Celtics

Healthy Baynes comes through, delivers double-double in win over Pacers

Healthy Baynes comes through, delivers double-double in win over Pacers

BOSTON -- When you think of Aron Baynes having a big game for the Celtics, drawing charges, boxing out bigs and a few snatched rebounds are often what comes to mind. 

But a double-double?

Baynes doesn’t play enough minutes to put up those numbers … until now. 

The 6-foot-10 big man logged a season-high 33 minutes which was more than enough time for him to tally his first double-double of the season which was among the key factors in Boston edging Indiana, 114-112. 

Baynes would finish the game with 13 points and 13 rebounds on 6-for-10 shooting from the field which included him draining his lone 3-point attempt of the night. 

It was the third game in a row Baynes has played well north of 20 minutes, something that has been instrumental to Boston winning its last two games with lots of contributions from their “two-big” starting lineup which includes Baynes and Al Horford.

More than anything else, Baynes attributes his strong play of late with being healthy - something that has been an issue with him all season. 

Coming into tonight’s game, Baynes has missed a total of 30 games this season with the Celtics having a pedestrian 16-14 record in his absence. 

“It’s definitely fun to be healthy,” Baynes said. “It’s the right time to be ready and have everyone available. So I just try to take advantage … everyone does such a good job on this team of being ready when their number’s called and when we’re ready and play within Brad’s system, that’s when we look good and that’s when he makes you look good.”

And the pairing of him with a healthy Al Horford (19 points, seven rebounds, three blocked shots) has been the kind of 1-2 defensive punch the Celtics will need to finish out the regular season strong and go into the postseason with a better feel for having the kind of defensive identity they know they’ll need to have in order to continue to survive and advance in the playoffs. 

“We just haven’t had him [Baynes] and Al healthy for very much of the year, so it’s been hard to play them together,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “Plus, with all our depth on the wing, it’s hard to find minutes for everybody when those guys are playing together.”

In addition to scoring and rebounding the ball well, Baynes also did his part in helping his teammates like Kyrie Irving (30 points) get free for good looks at the rim as well. 

Indiana’s Myles Turner does a good job at contesting shots, but Baynes’ presence in the middle made that a lot tougher. 

“It was hard for him [Turner] to come over and commit to a few of our lay-ups which enabled me to get a few easy ones where he sealed Myles [off],” Irving said. “He did a great job tonight, just playing with that pace and playing with that … physicality to match theirs.”

For Boston to get back to being an elite team defensively, Stevens will have to continue finding ways to get both on the floor at the same time. 

Both provide a strong interior presence defensively while showing they can also do a decent job when forced to switch out defensively on a smaller, quicker player. 

Having that kind of size and defensive versatility is a luxury the Celtics have to do a better job of taking advantage of as they go forward. 

“It’s nice to have them back, it’s nice to have them available,” Stevens said. “And we need to have that as an option moving forward.”

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ESPN's Brian Windhorst calls AD-Lakers trade 'Celtics-Nets trade part two'

ESPN's Brian Windhorst calls AD-Lakers trade 'Celtics-Nets trade part two'

The Los Angeles Lakers made a deal to acquire Anthony Davis on Saturday night. The 26-year-old superstar will be leaving the New Orleans Pelicans to join the Lakers, but not everyone thinks it's such a great long-term deal.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst is one of those people. The analyst called the haul New Orleans received "potentially scandalous" and compared it to the ill-fated trade between the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics that accelerated the Celtics rebuild rapidly while doing long-term damage to the Nets franchise.

“What they gave up for him is potentially scandalous,” Windhorst told ESPN 710 in Los Angeles (as transcribed by MassLive's John Karalis). “It is an unbelievable haul that they gave. And not all the details are out there yet, but when they get out there, you’re going to see why. It is the Nets-Celtics trade part 2. It’s going to affect them long after LeBron is out of his prime and maybe no longer on the team.”

Of course, the main pieces the Nets acquired in the trade with the Celtics (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry) were all over the age of 35, so the deals are much different. Davis is still going to be in his prime for years to come, so the deal could pay off short-term if Davis and LeBron James are able to team up and win a title. And if Kyrie Irving joins them in L.A.? They could be the next super team and will surely have longer than the one-year window the Nets ended up with.

But giving up five to seven years of control of their draft picks is certainly a risk for the Lakers, especially with James set to turn 35 in December.

That likely explains why Danny Ainge was wary of completing this deal for Davis. Ainge has seen first-hand the impact of the Celtics-Nets trade, and he definitely doesn't want to come out on the other end of the deal. Reportedly, the Celtics refused to include Jayson Tatum in trade talks with the Pelicans and that may have been due to Rich Paul's comments about Davis leaving Boston after one season. The C's weren't about to pay a king's ransom for a one-year rental, so that allowed the Lakers to swoop in with the winning offer.

Only time will tell if this deal ends up becoming Celtics-Nets 2.0. All that we know now is that the Lakers gave up a lot to get one of the NBA's best players. And the Celtics elected to be conservative and continue to stockpile their long-term assets.

FORSBERG: What does the AD trade mean for the Celtics?>>>

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NBA Rumors: Kyrie Irving 'maintained for months' he wants to play with Anthony Davis

NBA Rumors: Kyrie Irving 'maintained for months' he wants to play with Anthony Davis

The return of Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics has gone from possible to unlikely in recent days. The Celtics' confidence in bringing back Irving has eroded and will likely continue to do so after the Anthony Davis trade.

Davis was traded from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers for a king's ransom on Saturday night. That will create a new super-team of sorts in L.A., as Davis and LeBron James will team up. However, the team is still looking for a third potential star, and Irving could be in play.

According to Sam Amick and David Aldridge of The Athletic, Irving is still in play for the Lakers. Aldridge, in particular, cited Irving's interest and said: "sources have maintained for months (Irving) wants to play with Davis." If that is, in fact, true, the Lakers would seemingly be an intriguing option for Irving, who has played with LeBron in Cleveland and wants to play with Davis.

Of course, Irving has also been tied heavily to the Brooklyn Nets in the past few weeks, and there have been reports that he may want to team up with Kevin Durant. Durant's Achilles injury may complicate that plan, though, so perhaps that could influence Irving to form a super team with the Lakers instead.

Either way, Irving being in play for the Lakers is a bad sign for the Celtics, as their best shot at retaining Irving would likely have stemmed from acquiring Davis. But, they reportedly didn't want to include Jayson Tatum in any deal given the uncertainty of Davis remaining after the season. Barring a change of heart, it seems that Irving is preparing to leave the C's once free agency rolls around.

FORSBERG: What does the AD trade mean for the C's?>>>

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