Celtics

Kobe challenges Isaiah to make the All-NBA first team

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Kobe challenges Isaiah to make the All-NBA first team

BOSTON – Being traded from Boston to Cleveland will provide plenty of added motivation for Isaiah Thomas to deliver another stellar season.
 
But in case he needed even more incentive, Kobe Bryant who has served as a mentor in recent years for Thomas, provided some on Thursday morning with the following post on Instagram and Twitter:

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The post was one of several that Bryant issued to other prominent athletes (Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan, Olympic track star Allyson Felix, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman) and rapper Kendrick Lamar.

Thomas' hip injury, according to Danny Ainge, may result in him not being ready to play at the start of this season.
 
When healthy, Thomas has established himself as one of the most exciting, high-impact players in the NBA. 
 
Last season he led the Celtics to the best record in the East and a trip to the Eastern Conference finals where they were eliminated in five games by his new team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
 
Thomas, 28, earned a second consecutive All-Star appearance and finished the season tops among all players in the Eastern Conference (and third in the NBA) with at 28.9 points per game.
 
That earned him a spot on the All-NBA second team which capped off a special season.
 
It was a good season, but in the Black Mamba’s world, good is never good enough.
 

Stevens says Hayward’s ‘spirits were pretty positive’ after surgery

Stevens says Hayward’s ‘spirits were pretty positive’ after surgery

PHILADELPHIA – Thursday was a travel day for the Celtics, but part of the day for Brad Stevens was spent visiting with Gordon Hayward, who underwent successful left ankle surgery that’s expected to keep him out for the rest of the season.
 
“He’s obviously post-surgery, having some of the post-surgery challenges of pain and everything else,” Stevens said. “The surgery went great. His spirits were pretty positive.”

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He is, all things considered, in a very good place.
 
Stevens and the Celtics plan to do all they can to keep Hayward there as he now finds himself in the early stages of rehabilitation.
 
“We talked a little about how to approach the next five months, with maintaining that positivity in different ways to stay engaged, different ways to approach this, to attack this. He was ready to get started with his rehab the minute he got out of surgery.”
 
Eager to help, Stevens reached out to good friend Frank Vogel.
 
Vogel, who now coaches the Orlando Magic, was the coach of the Indiana Pacers when Paul George went down with a season-ending knee injury while playing for Team USA in 2014.

“It’s really important to just be active, to be as active as you can,” Stevens said. “I called Frank Vogel, the day we drove to the gym to play Milwaukee, just asked him what are some of the things Paul did in his year off that you would encourage? What are some of the things that we should look at?”
 
Among the tips he received was to work with Hayward on form shooting while sitting in a chair.
 
“Hey, he’s gonna be the best guy shooting out of a chair with his left hand, right hand, perfect his form,” Stevens said of Hayward. “Let’s have fun, let’s come up with creative ways to attack this.”

With injuries to both ankles, Smart unlikely to play tonight

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With injuries to both ankles, Smart unlikely to play tonight

PHILADELPHIA – Things have only gotten worse for the Celtics on the injury front.
 
Marcus Smart, who replaced an injured Gordon Hayward (left ankle) in the Celtics’ starting lineup, is now unlikely to suit up for tonight’s game against Philadelphia.

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Smart, whose left ankle was heavily wrapped prior to Boston’s shoot-around this morning, said he rolled both ankles in the 108-100 loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he had not made a decision on who would replace Smart in the Celtics’ starting lineup tonight.
 
“We’ll do some work all day and pre-game and make a final determination,” Stevens said.
 
More to come …