BOSTON -- Greg Stiemsma is in the midst of a breakout rookie year with the Boston Celtics. Next season, he would like to continue that success in green and white.
Stiemsma will be a restricted free agent this summer with a qualifying offer worth 1.05 million. After traveling through Europe and the NBA Development League for years, the 26-year-old center would like to return next season to the team that gave him his first shot in the NBA.
Oh yeah, absolutely, Stiemsma told CSNNE.com. Next years going to kind of take care of itself, Im hoping, so Im not getting too worried about it yet. But at the same time, with everything that Ive learned from these guys and this organization, Id love to come back.
Stiemsma has gone from benchwarmer to a key member of the Celtics second unit. Following the season-ending injuries and conditions of big men Jermaine O'Neal (wrist) and Chris Wilcox (cardiac), he has become the backup center to Kevin Garnett.
Stiemsma, 6-11, is averaging 1.57 blocks per game, ranked 15th among all players and second among rookies. His 5.39 blocks per 48 minutes is second-most in the NBA.
Throughout the season he has garnered the praise of teammates and coaches for his work ethic and hustle. Stiemsma has averaged 4.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks in the last 10 games as the Celtics prepare for the playoffs.
"I truly hope that (Celtics President of Basketball Operations) Danny (Ainge) rewards him at the end," Kevin Garnett said last month. "If not us, somebody at the end of the year, gives him something long term to where he can build off of, substantial."
0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions on the Celtics getting their first win of the season and a comparison between Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving in the 4th quarter.
7:17 - Phil Perry joins BST to break down the tale of the tape between the Falcons and the Patriots as he breaks down the quarterbacks, offense, defense, coaching, and intangibles between the two teams.
11:57 - Our crew on BST discuss number 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and number 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum going up against each other and debate who seems like the better pick so far.
16:35 - In this segment of Irrelevant Questions, Tom Curran interviews Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett as he asks him a bunch of random questions.
HOUSTON - Justin Verlander remained perfect with Houston, pitching seven shutout innings when the team needed him most, and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs as the Astros extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7 with a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night.
Acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Verlander has won all nine outings with the Astros. And with his new club facing elimination in Game 6 against the Yankees, he delivered again.
After striking out 13 in a complete-game victory in Game 2, Verlander threw another gem. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out eight to improve to 9-0 with 67 strikeouts since being traded from Detroit. George Springer helped him out of a jam in the seventh, leaping to make a catch at the center-field wall and rob Todd Frazier of extra bases with two on and Houston up 3-0.
Game 7 is Saturday night in Houston, with the winner advancing to the World Series against the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.