Celtics

Rivers keeping eye on son at Duke

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Rivers keeping eye on son at Duke

DORCHESTER Freshman guard Austin Rivers came to Duke as one of the nation's top players, the kind of lofty status that always generates a bunch of one (year)-and-done talk.

But with the NBA lockout already wiping out hundreds of games already - and more likely to come in the coming weeks - you have to wonder if he or any other highly-touted player is all that eager to make that jump.

Austin's father, Celtics coach Doc Rivers, said his son hasn't really paid too much attention to the many issues that have factored into the stalemate between the owners and the union.

"He's just trying to be a better player. He's had good games and bad games already as a freshman," the elder Rivers said. "He's just trying to not be a freshman."

In three games for the Blue Devils (3-0), Rivers has averaged 12 points per game while shooting 37.5 percent from the field.

Rivers said he wouldn't be surprised if there are some highly regarded college players following what's going on with the NBA, rather closely.

"I can tell you he's not," Doc Rivers said. "He's more concerned about winning."

Austin Rivers opened his college career with a couple of solid scoring nights against relatively weak opponents in Belmont and Presbyterian.

But in Duke's 74-69 win over Michigan State at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, he was limited to just five points while missing six of his seven shots from the field.

"He played the other night in the Garden and got in foul trouble (he finished with four personal fouls for the game) and didn't play great," Rivers said. "But he got to be part of one of the biggest wins in college basketball history.

With the win over Michigan State, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski picked up career victory No. 903, which makes him the winningest coach in men's Division I basketball history.

"That's pretty cool," the elder Rivers said of the milestone. "I think he's (Austin Rivers) more into that right now."

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.