Celtics

West (sprained ankle) hopes to return Wednesday

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West (sprained ankle) hopes to return Wednesday

By JessicaCamerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - Delonte West didnt think it would take this long. Not a sprained ankle. He figured that would be a matter of days, not weeks.

West has been patiently anticipating his return since suffering the injury during a team walkthrough on February 27. Weeks later, he expects the wait to be coming to an end.

I should definitely be a go for Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers, he said on Sunday.

West was able to participate in court work for the first time on Sunday prior to the Celtics-Bucks game. He still felt soreness, though, and was putting more pressure on the opposite leg during shooting to compensate. Being cautious, he did not think he would be ready to play against the Bucks or the following night against the New Jersey Nets.

Theres still a little bit of soreness in there, he said. I still dont have my explosiveness, being able to push off of it. I can gingerly go through drills, but theres not any putting that game pressure on it. So a few more days should be sufficient.

West (6.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.3 apg) had only played in three games since returning from a broken right (non-shooting) wrist when he sprained his right ankle. He realizes the time off has helped heal his initial injury, for which he still undergoes physical therapy and strengthening exercises to increase flexibility and work out scar tissue.

The one blessing about this whole thing is I get more time to rest and also strengthen my wrist, he said. I feel good. I havent even looked to put the brace on in the last week or so. I know Celtics trainer Eddie Lacerte is going to be on me in a minute -- Ill be wearing it Wednesday. But it feels strong, Im not even really favoring it right now. Thats the one positive about this ankle sprain.

West, who missed the first ten games serving a suspension, says he has stayed even keeled coping with his limited playing time. But when he does return, there is no hiding his enthusiasm for helping the Celtics against the Bucks

Its about putting myself in the position to help this team out in any way possible, he said. I think my ability to defend small and quick guards can help out some with my size, and also timely shooting, being able to spread the floor. We have a lot of that, but Im able to open that floor up for our scorers. Im looking to contribute more than just one aspect of the game.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA

Plenty of on-the-job training for Celtics' rookies

Plenty of on-the-job training for Celtics' rookies

BOSTON – With all the changes the Celtics went through over the summer, seeing more rookies on the floor this season was a given.
 
But six?
 
Yes, only three games into the season and the Celtics have played more rookies than any team under fifth-year coach Brad Stevens.

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And in the 102-92 victory at Philadelphia on Friday night, the Celtics (1-2) played almost as many first-year players (five) as veterans (six).
 
The youth movement here in Boston has been sped up a bit by the season-ending injury to Gordon Hayward, compounded by a left ankle sprain to Marcus Smart that Smart said won’t keep him out any more than Friday night in Philly.

Even if Smart is back in the Celtics lineup Tuesday night against New York, that doesn’t change the fact that Boston will continue to need rookies to step up and contribute going forward as they did on Friday.
 
And while there’s an old adage about experience being the greatest teacher, Boston’s youngsters are going to have to fast-forward past some of those on-the-floor growing pains for the Celtics to stay among the top teams in the East.
 
“Everybody talks about young players having to learn by going through experience,” said Stevens. “Why don’t we just watch film and learn? Learn from things we can control and in the interim, let’s beat the age thing. Let’s not talk about the age thing. Let’s talk about how we can be better at what we can control and how we can learn and grow every day and expedite the learning curve.
 
Stevens added, “because they are going to get opportunities all the way down the line, let’s not focus on trying to learn from experience; let’s focus on learning from every day and see if we can get a little bit better every day.”
 
The one rookie who has had no problem adjusting to the NBA game early on has been Jayson Tatum.
 
Selected with the third overall pick last June, Tatum has been among the NBA's most productive rookies in this first week of the season.
 
Tatum’s 35.3 minutes played per game is tops among all rookies. His 12.3 points and 9.0 rebounds rank seventh and fourth among his first-year brethren.
 
Stevens loves what he has seen thus far from Tatum, but believes he’s capable of making an even greater impact sooner rather than later.
 
“I like him to shoot it on the catch more,” Stevens said. “Because he has tremendous touch. When he shoots it in rhythm with confidence, the ball finds the net. He’s one of those guys; he’s a natural scorer. But his ability to read the game … he’s very intelligent. It’s been more evident on the defensive end. He’s gonna pick his spots offensively now. But we want him to be aggressive and first and foremost, be a threat to shoot it every time he catches it.
 
Stevens added, “I guess it should feel pretty good when you’re 19 years old and your coach is begging you to shoot it.”
 
How quickly Tatum and the rest of Boston’s youngsters grow into the roles they will be asked to play this season can do nothing but help the Celtics adapt to what has already been a season with major changes needing to be made.
 
“You saw [against Philadelphia], we had Shane [Larkin], we had Guerschon [Yabusele], we had guys coming in that played the game at a high level and we need them to contribute,” said Boston’s Kyrie Irving. “For me to see that and witness that, it makes me nothing but proud and happy to have teammates that are ready to play. It’s not always going to look perfect because we’re still gaining knowledge about one another. But as long as we’re out there competing, having each other’s backs, that’s all that matters.”
 

Kyrie Irving fined $25,000 for his inappropriate language with a fan

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Kyrie Irving fined $25,000 for his inappropriate language with a fan

BOSTON – As expected, the NBA has fined Celtics guard Kyrie Irving $25,000 for using “inappropriate language” toward a fan at the Friday night game in Philadelphia.
 
The incident occurred at halftime as Irving and his teammates were heading to the locker room, trailing by four. Boston went on to win 102-92 for their first victory of the season.
 
A fan yelled, “Hey, where’s LeBron?” to which Irving replied with a lewd suggestion to the yeller.
 
The Celtics practiced on Saturday with Irving addressing the incident.

When asked if he had any regrets about the incident, Irving replied, “Hell no. Man enough to record it on video, that’s on him. I’m glad he got his ad name out there, and his five seconds of fame and it’s gone viral. That’s social media platform we live on.
 
Irving added, “I take full responsibility for what I said. You move on.”
 
When asked about the incident on Saturday, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he had not seen the video but was aware of it.
 
“People make mistakes; hopefully learn from them and move on,” Stevens said. “There’s a right and wrong. And if you’re in the wrong you have to own up to it and that’s that.”

It was the second such fine levied by the league in as many days. 

New Orleans center DeMarcus Cousins was fined $25,000 for "inappropriate language" toward a fan when the Pelicans lost 103-91 at Memphis on Wednesday.