Celtics

Celtics rookies: What I didnt know about the NBA

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Celtics rookies: What I didnt know about the NBA

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

Just like any new member of the Celtics, Avery Bradley, Luke Harangody, and Semih Erden had to learn the X's and O's of the system this season. The difference for these rookies is, they also had to get accustomed to life as a pro.

As they told CSNNE.com, they have been surprised to learn about life in the NBA.

Avery Bradley: Bradley had played on the big stage before. He won a national high school championship with Findlay Prep and played a year of college ball at the University of Texas before being selected with the 19th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. Now is he trying to overcome ankle surgery and contribute to the Celtics, all while getting adjusted to a demanding schedule that has the 19-year-old in bed at the same time many people his age are just going out.

"You have to work hard," he emphasized. "Being a rookie, you have to work harder than everybody else because they expect you to not get tired as fast. They expect you to have young legs, things like that. I get here two hours before everybody else. Practice is at 11 a.m., I get here at 9. I wake up at 8:15. Everybody gets here around 9:30. I have to do a lot more extra stuff because of my ankle.

"It's tough because after practice you go so hard, you want to go home and go to sleep. But if you do that, youll be up all night. So you have to find a sleeping pattern. I go home, get something to eat, stay up, watch TV, and I wait until 10 and then I go to sleep. Then I get up and do it all over again."

Luke Harangody: There hasn't been much down time for this second-round pick from the University of Notre Dame. When he isn't practicing with the Celtics, he's sticking around at their training facility to get in extra workouts. And even though life on the road can be hard, he is learning a thing or two from his veteran teammates. The fans have helped ease the transition, too.
"The travel surprised me, getting into a city at 2 o'clock in the morning," he said. "There are so many back-to-backs in the NBA, you don't really see that in college where you never really travel from one city to another. Youre usually coming back to campus every time after a game. When you have a chance to get some sleep, I think you need to take care of your body. Watching the veterans, I learn from them and how they approach the game and how they take care of their bodies, especially in the training room.

"I was also surprised by the amount of time rookies have to get here early and put their work in. It's something that we want to do just to get better. We want to get here early and be the last ones out of the gym because as a younger guy, I dont get as many reps in at practice so I have to put more work in in the weight room and conditioning. I'll get here two hours before and leave an hour to two hours after. I like to get some shots up and conditioning on the floor. Usually we play two-on-two because the younger guys arent getting as many reps in practice.

"The atmosphere at the Garden threw me off guard. The fans love the Celtics and that was great to see and great to be a part of a team like that. They threw me out there for a preseason game introduction and that was pretty nerve-wracking, but I was happy to do that. It was great and I've even run into some fans who've said they were there for that and they told me what a good job I did. I told them they were just being nice (laughs)."

Semih Erden: Unlike Bradley and Harangody, Erden was drafted by the Celtics two years earlier in 2008. He returned to his native Turkey where he played pro ball and represented the country in the 2010 FIBA Championships. Before he came to Boston this summer, he enlisted the advice of a close friend to show him the ropes.

"I knew everything," he said. "I have my friends here - Hedo Turkoglu (Phoenix Suns) and Ersan Ilyasova (Milwaukee Bucks). So I asked Ersan and he explained what he does, so he helped me. I asked him about everything, travel, work outs, everything for basketball. It helped me a lot."

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

Stevens knows hanging banners is ‘what it’s all about’ in Boston

Stevens knows hanging banners is ‘what it’s all about’ in Boston

BOSTON – When Brad Stevens took the Boston Celtics job in 2013, he knew what he was getting into.
 
Yes, the Celtics at that time were rebuilding which usually means years and years of slow but steady progress – if you’re lucky.
 
And then after maybe a few years of struggling to win games, a breakout season occurs and just like that – you’re back in the playoffs.

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 But here’s the thing with the Celtics.
 
While most rebuilding teams spend years working their way towards being competitive, Stevens hit the ground running and in just four years, he led the Celtics from being a 25-win team to one that was just three wins away from getting to the NBA Finals.
 
He has the kind of basketball resume that’s impressive on many levels.
 
But Stevens knows good isn’t good enough in this town.
 
“We’re here in Boston,” he said. “Winning is good, but hanging one of those (banners) up is what it’s all about. That’s what makes this such a special franchise.”
 
