Celtics

Doc: 'We have to make more improvements'

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Doc: 'We have to make more improvements'

BOSTON Two games into the Eastern Conference finals and much of the talk has been about officiating.
For the Boston Celtics, that's almost never a good thing.
Regardless of how the first two games -- both Celtic losses -- have been called, they're done with.
Over.
The C's have no choice but to move on, because dwelling on the past doesn't do them a bit of good moving forward with a Game 3 matchup on Friday night that is indeed a must-win game.
Having lost the first two games, a third straight loss would put the Celtics in the kind of hole that no team in NBA history has ever been able to successfully dig themselves from underneath.
"We'll get past that distraction," said C's coach Doc Rivers. "I think we've already moved past it and by (Game 3), we'll be ready to play."
The bigger challenge for the C's coming into Game 3, is getting past the disappointment of their 115-111 overtime loss in Game 2, a game in which the C's did pretty much all that they felt needed to be done in order to win.
"We still know we have to play better," Rivers said. "Our guys are very confident going into Game 3."
That confidence to some degree stems from the play of Rajon Rondo, who had a game for the ages -- 44 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.
"Where I was happy with, Rondo had one of his best games in not predetermining what he wanted to do," Rivers said. "He took what they gave him, and made something from that. Of all the adjustments he made from Game 1 to Game 2, that was it. If they gave him the elbow jump shot, he took it. If they got on him, he drove. If they tried to double, he made the pass. He didn't predetermine his game, and he stayed aggressive, in attack mode. I thought that was very important for him."
So was getting Paul Pierce to be more assertive in Game 2. Pierce finished with 21 points on a number of jumpers, lay-ups and dunks.
Even with more aggressive play, the Celtics still came up well short on free throw attempts (29) in comparison to the Heat (47).
"Not gonna touch that, I can tell you that." Rivers said. "Paul Pierce attacked just as much as LeBron James attacked (in Game 2). I'll leave it at that."
The focus for the Celtics now is to continue finding ways to get better, and most important, find a way to win.
"We made improvements from Game 1 to Game 2," Rivers said. "We have to make more improvements from Game 2 to Game 3. I think we will."

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.