Celtics

Doc: 'We know (Dooling's) capable'

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Doc: 'We know (Dooling's) capable'

MILWAUKEE Boston Celtics guard Keyon Dooling is about as familiar a Celtic as there is on this roster with Milwaukee's Bradley Center.

Dooling was traded to Boston from Milwaukee during the offseason, after having spent the entire 2010-2011 season with the Bucks.

That familiarity certainly paid off for the C's on Thursday, with Dooling's contributions helping Boston pull away for a 100-91 win over the Bucks.

Dooling, who is averaging a career-low 3.6 points per game this season, had eight points on Thursday which included a perfect 4-for-4 from the field.

"Keyon, knocking down shots, that's what we're going to need," said Paul Pierce. "Especially with playoffs right around the corner, it's going to have to come from everybody."

The C's have been extremely patient with Dooling, who has struggled on the floor with his play, and off the floor with injuries.

Of the players currently in the Celtics' rotation -- Dooling is part of that rotation -- he has missed more games (16) with a sore right knee (nine games) and a right hip pointer (seven games).

He has essentially missed half the season because of injuries. And when you throw in the shortened preseason with minimal time for training camp, it's not all that shocking that the 31-year-old has struggled.

Along with a career-low scoring average this year, Dooling is also shooting a career-low from the field (37.6 percent) and from 3-point range (28.8 percent).

So a 4-for-4 shooting night was, well, kind of a big deal.

"He needed that," said C's coach Doc Rivers. "We needed that from him. We know he's capable."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?

0:41 - Kyle Draper, Brain Scalabrine, Tommy Heinsohn, and Mike Gorman break down the Celtics loss to the Cavs and Gordon Hayward’s injury.

4:22 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions to the gruesome injury to Gordon Hayward and how it impacted the game.

9:39 - Dr. Chris Chihlas joins BST to give his medical opinion on Gordon Hayward and if he thinks there is a chance Hayward could return this season. 

13:40 - Chris Mannix and A. Sherrod Blakely discuss what the feeling was like in the arena when Hayward went down but how there is actually a 'cautious optimism' surrounding the injury.

Jayson Tatum flashes potential with double-double debut

Jayson Tatum flashes potential with double-double debut

CLEVELAND – Jayson Tatum has seen plenty of games featuring Cleveland’s LeBron James.

And in the Boston Celtics’ preparation for Tuesday night’s matchup, the 19-year-old rookie had seen plenty of James on film.

But facing him, up close and personal, was something entirely different.

“He’s way bigger than I thought,” Tatum said. “He’s way better than I imagined. That’s the reason why he is who he is.”

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James’ play was among the key factors in Cleveland handing Boston a 102-99 loss on Tuesday night.

But Tatum showed he too has some big-time potential by finishing with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds which included some nifty drives to the basket as well as showing the ability to hold his own on the glass in terms of rebounding the basketball.

The last Celtics rookie to post a double-double on opening night?

That was Larry Bird back in 1980, helping the Celtics to a 114-106 win over the Houston Rockets.

What’s even crazier?

Bird had 14 points and 10 rebounds in that Rockets game, too.

Tatum’s solid performance didn’t seem in the making in the first half when Tatum had missed all five of his shot attempts while tallying just two points.

But as the Celtics mounted their comeback, Tatum’s play was a key to the team’s improved play.

“Just being more relaxed” was how Tatum described his improved play in the second half.

Tatum added, “first half, I think I was nervous and anxious. And then the game slowed down for me. That helped out a lot.”

And the Celtics will need even more from Tatum going forward after Gordon Hayward’s left ankle injury that will keep him sidelined indefinitely.

There was plenty of room for him to improve upon following Tuesday’s game.

But for the most part, head coach Brad Stevens liked what he saw from the rookie.

“Jayson was pretty good,” Stevens said. “He did a pretty good job for a first game. That’s pretty hard to do, to be thrown into this environment, first game and play that well.”

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