And for Stevens, a franchise where the expectations for success under his watch have never been greater than they are now.
 
Boston only returns one starter (Al Horford) from last year’s squad which advanced to the Eastern Conference finals after having won an East-best 53 games.
 
However, they added a pair of All-Stars in Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving to join Horford. In addition, they drafted Jayson Tatum with the third overall pick in last June’s NBA draft.
 
Boston also has a slimmed-down Marcus Smart (he lost 20 pounds from a year ago) as well Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier who will both benefit from having another NBA season under their belts.
 
And while it’s a small sample size and consists of just two teams (Philadelphia and Charlotte), the Celtics breezed their way through the preseason with a flawless 4-0 record which included at least one game in which they did not play their usual starters which shows how impactful their depth may be this season.
 
That success can only help, especially with a challenging schedule that includes seven of their first 11 games being on the road. 
 
Still, the potential of this Celtics team has never been greater than it is right now since Stevens took over in 2013.
 
And just like the increased expectations of the team, the same can be said for Stevens who is considered one of the better coaches in the NBA.
 
Marcus Morris will begin his first season with the Celtics, but had a lot of respect for Stevens well before he was traded to Boston from Detroit this summer.
 
“You hear a lot of good things about him from other players,” Morris told NBC Sports Boston. “And once you get in here and start working with him and seeing what he does every day, you see what they’re talking about. He’s a good coach, man.”
 
This team’s success will hinge on how the players perform, but there’s an added element of pressure on Stevens to find the right combinations that will position the Celtics for success.
 
“We have a lot more guys who can do a lot more things on the court, so it will be a little more challenging for us to figure out how to best play with each other, and for Brad to figure out which combinations are the best ones,” Al Horford told NBC Sports Boston. “But we’ll figure it out. Brad’s a really good coach, a really smart coach. And on our team, we have a lot of players who are smart, high basketball I.Q. guys. We’ll be OK.”
 
Basketball smarts aside, the Celtics’ success will hinge heavily on how quickly they can bring a roster with 10 new players up to speed quickly.
 
It’s still early, but players like what they’ve seen from the collective body in terms of team chemistry.
 
“I think that’s the beauty of a lot of guys on the team,” said Gordon Hayward. “It’ll be different each night with some of the different roles we play.”
 
Which is why the Celtics, while lacking experience as a team because of so many new faces, are still seen as capable of winning because they have a number of players who can impact the game in many ways.
 
But as good as they are, it still comes back to Stevens doing a good job of putting them in the best positions to find success individually as well as for the Celtics team.
 
When you look at how time with Stevens jumpstarted Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder’s careers, or how it helped revitalize the career of Evan Turner, it’s obvious that he has the Midas touch when it comes to getting the most out of players.
 
For Boston to have the kind of success they believe they are due for, it’s going to take the contributions of many.
 
And even that might not be enough.
 
But having the path being bumpier than expected is something Stevens embraces.
 
“Here in this league,” he said, “you have to love challenges.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Smart 'not worried' about lack of contract extension with Celtics

Smart 'not worried' about lack of contract extension with Celtics

CLEVELAND – For the third year in a row, a first-round pick of the Boston Celtics is unable to come to terms on a contract extension prior to the deadline.

That means Marcus Smart will become a restricted free agent this summer. Last year it was Kelly Olynyk (now with the Miami Heat) and in 2015 it was Jared Sullinger (now with Shenzhen Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association).

Both the Celtics and Smart's camp intensified their discussions in recent days as the October 16th 6 p.m. EST deadline drew near.

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While there was progress made, there wasn’t enough to get a deal done.

Smart has repeatedly indicated that he wants to re-sign a long-term deal to stay in Boston.

And the market for the 6-foot-4 guard became clearer based on the contracts that some of his fellow rookie class of 2014, were receiving.

Denver’s Gary Harris agreed to a four-year, $84 million contract after establishing himself as one of the better young two-way talents in the NBA last season. And at the other end of the financial spectrum, you would have to look at Phoenix’s T.J. Warren who signed a four-year, $50 million contract.

More than likely, Smart’s deal next summer will fall somewhere between the deals those two players received.

As much as Smart would have preferred to get a deal done heading into the season, it’s not something that he’s going to cause him to lose any sleep.

“Get it done now, or get it done in six months, I’m OK either way,” he told NBC Sports Boston. “I’m not worried about it.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE