Celtics

Doc: Likely just one spot open for final five

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Doc: Likely just one spot open for final five

WALTHAM The experimentation for who will be in the Boston Celtics starting lineup will continue on for a little while longer.
But as far as who will close out most games, C's coach Doc Rivers has a pretty good feel for his final five.
"What you want to do is have the right five at the right time," Rivers said following Thursday's practice. "And it's really the right two (players), that's what it comes down to."
Barring injuries or someone having a career-type night, look for Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to be on the floor during crunch time on most nights.
And after giving his end-of-game lineup a few more seconds of thought, Rivers conceded that there will likely be just one open slot.
So while it may seem Rivers has his hands full with trying to find the right player combinations, he concedes that, "it's not as difficult as you think" when it comes to deciding who will close out games.
In addition to Rondo, Pierce and Garnett, Rivers said Jeff Green will likely be on the floor in the game's final moments as well.
"It's a lot of options," Rivers said.
Among those options will be Jason Terry, who has made his mark in the NBA as a valuable sixth man. But if needed, he has proven he can be a solid contributor as a starter, too.
While playing with the first unit, the 13-year veteran has career averages of 17.3 points and 5.4 assists per game. Coming off the bench, he still delivers a respectable 14.3 points and 3.4 assists.
Terry's approach to the game doesn't change whether he's starting or coming off the bench.
"It's all about having confidence in yourself and knowing your skill set," he said. "I'm able to come off the bench and do what I do because I'm always ready. I'm always ready to score the ball and make an impact on the ball game. As a starter, I was a starter for four years in Atlanta and three in Dallas. So either way it go for me, it doesn't matter. When the lights are on, when the crowd is cheering or when they are going against us, it's when I'm at my best. So it doesn't matter, as long as it's game time."

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

Stars, studs and duds: Bucks capitalize on Celtics mistakes

Stars, studs and duds: Bucks capitalize on Celtics mistakes

BOSTON – Even if Gordon Hayward weren’t out indefinitely with dislocated left ankle and fractured tibia, the Boston Celtics would still be working on finding the right combinations to play with that works.

But without him, that process becomes much more challenging as we saw in Wednesday’s 108-100 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The team’s newer faces in new roles created some old-as-beginning-of-time problems for the Celtics with players not consistently being where they were supposed to while in the game.

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“They (Milwaukee) capitalized on a lot of mistakes we made,” said Boston’s Terry Rozier. “We messed up on a lot of plays. That can’t happen.”

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens didn’t mince his words when it came to succinctly explaining how Boston now finds itself on a two-game losing streak to start the season which hasn’t happened since his rookie season as the Celtics’ head coach in 2013.

“Both nights I thought that we got outplayed,” Stevens said.

Rozier agreed.

“Like he (Stevens) said, … you better learn those plays or you won’t play,” Rozier said.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 108-100 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

 

STARS

Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Greek Freak will be a legit top-5 MVP candidate for his ability to simply fill up the stat sheet every night. Boston had no answer for him on Wednesday, as Antetokounmpo finished with 37 points, 13 rebounds and three assists along with three steals.

 

STUDS

Jaylen Brown

Two games into the season and Brown is looking very much like one of the league’s most improved players. He delivered another strong performance on Wednesday, tallying 18 points and five rebounds which included nine points scored in the third quarter. He fouled out with 1:48 to play.

Terry Rozier

He was having a near triple-double kind of night in a very quiet, below-the-radar fashion. He would finish with 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists off the Celtics bench.

Malcolm Brogdon

The NBA’s reigning Rookie of the Year was once again making his presence felt at both ends of the floor. In addition to some solid play defensively, Brogdon also had 19 points and four assists.

 

DUDS

Kyrie Irving

This just wasn’t Irving’s night. He got lots of good looks but far too often, came up short. He would finish with 17 points for Boston, but shot just 7-for-25 from the field. He has to be more efficient than that for the Celtics to be successful, especially with Gordon Hayward out indefinitely.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE