PODCAST: Doc Rivers with high praise for Celtics offseason, rebuild; Interviews with Isaiah Thomas and Brad Stevens


PODCAST: Doc Rivers with high praise for Celtics offseason, rebuild; Interviews with Isaiah Thomas and Brad Stevens

In this week's episode of the "Celtics Talk" podcast, A. Sherrod Blakely and Kyle Draper discuss the Cavs introduction of Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, plus bring you some of the exclusive interviews we have had over the past few days - Isaiah Thomas in Cleveland, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, former Celtics head coach Doc Rivers.

Here's a rundown of this episode:

Kyle and Sherrod

  • 1:10: Reaction to Isaiah Thomas/Jae Crowder press conference
  • 4:30: Are people underestimating the Cavs with Derrick Rose and Jose Calderon to fill in for Isaiah?
  • 8:03: Isaiah Thomas Player’s Tribune letter

A. Sherrod Blakely interview with Isaiah Thomas

  • 11:37: Isaiah on dealing with the trade 
  • 12:34: IT on playing with LeBron
  • 13:04: Questions with hip injury effecting 'backing up the Brinks truck' next summer
  • 14:04: What it would be like to play the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals
  • 15:48: How does IT not take it personally getting traded?
  • 16:27: Isaiah's conversation with Brad Stevens
  • 17:22: Does the relationship change with young players on C’s?

Kyle with Brad Stevens

  • 18:35: On entering his 5th season with Celtics
  • 19:22: Thoughts on the overhauled roster
  • 20:03: Stevens thought on Isaiah’s letter
  • 22:47: Stevens on theory that Kyrie Irving is a ‘ball dominant guard’

Kyle with Doc Rivers

  • 25:17: Doc talks about Celtics big changes
  • 26:12: Kyrie Irving is a closer…you need closers
  • 27:12: Danny Ainge rebuild - “As good a rebuild as you’ve ever seen”
  • 28:05: Adjustment for Clippers from losing Chris Paul
  • 28:52: Loss of Jamal Crawford
  • 29:30: His role change within the organization
  • 30:20: The stacked West, and how everyone is still chasing the Warriors

Kyle and Sherrod

  • 31:50 Marcus Smart - Losing weight; importance of his role on defense with loss of Bradley and Crowder
  • 33:41 Expecting Tatum/Brown to play big roles

Gordon Hayward will start traveling with Celtics in March

Gordon Hayward will start traveling with Celtics in March

LOS ANGELES – The Boston Celtics have made a point of trying to change up Gordon Hayward’s rehabilitation routine as to avoid the boredom that’s often associated with the recovery process from a long-term injury such as his.

How about a few days in Southern California?

Hayward is with the team here in Los Angeles, and will stay behind for a few days afterward according to head coach Brad Stevens.

“One of the things we wanted to do was change his environment,” said Stevens who added that Hayward may begin traveling with the team in March. “So, he’s going to be here for these two games, and he will stay here in Southern California for a week to 10 days with a couple of our staff and re-join us in Boston.”

The key to him re-joining the team for road games hinges on whether he can do is rehabilitation work without the need for an ultra-gravity (Ultra-G) machine which he has been using.

Stevens later explained why the team felt the need to try and switch up Hayward’s regimen.

“People that have been through this, you know, long process ... One of the things about us, we’re jumping on a plane every four or five days,” said Stevens who added that Hayward still has “a long way to go” before returning to play in an actual game. “And he’s used to that and he has been in the same routine doing the same thing for three or four months without that. So, we just wanted to have him here for a couple games while we’re out West and for a few days later, leave him out here.”

Al Horford is among the Celtics eager to have Hayward join the team on road games, even if his timeline for returning to action is still targeted for next season.

“We’re happy, anytime, for Gordon to be around us,” Horford said. “For him, it’s his process to getting back to where he needs to be. Obviously, we’re respectful of that. But any chance that he gets around us, it’s good to share with him. He’s still a part of this. That’s the cool thing about it.”


Al Horford joins Kyrie Irving at the all-star game, selected as reserve


Al Horford joins Kyrie Irving at the all-star game, selected as reserve

LOS ANGELES – Kyrie Irving won’t be all by his lonesome during all-star weekend next month, with teammate Al Horford being selected as an all-star reserve.

For Horford, this will be his fifth all-star selection but first as a member of the Boston Celtics after joining the team in 2016.

Horford’s play, particularly on defense, has been instrumental to the Celtics (34-13) having the best record in the Eastern Conference, and third overall in the NBA.

This season, he has averaged 13.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game while shooting a career-best 43 percent from 3-point range.

Horford’s numbers don’t always speak to his impact on teams and more important, winning games.

“He’s a big part of our team in order for us to be number one in the East and hopefully sustain that spot,” Irving said earlier today. “We know how valuable he is. The Celtics organization, our team, everybody. He definitely has a case; he’s got my vote.”

Horford is grateful and appreciative of being named an all-star.

But his focus, as you might expect, is on what he views as a much more significant prize – a victory tonight which would snap Boston’s season-long losing streak which stands at three straight.

Horford is more concerned about the Celtics setting the tone defensively tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers.

“That has to be our mindset,” he said. “And sticking together. So this is a great time for us to make sure we’re together and we do it as a group.”