Celtics

Marcus Morris out at least ten days with a sore right knee

Marcus Morris out at least ten days with a sore right knee

The Boston Celtics have lots of options when it comes to who will be in their starting lineup for the season opener at Cleveland.

But you can take one off the table right now with Marcus Morris out for at least 10 days with a sore right knee.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said the knee was somewhat bothersome to Morris when he arrived a couple weeks for training camp.

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“With him getting here a little bit late, we feel he needs more of a preseason,” said Stevens, who added that Morris would likely be re-evaluated in the next 10 days to two weeks.

The team has conducted tests on the right knee and according to Stevens, the knee is in good shape.

“It’s a quick turnaround to get here last week and play in a regular season game,” Stevens said. “So, it’s going to be a little time before (he plays).”

Morris, who was a starter in the last two seasons with Detroit, has made no secret about wanting to be with the Celtics’ first unit to start the season.

While that still may be an option, it’s one that won’t come to fruition in the near future.

As much as having Morris available would benefit Boston against the Cavs, Stevens understands there has to be a balance struck between doing what’s best in the short-term versus long-term success.

“He’s actually structurally improved; he feels he’s gotten stronger, he feels better,” Stevens said. “We just felt like, even after watching him in practice yesterday and then talking to him, that he still looks like he’s not quite full-go. And so, better to be on the safe side.

Stevens added, “It’s a long year. He’s an important part of our team. And so, if he’s at 80 percent or 85 percent now, let’s get him to 100 instead of risking that getting lower or something he’s dealing with all year.”

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Horford can cross skills challenge off his bucket list

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Horford can cross skills challenge off his bucket list

LOS ANGELES – After making a near-perfect pass during the early stages of the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Al Horford was feeling good about his chances of winning.

But near the end, the final stage – knocking down a 3-pointer – proved to be Horford’s undoing as Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid eliminated Horford in the first round after Horford missed three consecutive three-pointers.

“It happens. It was fun,” Horford said.

Embiid, who was eliminated in the next round by Chicago’s Lauri Markkanen, said he was nervous before the event.

“I don’t know why. My heart was beating so fast,” Embiid told reporters. “I have no idea. But I thought it was fun.”

Although Horford has been a part of all-star weekend four times prior to tonight, this was the first time he participated in the Skills Challenge.

“It’s different. I normally come as a fan,” he said. “This time it was a little different, just getting your mind set and come out here and compete and win. It’s good to be a part of it. Now I can just scratch that off.”

When I asked him about tips or advice from teammates, he said the only thing they told him was he “had to win it.”

“I let them down so I have to make it up in the season,” said Horford, grinning.

Brooklyn’s Spencer Dinwiddie wound up winning the event, over Markkanen.

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The Kyrie brand continues to expand

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The Kyrie brand continues to expand

LOS ANGELES – With Tinseltown as the backdrop, Kyrie Irving’s acting debut in the film, "Uncle Drew the Movie," will officially hit movie theaters this summer.

A five-time All-star and NBA champion, Irving is one of the few NBA players with a signature shoe deal.

And that deal, along with him venturing into the film game, speaks to the ever-expansion of the Irving brand. During Saturday’s media scrum, a time when the sports journalism world chimes in with a wide array of questions for the best players on the planet, some of the first ones asked were in regards to his upcoming movie.

They came from former Celtic Nate Robinson, who is in the movie as well.

That said, it still doesn’t diminish the fact that Irving is setting himself up to be more than just a talented basketball player.

“It comes with a lot of sacrifice, privacy,” Irving said before adding, “but you get a chance to put your creative influence and inspiration on things that have helped you develop as a person. You get to share that with the world. That’s pretty awesome. And you get to share it through art, through my game, through different avenues of sponsorship and you’re able to get that message through to people. That’s pretty awesome. I try to take full advantage of that.”

Part of Irving’s all-star weekend was spending time with the press to speak specifically about his upcoming movie.

Irving also made public appearances for corporate partners such as Mountain Dew.

There was a time not that long ago when the idea of an athlete having interests outside of basketball were frowned upon.

But Irving has been moving to a different beat for as long as he has been playing the game of basketball.

And that isn’t going to change anytime soon.

“Sometimes because of the way we’re put on this platform, people have opinions on the way that we should be, how we should act, things that we should be involved with,” Irving said. “The important thing that get’s glazed over is that we’re human beings. So, it’s pretty tough finding that balance.

Irving added, "For me, it’s just about respect all people. That’s something I always try to hammer home, something I was taught as a kid. It’s crazy. You get slack for saying stuff about certain things and feeling strongly, and if you don’t say enough you get the bad end of that as well. If you feel confident and you’re knowledgeable on a lot of things and you feel strongly about it, you should go for it. Everyone has a voice and they should be respected.”

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