Celtics

Pietrus to play, Daniels doubtful vs. Mavericks

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Pietrus to play, Daniels doubtful vs. Mavericks

WALTHAM The Boston Celtics' roster continues its yo-yo like ways, with one addition to the lineup for Wednesday night's game against Dallas, filling the void of another player who is not expected to play.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers expects Marquis Daniels, who has missed the last couple practices with flu-like symptoms, to not play against the Mavericks.

Taking a good chunk of his minutes will likely be Mickael Pietrus, who is expected to see his first action of the season with Boston after spending the past couple of weeks strengthening his right knee.

"It feels good," Pietrus told reporters this week.

And while he may be new to the team, Pietrus seems to understand just how unique the C's are compared to most NBA franchises.

"Look around," he said. "It's 17 banners. I'm in a great spot."

And with each opportunity to see him on the floor, Rivers is even more impressed with his athleticism and overall ability to play.

Rivers said the second unit guys did a good job in Tuesday's practice, Pietrus among them.

"He had a sensational day," Rivers said of Pietrus. "He might have been one of our best players. So that was good."

Regardless of whether Daniels is healthy enough to play, Rivers said he was going to play Pietrus as soon as he got the go-ahead from the C's medical staff.

The 6-foot-6 wingman, who signed with the C's after being waived by Phoenix last month, has been rehabilitating a right knee injury that nixed an earlier trade between Phoenix and Toronto.

"If he (Pietrus) can play, he'll play," Rivers said.

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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