Celtics

Al Horford ready for next tandem with Amir Johnson

Al Horford ready for next tandem with Amir Johnson

WALTHAM, Mass. -- While with the Atlanta Hawks, Al Horford and Paul Millsap formed one of the NBA’s better frontcourt tandems.
 
But as well as they played together, Horford, now with the Boston Celtics, said it took a while before the two started to really mesh.
 
Horford believes the same will hold true for him and Amir Johnson despite the early returns showing the two will make a nice 1-2 frontline punch for the Celtics.
 
“It’s a work in progress,” Horford said prior to Tuesday’s practice. “For Paul and I to really get clicking, it took us a long time.”
 
That’s why he’s more than willing to wait for the chemistry to come along with Johnson.
 
“I’m not rushing it,” Horford said. “I’m trying to feel Amir out, see how he plays.”
 
One area in which both Horford and Johnson should benefit from having the other is passing.

Last season Horford ranked fifth among centers in the NBA with 3.2 assists per game. In addition, he made 3,894 total passes, which was second in the league among centers to Chicigao's Pau Gasol (4,082).

Not surprisingly, interior passing has been a topic of discussion between Horford and Johnson.
 
“I always talk to him about us passing the ball inside,” Horford said. “The big thing for us to keep communication. The more comfortable I get with the system, the easier it’ll be for all of us.
 
Prior to arriving in Boston, Horford was well aware of the leadership qualities Boston already had in Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder.
 
But it was only after spending time with the Celtics did he realize that Johnson is one of the team’s most important leaders, too.
 
“He’s one of the leaders in this locker room, the type of guy that you want to play alongside with; plays really hard," Horford said. "He’s really about the team. I’ve been really impressed with him and his leadership on the team.”
 
The two have played together in two of Boston’s three preseason games, with Stevens giving both players as well as Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley the night off when Boston played Sacramento.
 
In the two games they have played together, Horford has averaged 11.5 points and 8.0 rebounds and 3.0 points and 4.5 rebounds.  
 
“It’s coming along,” Johnson told CSNNE.com recently. “The good thing is we’re both unselfish players so that should help speed things up. But we’ll be fine. It won’t be long before we’re on the same page all the time.”
 

Gordon Hayward close to new sneaker deal

Gordon Hayward close to new sneaker deal

Celtics star Gordon Hayward is close to coming to terms on a multi-year sneaker deal after being courted by a number of shoemakers.

Sports shoe and apparel giant Nike, Chinese company Anta and Boston-based New Balance, which has a sponsorship deal with the C's new Auerbach Center training facility, are pursuing Hayward.

Anta reportedly made Hayward an offer about a month ago, according to ESPN's Nick DePaula:

Former Celtics Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo had deals with Anta. Hayward, coming back this season after missing nearly all of last season after an injury five minutes into Celtics debut, has been with Nike, including wearing the company's Kobe 11 shoe.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Podcast: Kyrie Irving discusses why he has not committed to the Celtics long term

breakfast_pod.jpg
File Photo

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Podcast: Kyrie Irving discusses why he has not committed to the Celtics long term

1:00 - Kyrie Irving talked with Jackie MacMullan and discussed everything from how his knee feels to why he hasn’t committed to Boston long term, Our Early Edition crew discusses what he had to say.

7:50 - Marc Bertrand and Phil Perry break down the Patriots-Lions match up on Sunday, and debate whether the Lions have any shot of doing what the Jaguars did to the Patriots.

14:30 - Steve Buckley joins BST to discuss Chris Sale’s performance against the Indians.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE