Celtics

Al Horford unafraid to keep 'ranting and raving' about Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown

Al Horford unafraid to keep 'ranting and raving' about Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown

MILWAUKEE – Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have been two of the more talked-about Boston Celtics this season, and for good reason. 

Brown has shown significant growth in his second NBA season, and Tatum plays with the kind of poise you seldom see in a rookie, let alone a 19-year-old one. 

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But the first half of Thursday’s game was one in which both players struggled to make shots. Rather than chalk it up to just one of those nights that all young players experience, they refused to embrace that narrative. Instead, they continued to plug away in the second half by playing good defense along with remaining confident that sooner or later, shots would start to go down. 

And while Al Horford and Kyrie Irving had great games, Brown and Tatum’s ability to play their way through a rough night and still contribute, bodes well for both Brown and Tatum as well as the Celtics who pulled out a 96-89 win. 

Horford has been among the more outspoken Celtics praising the two rookies. 

But while most credit them for how they play offensively, Horford has been more impressed by what they bring to the game from a defensive standpoint. 

“I keep ranting and raving about Tatum and Jaylen … the defense is what impresses me,” Horford said. “I’m looking at the film, Tatum, his activity, his length, he’s there in the right places all the time. And this is only like his fifth game in the NBA. I’m excited to see those two keep developing.”

And while they struggled in the first half offensively, both came alive with big shots in the second half as Boston pulled away for its third straight win. 

After hitting a 3-pointer that cut Milwaukee’s lead to 61-57, Brown came back with another 3-ball which cut the Bucks’ lead to 69-68 with a minute to play in the third. 

He would finish with a near double-double of nine points and nine rebounds. 

And in the fourth, Tatum’s only basket was a driving finger roll lay-up that gave the Celtics an 84-72 advantage which turned out to be their largest lead of the night. 

Tatum had 12 points, three assists and two rebounds. 

With a roster filled with so many young players, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens understands the importance of them learning how to handle the ups and downs of a game, on the fly. 

 “It was good that a couple guys struggled from the field and had to make big ones late,” Stevens said. “That’s a growing experience. I feel like we’re making progress, but we still have a long way to go.”

Report: Celtics have interest in signing Euro League star

Report: Celtics have interest in signing Euro League star

The Celtics are among several NBA teams with interest in signing Euro League star Brad Wanamaker, according to international basketball reporter David Pick.

The Orlando Magic, Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat also have interest in Wanamaker, according to Pick.

Wanamaker, 28, a 6-foot-4 guard, went undrafted out of the University of Pittsburgh in 2011. He's averaged 14.9 points and 4.9 assists and shot 43 percent, 36 percent from 3, in three Euro League seasons.

The Celtics got a solid season from European free-agent signee Daniel Theis of Germany last season (5.3 points, 4.3 rebounds in 14.9 minutes a game before a knee injury in March. 

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Report: Miami guard Brown to have second workout with Celtics

Report: Miami guard Brown to have second workout with Celtics

University of Miami guard Bruce Brown, who's from Boston, played in the area in high school and is a possibility when the Celtics pick 27th on Thursday night in the NBA draft, will work out for Boston for a second time this week, Keith Smith of RealGM reports.

Smith, 6-foot-5, 195 pounds, saw his draft stock drop after his sophomore season ended with a foot injury in January.

The defensive-minded point guard is an inconsistent shooter (27 percent on 3-pointers last season) but Smith reports he fits the mold of Avery Bradley, Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart.

Brown was born in Boston and played at  Wakefield (Mass.) High and at Vermont Academy. 

Also visiting the Celtics for a second workout, according to Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune, is Cincinnati guard Jacob Evans, another defense-first guard who's bigger (6-6, 210), but similar to Brown. 

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