Celtics

White III among Celtics who could get minutes thanks to shorter preseason

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White III among Celtics who could get minutes thanks to shorter preseason

BOSTON – Rest will be the dish of the night for the Boston Celtics’ Big Three – Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford – who along with Marcus Morris, will not play in tonight’s preseason matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers.

This means there will be opportunities for Boston’s lesser-known players to get on the floor, something that’s a bit trickier to do this season than past years.

With the NBA focusing on lessening the wear and tear on players in the preseason, most teams play no more than five or six preseason games compared to previous years when most teams play an eight-game preseason slate.

The Celtics (2-0) play tonight and close out the preseason portion of their schedule on Wednesday at Charlotte.

The shorter schedule has meant fewer opportunities for players near the end of the bench or those who are training camp invitees, to show what they can do in games.

Andrew White III, who played at Syracuse University last season, is among the training camp invites hoping to make the most of his opportunity to play potentially as early as tonight.

But even if that doesn’t happen, he feels good about the way the Celtics have approached working with and developing all their players.

“Brad is very detailed in what he wants to do,” White III told NBC Sports Boston. “So you have to be ready at all times. Outside of the designated practice hours, just working, watching tape, going through the offense, just so we’re up to speed with everything.”

Philadelphia head coach Brett Brown explained his approach to dealing with a shorter number of games and its impact on getting a good look at camp invites and some players near the end of the roster.

“It is challenging, but not as challenging as everybody might think,” Brown said.

He added that the players have been together for most of the month of September which has afforded them plenty of time to get a feel for one another, ranging from stars such as Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons, to players who are training camp invites.

“We will end of having sort of five real preseason games to make assessments,” Brown said. “The rhythm to my subbing has always been, you play who you really think is going to play during the regular season the first three periods. Then you give the last period to those guys you want to evaluate. That strategy changes a lot as the preseason games become fewer. You want to give your guys real minutes.”

For White III, it remains to be seen how much if at all, he’ll play tonight or in the Celtics’ preseason finale at Charlotte on Wednesday.

But White III is likely to continue developing his game in New England with the team’s Gatorade League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.

“I’ll probably be there,” White III told NBC Sports Boston. “To my knowledge, I’m taking it for what it is and try to learn as much as possible.”

Whether he’s in Boston or Maine, the goal remains the same for White III and all players in training camps this year.

“Wherever I am, it still comes down to producing,” White III said. “And I am confident that I will produce if given the opportunity.”

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Ray Allen tells court he was 'catfished'

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Ray Allen tells court he was 'catfished'

ORLANDO, Fla. — Retired NBA star Ray Allen said he is a victim of “catfishing,” and has asked a court to throw out a case where he is accused of stalking someone he met online.

Allen filed an emergency motion in Orange County, Florida, on Tuesday, one day after Bryant Coleman told the court he is being stalked by the 10-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion.

Allen said Coleman is the one who is stalking.

“Coleman pretended to be a number of attractive women interested in Ray Allen,” read the motion filed on Allen’s behalf. “Ray believed he was speaking with these women and communicated with them.”

Attorney David Oscar Markus released a statement saying Allen took legal action in an effort to put an end to threats against him and his family, and that Allen was the victim “of an online scheme to extract money and embarrass him by someone who appears to be troubled.”

In the filing, Allen said Coleman threatened to reveal details of their conversations, and that the sides eventually struck a deal to keep everything private. Allen said that deal has been violated and that Coleman has continued to harass him and his family through several social-media accounts.

“He posted about Ray’s wife, Ray’s children, Ray’s dog, Ray’s homes, Ray’s wife’s restaurant, and numerous other personal items,” read the motion. “Coleman not only posted about these things, he would actually post while physically located inside Ray’s wife’s restaurant in Orlando. And he would make sure they knew it, tagging Ray and his wife on those posts.”

Allen asked the court to stop Coleman from “cyber-stalking.” It was not clear if Coleman has an attorney, and a working phone number for him could not be found.

