MILWAUKEE -- As Kyrie Irving walked onto the practice floor, something didn’t feel right.
The Boston Celtics are playing the Milwaukee Bucks at the old MECCA, a place where some of the greatest battles between Boston and Milwaukee took place.
In addition to the location, the players will also play on a replica court similar to the one that Larry Bird and other Celtics greats played on back in the late 1980s.
Irving is all about recognizing and embracing basketball history, but there was no getting around his concern for the court on which he and his teammates will be playing tonight.
When asked about the brightly painted court, Irving’s initial response was, “I’m all about safety. We’ll see how it is on my knees, see how it is on everyone’s bodies. I know it’s a pretty older court; it looks like it’s fresh-painted as well. Just do my assessment and go from there.”
Considering how the Celtics have been impacted by injuries already, Irving’s concerns about the floor are legitimate.
Gordon Hayward was lost for the season after suffering a dislocated left ankle injury and fractured tibia in the Celtics' season opener. Marcus Smart has missed the last two games with a left ankle sprain. He is participating in this morning's shoot-around and is considered a game-time decision.
“It took me three steps (on the court) to realize this is not the same NBA court that I’m used to playing on,” Irving said. “So we’ll see what’s up.”
The Boston Celtics close out their NBA Summer League campaign with a 4-2 record, after falling to the Portland Trail Blazers 95-80 in the Las Vegas quarterfinals, at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV.
The Celtics trailed by as much as 14 points in the first half, only to crawl all the way back to tie it up twice in the third quarter before giving way in the fourth.
It was a strong night for the Celtics' bench. Former UMass star Trey Davis, childhood friend of Marcus Smart, led all Boston scorers with 19 points. Meanwhile, University of Rhode Island star Hassan Martin had another solid showing, leading the Celtics with 16 points off the bench to go with nine rebounds. Guerschon Yabusele was the other Celtic -- and only starter -- in double-figures, the sturdy big man showing range from deep with a 4-for-7 effort on three-pointers that anchored a 16-point total.
John Jenkins, a 2012 first-round pick of the Atlanta Hawks, led the way for Portland with 25 points.
The Boston Celtics announced they have waived guard Kadeem Allen Sunday ahead of their Summer League quarterfinal against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Allen's two-way contract he signed last season would have become fully guaranteed for the 2018-19 season had the Celtics not waived him Sunday.
The Boston Globe reported that it was likely Allen played his last game with the Celtics Saturday against Miami in the Summer League, and today Boston made it official.
Selected with the 53rd pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Allen spent most of last season with the Maine Red Claws, where he played very well. He only spent 18 games with the Celtics.
This year's summer league was an opportunity for Allen to earn a second year on his two-way contract. He struggled to score and create for others, leading to Pierria Henry taking the starting point guard role.
Allen's release opens up a two-way contract slot for the Celtics, who could look at their own summer league roster or another player who doesn't get an offer from their current team.
Henry has reportedly gained significant interest from pro teams in Europe, while Hassan Martin is likely to have two-way contract offers in front of him soon.
Roster spots are hard to come by given the strength of the current Celtics roster, but a temporary slot is there for Danny Ainge to fill.