Sometimes no move is the best move

Sometimes no move is the best move

WASHINGTON – Like the rest of the basketball world, Danny Ainge saw teams make dramatic changes to their roster (Cleveland) while others such as themselves, stood pat.

There are several reasons why Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, didn’t pull the trigger on any trades prior to Thursday’s 3 p.m. EST trade deadline.

But there’s only one reason that matters.

“There were no good deals,” Ainge told NBC Spots Boston analyst Brian Scalabrine. “So we stayed pat. We like our team and can’t wait.”

Boston (40-16) has had the best record in the Eastern Conference for most of this season, an accomplishment even more mystifying when you consider the Celtics are one of the NBA’s youngest teams.

But that lack of experience hasn’t gotten in the way of winning yet.

And knowing how good players at an early age tend to appreciate in value to their respective clubs in time, Ainge was not nearly as motivated as some front office executives to shake up his lineup going forward knowing the potential for adding players might disrupt the steady improvement he has seen with the team’s youthful players such as Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown and rookie season Jayson Tatum.

“Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum and Rozier and (Marcus) Smart, those guys are all 23 and under,” Ainge said. “And yeah, these are, I wanna see them play.

Ainge added, “We’ve got some big decisions in our franchise going forward with those young guys and and we love them all and they all bring something different to the table and we have a lot of confidence in them but yeah, bringing in other players can jeopardize their growth and development.”

The most talked-about Celtic leading up to the trade deadline that was thought to be on the move, was Marcus Smart.

The fourth-year wing is out with a right hand laceration injury he suffered when he punched a glass picture frame which led to a cut that required 20 stitches to close.

Both Smart and the Celtics say he’s not likely to return to the lineup until sometime after the All-Star break.

As far as Smart being on the move, Ainge said “there’s conversations about all of our players on the roster trade season, off-season. That’s just part of the business. That’s our job, but I never really thought that that (trading Smart) was gonna happen.”


Ray Allen among Hall of Fame finalists

Ray Allen among Hall of Fame finalists

Ray Allen, part of the Celtics' Big Three that won Boston's last championship in 2008, is one of the finalists for the Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2018 announced Saturday at NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.

Allen, the all-time leader in three-pointers with 2,973, who, with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, helped the Celtics hang their 17th championship banner, joins Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Grant Hills and WNBA stars Tina Thompson and Katie Smith as first-time nominees. Also among the finalists are Maurice Cheeks, Chris Webber, coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell, coach Kim Mulkey, coach Rudy Tomjanovich, referee Hugh Evans, and the Wayland Baptist University women’s team.

The inductees to be enshrined in the Hall in September in Springfield, Mass., will be revealed April 1 at the NCAA men's Final Four in San Antonio. 

Finalists for induction need to be retired for at least three seasons. They'll now be voted on by a 24-member panel that includes current Hall of Famers, basketball executives and media members. Those receiving at least 18 of 24 votes will be inducted.

More on the Hall finalists here from NBCSports.com's Pro Basketball Talk 

Allen was part of a recent Celtics Talk podcast where he talked about his Celtics career and the controversy after he left to join the Miami Heat in 2012. Click here or listen below.


Jaylen Brown scores 35 in Rising Stars game

USA TODAY Sports photo

Jaylen Brown scores 35 in Rising Stars game

LOS ANGELES – A year ago this time, Jaylen Brown couldn’t even get an invite to the rookie-sophomore game, the Rising Stars Challenge.

But this year, he was there and he played a prominent role for Team USA even though it wasn’t enough as the Team World squad easily won, 155-124.

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It certainly wasn’t because of Brown who led all scorers with 35 points on 14-for-21 shooting along with 10 rebounds.

And it was vintage Brown, mixing in an array of jumpers, 3-pointers and of course a pair memorable between-the-leg dunks.

Brown put on a show, for sure which isn’t all that surprising when you consider how the perceived snub last year served as added motivation for him on Friday night.

“Definitely I feel like I've got a chip on my shoulder, so I come out with that tenacity that I want people to recognize,” Brown told reporters after the game. “I want people to see. I just come out and play with that fire and let everything else fall into place.”

In addition to leading all scorers on Friday night, Brown also set a Celtics record for most points scored in the rookie-sophomore game.

“Like I said before, it's just great being here,” Brown said. “It's a tremendous opportunity. I just thank the NBA for letting me be part of this weekend. I had a lot of fun, and I just came out and was playing some basketball. Simple.”

Brown's Celtics teammate, rookie Jayson Tatum, came off the Team USA bench and scored 15 points.

And while they didn’t play too many stints together on Friday, both being selected for the game is a reminder of just how their progression and growth within the Celtics organization is along the same lines for each of them.

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“This year we've grown tremendously together,” Brown said. “Just studying older guys – Kyrie [Irving], Marcus Morris, [Aron] Baynes, and learning the game together, Al Horford. So me and him have gotten better together. So anytime you can grow with somebody in this league and also be successful, it's always dope being a part of situations like this. Like the Rising Stars Challenge I think is pretty cool. I think in the future, if we continue to stay together and continue to grow, I think we could be special.”

The same could be said for Brown’s play on Friday night, the kind of performance that speaks to the improvement in his game this season.

“My growth from last year to this year was significant, and my growth from this year to next year is going to be even better,” Brown said. “So, that's all it's about at the end of the day. It's not about dominating, it's not about this. It's just about getting better each and every day, you know, and just trying to hang a banner in Boston.”

Here are some of Brown's best moves: 

And Tatum's: