Celtics

Davis steps up his defense on Celtics rumors

Davis steps up his defense on Celtics rumors

BOSTON – You would have thought Anthony Davis was having visions of a double-team coming at him the way he consistently pivoted away from questions about the Celtics’ interest in him.

The 6-foot-10 forward has been the subject of trade rumors involving the Celtics for some time now; enough time for the four-time All-Star to spin away from such questions the way he does most wannabe defenders.

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When asked about whether he pays attention to the Celtics fans who want him donning a C's uniform soon, Davis responses with comments focused specifically on tonight’s game.

“We got a big one tonight,” he said. “It’s a great Celtics team. Kyrie [Irving], Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al [Horford], a lot of isolation basketball so we have to load up, be loud defensively and talk. It’ll be a good one for us.”

And Davis would be a good one for the Celtics, something that seemed a far-fetched fantasy at first which remains a longshot of happening, ever.

New Orleans (22-20) comes in having won three of its past four and finds itself just one game behind Oklahoma City for the fifth-best record in the Western Conference.

NBA executives have repeatedly indicated the only shot that Boston or any other team seriously have at landing Davis, 24, is for the Pelicans to fail to make the playoffs, which many expect would lead to wholesale changes that may include but not be limited to, finding a new home for Davis.

But such speculation is a moot point now, not with the Pelicans playing some of their best basketball of the season.

And a big part of that success has been Davis who is averaging a team-leading 26.7 points along with 10.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.1 blocked shots per game.

He and fellow All-Star DeMarcus Cousins form what many consider the most talented frontcourt tandem in the NBA.

“Davis and his ability to score the ball, his ability to roll to the rim, transition, all that stuff … they’re both very, very good,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens.

And as much as fans would love to see him in a Celtics uniform, tonight’s game will likely be the only time this season you’ll see Davis in Boston.

Even though Davis tactfully went about avoiding all questions linking him with the Celtics, that doesn’t diminish the fact that he has a tremendous amount of respect for the Celtics team and the organization as a whole.

“They’ve been playing very well; especially start of the season,” Davis said of the Celtics. “They kind of started to slip a little bit toward the end of the beginning. But they got it back, won seven in a row, still number one in the NBA right now. Everyone thought they would slip when Gordon [Hayward] went out [with a dislocated left ankle]; it’s kind of like they picked it up. When one of your star guys go out, guys have to step up and they’ve been doing that all year.”

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David Ortiz once came through in the clutch for Al Horford's wedding

David Ortiz once came through in the clutch for Al Horford's wedding

David Ortiz doesn't only come through in the clutch when he's in the batter's box.

He also delivers in clutch situations off the field. Take Al Horford's wedding for example. The Celtics big man had a last-minute wedding in the Dominican Republic and desperately needed a car to pick up his wife-to-be. Big Papi saved the day, sending Horford his Phantom and a driver. He even let them keep the car for a couple of days.

Horford told the story to the NBCS Camera Guys, who you should definitely follow on Twitter if you haven't already. . .

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Marcus Morris evaluates his job defending LeBron: 'I did a (expletive) job'

Marcus Morris evaluates his job defending LeBron: 'I did a (expletive) job'

CLEVELAND – There was plenty of blame pie to go around the Boston Celtics following their 116-86 Game 3 beating by Cleveland. 

But no Celtic seemed to be taking ownership of his role in the defeat, more than Marcus Morris who acknowledged his poor play particularly on defending LeBron James.

“Personally, I did a (expletive) job defensively against LeBron,” Morris told reporters following Boston’s Sunday afternoon practice at Quicken Loans Arena. “He (James) was just too comfortable when I was guarding him.”

In the first two games of this series, James was just 8-for-23 shooting (34.8 percent) with a total of 22 points with 13 assists and five turnovers when defended by Morris. 

On Saturday, James tallied 14 points when defended by Morris on 5-for-9 shooting according to NBA.com/stats, along with five assists and just one turnover.

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As the team poured over the film from Saturday night’s loss, there were several contributors to one of the worst losses ever under fifth-year coach Brad Stevens.

Morris knows this. 

But he also knows that how he fares against James will go a long way in determining whether the Celtics can emerge victorious in Game 4 which would then put them one win away from a trip to the NBA Finals. Despite his struggles against James on Saturday, Morris and the rest of the Celtics haven’t lost any faith that when all is said and done, things will work out for him and the Celtics.

“Very confident. Very confident,” Morris said when asked about the team’s level of confidence right now. 

“I’m 100 percent sure it won’t be the same (Celtics) team on Monday,” Morris said.

LINEUP CHANGE? Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens won’t rule out making a change to the team’s starting lineup for Game 4 on Monday. If there is a change, it would likely involve Marcus Morris returning to the bench while being replaced by Aron Baynes or potentially Semi Ojeleye. A case can be made for why Stevens would start either guy. In Baynes, Boston would have Al Horford matched up against Kevin Love while Baynes would have to battle with Tristan Thompson underneath the rim. Such a move would also bolster Boston’s bench with the return of Morris to the second unit.

LARKIN PROGRESS: Shane Larkin's left shoulder injury suffered continues to improve, but there's still no timetable for when he'll be healthy enough to return to the Celtics lineup. Following Boston’s practice on Sunday, Larkin and a member of the Celtics’ training staff were playing catch with several feet of space in between them. While it’s certainly a good sign to see Larkin throwing the ball with some distance, he remains highly unlikely to play in this series.  

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