Stars, studs and duds: Jerebko efficient in Celtics win over Nets

Stars, studs and duds: Jerebko efficient in Celtics win over Nets

When know all about Jaylen Brown’s off-the-charts athleticism and the way his versatility can impact games in a multitude of ways.

But what about the closing moments of a tight, down-to-the-wire game?

How will he respond then?

His opportunities to do that during the regular season are likely to be limited, but the Celtics have to be encouraged by the way he handled himself and more important, the way he handled the Brooklyn Nets, when Thursday night’s game was up in the air.

Brown, who had 10 points and three assists, played a critical role in the Celtics rallying back in the game’s final minutes to escape with a 100-97 win.

There were others whose stat line looked better than the 19-year-old rookie, but you would be hard-pressed to find another player who delivered in the clutch the way Brown did on Thursday.

There was a sequence late in the game in which Brown had a potential lay-up with a defender back. Rather than attack him and the rim, Brown drove towards the lane and, with his left hand, tossed a behind-the-back pass to Jordan Mickey for a dunk that would later prove to be the game-winning basket.

“The behind-the-back pass was the right play,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters after the game. “The defender was coming at his hand. That was just flipping it back to two guys trailing; that was the right move. He did a lot of right things there at the very end.”

Following the game, Brown spoke with CSN’s Abby Chin about being on the floor in crunch time.

“These are the moments you live for, the moments that all players want to be on the floor for,” Brown said. “These are the moments you dream of when you’re four years old in the driveway; Just come out and be locked in. It’s a different kind of excitement when you’re on the floor like that.”

Here are other Stars, Studs and Duds from Thursday’s game.


Jonas Jerebko: He didn’t play major minutes (who does in the preseason?), but Jerebko’s impact was impossible to ignore. He played just 16 minutes, but finished with 12 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Marcus Smart: Lots of hustle from the start, Smart delivered yet another all-around performance on Thursday. In 22 minutes, Smart finished with 13 points, four assists and three rebounds as well as two steals.

Terry Rozier: Jaylen Brown was a key to Boston’s fourth quarter surge, but Rozier’s floor game was instrumental in the Celtics comeback as well. The 6-2 Rozier came off the bench and finished with 10 points and a team-high 7 assists to go with three steals.


Al Horford: The more he plays, the more you have to like what you see if you’re a Celtics fan. Horford was the only starter who played well on Thursday, tallying a near double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds while logging just 21 minutes of court time.

Luis Scola: He may be 36 years old and seemingly near the end of his NBA career, but Scola still has some game left in him. The Celtics saw that first-hand on Thursday as Scola talled a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds in addition to dishing out five assists.

Trevor Booker: He’s with a bad team, but has an expanded role which bodes well for Booker’s fantasy league stock this season. He finished with a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds.


Anthony Bennett: The former No. 1 overall pick continues to look more and more like the worst number overall pick ever. He played 19 minutes, missing eight of his nine shot attempts.

Irving's procedure means Celtics may add player via 'hardship roster exception'

Irving's procedure means Celtics may add player via 'hardship roster exception'

With Kyrie Irving undergoing a “minimally invasive procedure” on Saturday, the Boston Celtics may look to add a player via the “hardship roster exception” that only teams that are significantly impacted by injuries, are eligible for. 

MORE - Doctor: Irving could return in 'three to four weeks'

The Celtics won’t have a clear sense of what the timetable will be for Irving’s return until after his procedure is performed. 

But it’s likely to be at least a couple weeks which at the earliest would put Irving’s return just before the playoffs. 

In order to qualify for the NBA’s hardship roster exception, at least four players must miss a minimum of three consecutive games, and later be deemed to be out for an additional two weeks. 

Gordon Hayward (dislocated left ankle) and Daniel Theis (torn meniscus, left knee) are out for the season, and Marcus Smart (right thumb) recently underwent surgery that will keep him sidelined for at least another five weeks. 

An independent doctor will determine if the extent of the aforementioned injuries as well as the recovery time for Irving, meet the two-week criteria to be eligible for the hardship roster exception. 

Once that’s determined, Boston will be given a hardship roster exception to use on a player for the remainder of the regular season but won’t be eligible for the postseason. 

If Boston does add a player, look for him to come from the Gatorade League, possibly their G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. 

Boston has a collection of guards who have helped fill the void left by Irving’s absence, but Boston has not been able to address the loss of Daniel Theis. 

Keep an eye on former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, a 6-foot-8 forward who averaged 16.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists for the Red Claws this season. 

MORE - Hayward gives update on rehab

Boston has a 45-day cap on the use of its two-way players with the parent team, but that limitation ends tomorrow which means guard/forward Jabari Bird and guard Kadeem Allen can earn the league minimum for every day they are with the Celtics going forward in the regular season. That can provide some depth to a Celtics team that because of injuries, can use every healthy body they can find.


Doctor: Irving could return in 'three to four weeks'

Doctor: Irving could return in 'three to four weeks'

Kyrie Irving could be back on the court in time for the Celtics to begin the playoffs.

Or not.

Irving will have what the Celts are describing as a "minimally invasive procedure" on his injured left knee Saturday. NBC Sports Boston talked to Dr. Christopher Chihlas from Southcoast Health -- who has not examined Irving but is familiar with his type of injury -- about how long Irving may be sidelined.

"A minimally invasive procedure is basically an arthroscopy," said Dr. Chihlas. "His return to play is mostly dependent on what is done . . . If it's just a cleanout, as we're being told, then -- best-case scenario -- we could see him back playing in three to four weeks."

But, he added, "it could be double that . . . depending upon what exactly is found . . . 

"The key here is the patella fracture (which Irving suffered during the 2015 playoffs). My feeling is that he's suffering a bit of the consequence of the patella fracture, which is a fracture into the knee joint . . . [He] may need to have this done periodically to get him through the rest of his career."