Celtics

Horford named to NBA All-Defensive second team

Horford named to NBA All-Defensive second team

BOSTON – For most of his career, Al Horford has been regarded as one of the league’s better defensive big men, even if he didn’t have the accolades or league-wide acknowledgment… until now. 

The veteran forward/center was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Second team on Wednesday, a first for the 11-year veteran. 

Utah’s Rudy Gobert and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis were the headliners on the first team which included Philadelphia’s Robert Covington, New Orleans’ Jrue Holiday and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo.

Along with Horford, the second team consisted of Jimmy Butler of Minnesota, Joel Embiid of Philadelphia, Golden State’s Draymond Green and San Antonio’s Dejounte Murray. 

What aided Horford’s selection was the fact that he showed a level of defensive versatility that we had not seen during his time with the Atlanta Hawks or with the Celtics last season. 

Look no further than this postseason run by the Celtics, one in which Horford has defended versatile wings like Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo as well as big point guards like Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons.

 “In the past I was probably guarding the bigger centers,” Horford said.

The addition of Aron Baynes in the offseason was instrumental in Boston’s ascension to the top of the NBA defensive pile with a league-best defensive rating of 101.5.

And Baynes had a defensive rating of 97.0 which led the NBA among players to appear in at least 50 games this season. 

“Baynes being here really gave me freedom to defend out on the perimeter, do different things,” Horford said. “It was a challenge that I was really excited about going into the season.”

Boston’s Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown were among those to receive votes but not named to the first or second team. 

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens was pleased for Horford being acknowledged for what he did for the Celtics defensively but added there were a number of others on the Celtics roster that deserved consideration for all-NBA honors defensively with chief among them being Baynes and Smart. 

“I realize you can’t take multiple people from one team,” Stevens said. “But those guys all, along with our young guys, everybody was really committed on that end of the floor all year, and it was led by those three (Baynes, Horford and Smart).”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

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. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

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. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE