing. We're an older team so we don't want to sit around for too long."

While it may prove beneficial now, you have to wonder if playing every other day will catch up to the Celtics deeper into this series.

It certainly did in their second-round matchup with Philadelphia. This was especially noticeable in their Game 6 loss. In that game, there were a number of shots taken by the Celtics early on that hit the front of the rim - as clear an indicator as any to a team having fatigued legs.

Fortunately for Boston, there was an extra day in between Games 6 and 7, which seemingly provided just enough added rest for them to pull away for an 85-75 win.

The C's will not have that luxury in this round.

Brandon Bass is 27 years old, and he acknowledges that the entire rest versus rhythm debate is one for his more experienced teammates to ponder.

"That's cool with me," Bass said of the schedule. "I'm 27. I'm ready to go. For our older players, I think that we have gotten rest and they're in a good rhythm by not being able to rest for two or three days. I think it's great for us."

Agent says Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return this season

Agent says Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return this season

Gordon Hayward had surgery on his left ankle Wednesday night.

While there was hope he could return, Hayward's agent told Adrian Wojnarowski that the Celtics forward is unlikely to play for the remainder of the season.

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Hayward suffered the injury in the first quarter of Boston’s 102-99 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-8 All-Star landed awkwardly on his ankle after a lob pass by Kyrie Irving was deflected by LeBron James.

“We’re expecting this to be a full recovery,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said Wednesday, “No timeline on it but a full recovery.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their thoughts on Kyrie Irving’s struggles, not having Gordon Hayward, and the Celtics losing for the 2nd time in as many nights.

6:31 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the message delivered by Hayward to the fans before the game, what was going on with Kyrie’s shot, and why they failed in stopping The Greek Freak.

10:33 - Albert Breer joins BST to preview the Falcons/Patriots Sunday night game and if Atlanta is in the middle of a Super Bowl hangover.

15:40 - In a new game called On The Clock, each person gets 40 seconds to rant on their selected subject including if Red Sox fans can root for the Yankees if the playoffs and how painful the Bruins season will be. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE