What did Thon Maker learn in his Celtics workout? 'I'm pretty good'

What did Thon Maker learn in his Celtics workout? 'I'm pretty good'

WALTHAM, Mass. – Thon Maker can attest to there being many lessons that he and his fellow NBA draft hopefuls have learned in the recent weeks leading up to the June 23 NBA draft.
So following his workout with the Celtics on Thursday, his eighth workout overall, Maker was succinct in what he has taken away from the draft process thus far.
“About myself is that, I’m pretty good,” Maker said, grinning. “Yeah. I’m pretty good. I’m blessed to be in this situation.”
How good Maker is as a player and his readiness for the NBA, have been widely divisive topics of discussion among NBA executives and scouts.
He has the kind of game and potential that teams either love or loathe, which is why it’s anyone’s guess as to where he’ll be selected.
I asked Maker what is his camp hearing in terms of his draft status, and he said he wasn’t sure and then added that he’s hearing that he’ll be a lottery (top 14) pick.  However, a league source contacted by text Thursday afternoon said Maker’s stock “is on the rise, but lottery pick? I don’t think so unless he’s got a promise which would be kind of surprising.”
League sources contacted by CSNNE.com earlier this week indicated that Maker was likely a late first-round or early second-round candidate.
Regardless, one thing that has become abundantly clear throughout his workouts, is that some team will select Maker and make him the first high school player since current Celtic Amir Johnson (2005, second round pick of the Detroit Pistons) to be drafted straight out of high school.
Players are still not allowed to enter draft straight out of high school, but Maker attended his current school for an additional year which put him a year removed from his graduating class and thus was able to stay in this month’s NBA draft.
Ultimately Maker’s pro prospects comes down to one thing and one thing only … can he play?
While a workout doesn’t necessarily make or break a player’s pro future, the Celtics certainly saw some things in Maker following his Thursday morning workout that they liked.
Austin Ainge, Boston’s director of player personnel, said Maker “played very well” and added that he “played very hard.”
Bringing forth great effort has been a constant with Maker’s game which has seen him at one point being the top prep prospect to being a man some league executives wondered just a few weeks ago about whether he would even be drafted.
“I didn’t care too much about being ranked,” said Maker who added that he’s likely to work out for three or for more teams. “I just cared about getting better at all times. There was times when I moved to Canada and nobody spoke about it. You just have to keep trying to get better.”
And Maker will get that chance beginning June 23 when he’s drafted and continues on his basketball journey, picking up invaluable lessons learned along the way.

Ainge: 'Setback' wrong word to use about Hayward

Ainge: 'Setback' wrong word to use about Hayward

When is a setback not a setback?

When Danny Ainge says, "You know what? Sometimes I talk too much," Ainge told the Boston Herald over the weekend. "'Setback' wasn't the right word, so let me rephrase that because it's not exactly true to say it - or say it that way.

The Celtics president of basketball operations, in his weekly radio interview with Toucher and Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub and simulcast on NBC Sports Boston, used that word when he was describing how Gordon Hayward is coming along in his recovery. 

"He had like one setback for a couple of weeks, maybe a month and a half ago," Ainge said on the radio last week. "We were progressing a little bit too fast, we thought."

Ainge clarified that to the Herald's Steve Bulpett. 

"What happened is he went on the AlterG [anti-gravity treadmill] the first day and he felt some soreness," he said. "It was the first day he tried the AlterG, a long time ago. He just wasn't ready for it at that point. That's all it was."

Celtics coach Brad Stevens has been adamant that Hayward, recovering from his gruesome leg and ankle injury in the season opener, will not play for the Celtics this season. On Sunday, Stevens, via MassLive.com's Jay King, characterized Stevens' soreness as a "small" issue. 



Chest pains and lack of sleep lead to medical leave for Cavs coach Lue

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Chest pains and lack of sleep lead to medical leave for Cavs coach Lue

CLEVELAND - Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue is taking a leave of absence from the team to address health issues that have included chest pains and loss of sleep.

Lue said Monday in a statement that tests have offered no conclusion about what the issue is and offered no timetable for his return. The coach said he feels he needs to step away "and focus on trying to establish a stronger and healthier foundation" from which to coach the rest of the season.

Here's a portion of Lue's statement:

I have had chest pains and other troubling symptoms, compounded by a loss of sleep, throughout the year. Despite a battery of tests, there have been no conclusions as to what the exact issue is.

"While I have tried to work through it, the last thing I want is for it to affect the team. I am going to use this time to focus on a prescribed routine and medication, which has previously been difficult to start in the midst of a season," Lue said. "My goal is to come out of it a stronger and healthier version of myself so I can continue to lead this team to the championship we are all working towards."

A stress-filled season for the Cavs has taken a toll on the Lue, 40, a former Celtics assistant under Doc Rivers who led them to the 2016 NBA championship after taking over for David Blatt midway through that season. They are j40-29, third in the Eastern Conference, behind the second-place Celtics and East-leading Toronto Raptors, and have endured roster shake-ups, injuries and other distractions as they try to return to the NBA Finals.

David Aldridge of TNT reports that the plan is for Lue to return in a week. The NBA playoffs begin April 14. 

"We all want great players, we all want the best teams, but with that comes a lot of pressure as well. And what Ty Lue has had to go through this year with that team, with the trades and the injuries and the pressure, it's unrelenting," Denver coach Michael Malone said. "So I hope that he gets healthy and is able to get back in time for the playoffs and help that team win as many games as possible."

Lue spent the second half of Cleveland's victory in Chicago on Saturday in the locker room because of an illness, the second time this season he left a game because he wasn't feeling well. The former NBA guard also sat one out against Chicago at home in December.

Associate head coach Larry Drew coached the second half of Saturday's game, the finale of a six-game, 11-day road trip. Cleveland is back home to host Milwaukee on Monday.

"We know how difficult these circumstances are for Coach Lue and we support him totally in this focused approach to addressing his health issues," general manager Koby Altman said.

Charlotte coach Steve Clifford also left his team to address his health this season. He took six weeks off. Medical tests revealed that the 56-year-old Clifford did not have any internal problems, but the doctor's diagnosis was the coach was suffering from severe sleep deprivation.

AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.

© 2018 by The Associated Press