“Ray regrets ever engaging with this person online and is thankful they never met in person,” Markus said. “This experience has negatively impacted Ray, and he hopes that others might use his mistake to learn the dangers of communicating online with strangers.”

Allen is the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made. He starred in college at UConn and won championships with the Celtics in 2008 and Miami in 2013, the second title coming after he made one of the most dramatic shots in playoff history — a game-tying 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in regulation of Game 6 of The Finals against San Antonio, a game that the Heat would win in overtime to extend the series to a seventh game.

Allen also played for Milwaukee and Seattle, and last appeared in the league in 2014. He and his family have lived in the Miami area since.

© 2017 by The Associated Press 

Blakely's takeaways: Stevens downplays Celtics' streak

Blakely's takeaways: Stevens downplays Celtics' streak

Brad Stevens likes the fact that the Celtics have shown an unusually strong resolve this season by consistently finding ways to win on nights when they don’t play their best.
 
It’s to the point now where fans, as well as the players, feel no deficit is too steep to overcome.

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That said, there’s a level of expectations on this team now that you would think would bring about a heightened level of pressure, right?
 
They’ve won 16 in a row, the fourth-longest winning streak in franchise history.
 
Pressure?
 
Not according to Stevens.
 
“Coaching basketball is not pressure,” Stevens told reporters after Monday night’s win. “Playing basketball is not real pressure. Sometimes we overdo this stuff. We’re just trying to prepare well for the next game. That’s all we’ve done, that’s all we’ll continue to do. The streak doesn’t mean anything to me; maybe it does to the guys in the room. But it’s about finding ways to get better and finding ways to get the job done.”
 
Here are five other takeaways from the 110-102 overtime win at Dallas that extended Boston’s winning streak to 16:


 
MARCUS SMART
There may not be a player on this team – maybe in the NBA – that’s more difficult to get a read on, than Marcus Smart. He has been a historically bad shooter throughout his career in Boston. And yet when you look at their 16-game winning streak, he’s one of the main reasons for it. He plays with an edge; he’s gritty and defends at a level that few can match. He makes big plays in big moments. But he's having his worst season ever shooting the ball yet his impact when he’s on the floor has never been greater. So, what do you do if you’re Stevens? You keep playing him. Because as much as his poor shooting hurts the team’s overall scoring, he makes so many clutch plays whether it’s facilitating, defending or – wait for it – making shots. He adds tremendous value to winning, even if his shooting numbers might suggest otherwise.


 
KYRIE FOR MVP?
When you’re getting “M-V-P! M-V-P!” chants on the road, you know you’re ballin’ hard. Kyrie Irving wowed the Dallas crowd with 47 points, 10 of which came in overtime as Boston rallied after facing a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter. If the numbers continue to climb along with the win total, Irving will continue to cement himself as a top-five MVP candidate. 


 
REBOUNDING
One of the few constants in Boston’s string of success has been their rebounding. Against the Mavericks, the Celtics once again won the battle on the boards, 53-45. And it hasn’t been one or two players, either. Against Dallas, the Celtics had five players grab at least four rebounds with no one securing more than nine. That kind of rebounding balance makes Boston an extremely difficult team to out-work on the glass.
 

AL HORFORD
The scoring punch we’ve come to expect lately from Horford just wasn’t there against Dallas. Instead, he seemed more consumed with getting others (mainly Irving) involved offensively. He missed four of his five shots from the field and scored just three points. But he almost had a double-double in rebounds (eight) and assists (seven) along with blocking a couple of shots. And as always, his plus/minus was among the best on the team with the Celtics being +7 when he was on the floor.
 

FOURTH-QUARTER TATUM
While Irving was delivering one big shot after another down the stretch, one of his running partners in late-game situations this season has been Jayson Tatum. He ranks among the league’s best shooters in the fourth quarter and Monday’s victory only solidified his status. Against the Mavericks, Tatum had six points and was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field. According to NBA.com/stats, Tatum is shooting 64.1 percent in the fourth quarter, which ranks eighth in the NBA among players who take at least two field goal attempts per game in the fourth. Right ahead of him is teammate Marcus Morris (65 percent).