Celtics

Do the Celitcs need a back-up point guard?

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Do the Celitcs need a back-up point guard?

Yesterday afternoon, the Celtics waived Dionte Christmas and Jamar Smith, thus leaving an open spot on their once crowded roster. And when you take a look at what the Celtics have, and what they might need, the most glaring hole is at back-up point guard.

After Rajon Rondo, the closest thing the Celtics have to a true back up is Jason Terry or Avery Bradley (when healthy), but considering Terry's effectiveness off the ball, and the fact that Bradley will likely be starting alongside Rondo, neither fills that back-up role in the purest sense of the word. That's why many believe that that's where the Celtics will turn with their open spot. However, I wouldn't get your hopes up.

First of all, because a true back up point guard has never been a priority for the Big 3 (2.0) era Celtics. In that first season, they had Eddie House backing up Rondo, before later bringing on Sam Cassell who was a point guard, but also 85 years old at the time. In year two, it was House, mixed in with a little Gabe Pruitt and eventually Stephon Marbury. In year three, it was House and Nate Robinson (hardly a pure PG). In year four, it was Robinson and Delonte West (a capable PG, but one who can't stay healthy and a tweener in his own right), and then Carlos Arroyo, who never saw the floor. Last year, it was Keyon Dooling again, not a pure point guard.

Second of all, there's not much else available. Derek Fisher's probably going to sign with the Lakers (if anyone). Mike Bibby's useless. Leandro Barbosa probably won't play for the veteran minimum. Johnny Flynn is a train wreck.

Is there anyone out there who you'd want the C's to waste a spot on to fill the 10 or so minutes that Rondo won't be on the court, or do you think they'd be better off leaving that last spot open, rolling with what they have for now, and waiting to see who's bought out later in the season?

I'd go with option two, and won't be surprised if the Celtics do, too. Or if not, history and reality suggest that they won't use it on a back-up point guard.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Marcus Morris targeting Oct. 30 game vs. Spurs as date for Celtics debut

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Marcus Morris targeting Oct. 30 game vs. Spurs as date for Celtics debut

WALTHAM -- It appears Marcus Morris’ debut for the Celtics will be when they host the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 30.
 
The 6-foot-9 forward confirmed to reporters on Monday that, for now, that’s the target date.
 
Morris spent time after practice playing some one-one-one against rookie Jayson Tatum.
 
“I’m trying to push on it a little more,” he said. “Felt pretty good beating the rook’s ass one-on-one.”
 
The addition of Morris to the lineup can’t come soon enough for the Celtics (1-2).  They have already lost Gordon Hayward (ankle) for the season, and Marcus Smart (ankle) missed Friday’s win over Philadelphia. Smart said he would probably be in uniform for Tuesday’s game against the New York Knicks. 
 
Those injuries have forced the Celtics to dig deeper into their roster, resulting in several first-year players seeing action. 
 
Having a veteran like Morris on the floor would bode well for the Celts in their quest to remain among the better teams in the East this season. 
 
Morris, who went through the non-contact portion of practice on Monday, joined the Celtics on Oct. 5, shortly after he and his brother Markieff (who plays for Washington) were acquitted of assault charges involving an incident in Phoenix in January of 2015. He appeared in one preseason game, scoring seven points on 3-for-6 shooting from the field.

Coach Brad Stevens said Morris was having some knee discomfort when he showed up for training camp. That, combined with showing up late to training camp because of his court case in Phoenix, resulted in him not having the level of conditioning he’s used to at the start of training camp. 
 
“It’s not that I’m in bad shape,” he told NBC Sports Boston earlier. “It’s just that I’m not where I expect myself to be conditioning-wise, right now.”
 
Morris echoed similar sentiments on Monday. 
 
“I’m in great condition,” he said. “I just want to be a little better. My conditioning has never been the problem. It’s the soreness in my [left] knee. It’s gotten a lot better over the past 10 days, so I feel I can play now. But be cautious because it’s a long season.”
 
Morris was acquired in the summer by Boston from Detroit, in exchange for Avery Bradley. The move was done to not only ensure there was enough salary cap space to sign then-free agent Gordon Hayward, but also for the Celtics to add a versatile player who can play both forward positions.