Baynes says he'll be ready for Celtics opener


Baynes says he'll be ready for Celtics opener

WALTHAM, Mass. – Aron Baynes was doing something we seldom see the Celtics big man from Down Under do – he was shooting 3’s.
“I’m comfortable [shooting 3’s],” Baynes said following practice on Saturday. “Pass that on to Brad [Stevens] if you want.”


Baynes, who has missed six of his seven 3-point attempts in the NBA, understands his role on the team is still to defend the rim and rebound the ball.
He hopes to do both of those in the season opener at Cleveland with his injured left knee well on its way to a full recovery.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens liked what he saw out of Baynes during practice on Saturday.
“He did well,” Stevens said. “He went through most if not all of practice. He’s felt better and better every day and has probably exceeded our expectations. We’ll see how he feels [on Sunday].”
“I’m doing well, considering how I felt the other night,” he said. “I’m able to get out here, run around a little bit with the fellas, it’s always good.”
I asked him about being ready for Tuesday night.
“I’m definitely on track for that,” Baynes said. “It’s still day-to-day. I’m going to go out on the limb here, literally, and say I should be available. Love a good pun!”
Having Baynes available would especially be helpful for the Celtics against the Cavaliers who field a team that includes Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, two of the better rebounding bigs in the NBA.
Without Baynes, Boston’s frontcourt muscle would be limited to Al Horford, Marcus Morris with rookies Daniel Theis and Guerschon Yabusele.

Former Washington Wizards center Daniel Ochefu, signed by the Celtics on Friday, will reportedly be waived Saturday and assigned to their G-League affiliate the Maine Red Claws. 

Baynes, who signed with Boston this offseason, appeared in three preseason games and averaged 8.0 points per game and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 53.3 percent (8-for-15) from the field.
His preseason defensive rating of 79.6 was tops among all players who played in more than one game.
And while no one is ready to quite slap the “stretch big” label on Baynes yet, Stevens said he has been impressed with his shooting touch from the perimeter.
“One of the things about Aron, he can really shoot the ball,” Stevens said. “He’s got great touch. He’s always shot it from 15 to 18 feet, max. But I do think being able to put a guy like him in the corner on occasion, to help space the floor and drag his defender away, isn’t a bad thing. If you can increase your range to do that, it just gives yourself more opportunities to play with other people.”
That said, Baynes is well aware of what his strengths, literally and figuratively, are for the Celtics.
“I know where my bread is buttered,” Baynes said. “I’m going to stick around the paint, try and get the other guys open as best I can.”



'Big Baby' busted with 126 grams of pot, $92K in cash

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'Big Baby' busted with 126 grams of pot, $92K in cash

Former Celtics forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis was arrested last month in a hotel room in Aberdeen, Maryland, with more than 126 grams of marijuana and more than $92,000 in cash.

Davis, 32, who played on the Celtics 2008 championship team was last in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2015, was arrested Feb. 7 after the hotel owner at the Aberdeen Hampton Inn smelled marijuana coming from Davis' room, WMAR-TV in Baltimore reported.

“They recovered 126 grams of marijuana,” Aberdeen Police Lt. William Reiber told WMAR. “In addition to that, there was a briefcase that contained 92,164 dollars of U.S. currency along with a ledger that contained language which is consistent with someone involved in the sale and distribution of narcotics.”

Davis is charged with seven counts of drug possession and distribution.

Police said the strains of marijuana were from a Los Angeles wholesaler that court records show Davis told police he was in business with.

He told officers he was visiting family in Maryland. Davis' attorney told WMAR the former Celtic (2007-11) adamantly maintains his innocence and looks forward to his day in court next month to clear his name. 


Horford helps Celtics get back on track

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Horford helps Celtics get back on track

Aggressive Al Horford was on the floor Friday night for the Boston Celtics, a good sign for a Celtics team that has been battered by injuries. 

As the oldest member of the team, the 31-year-old’s leadership has to become more example-driven as well as existing in the spoken word.

CELTICS TALK PODCAST  - Smart's importance to C's, dissecting the East

Horford was on point for most of Friday’s 92-83 win over Orlando, a game that was far more lopsided in Boston’s favor than the final score might indicate.

The 6-foot-10 forward/center had a near double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds. 

What was more telling was that Horford took a team-high 18 shots from the field, as clear a sign as you will find that Horford’s mindset on Friday was to attack Orlando’s defense early and often. 

And while it’s true that the Magic are one of the worst teams in the NBA, that doesn’t diminish the way Horford executed the plays called by head coach Brad Stevens as Horford played the role of primary scorer more often than usual, instead of being a major facilitator.

Having missed Boston’s previous two games, Horford was admittedly concerned if the lay-off might affect his conditioning. 

“Wind-wise I felt good,” Horford told reporters after Friday night’s win. “A little rusty on offense. But defensively I felt great. I felt our team came out with energy; just a good win.” 

A win that became a lot easier to get with Aggressive Al on the floor. 

 Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds in Boston’s 92-83 win over Orlando.



Terry Rozier: He continues to provide the Celtics with really solid guard play, with all-star guard Kyrie Irving (left knee soreness) missing. Rozier had a game high-tying 17 points along with seven rebounds and five assists. 

Greg Monroe: The third quarter was when Monroe really began to take over the game. He finished with 17 points, 10 of which came in the third. 

Shelvin Mack: Not a lot to cheer about for Mack and the Magic who once again struggled in so many phases of the game. But Mack still managed to score 16 points. 



Al Horford: Having missed the two previous games, Horford was back in full force on Friday. He had 15 points on 6-for-18 shooting to go with nine rebounds

Boston rebounding: The Celtics control of the glass began from the outset and never really eased up. For the game, Boston grabbed 55 rebounds compared to just 40 by Orlando. 



Fourth-quarter Celtics: The only real blemish on an otherwise impressive performance by Boston, was the team’s overall play in the fourth quarter. Boston was outscored 31-17 and turned the ball over 10 times in the quarter.