Celtics

Harden has no answers for how to play Smart

Harden has no answers for how to play Smart

HOUSTON -- James Harden remembers all too well what happened the last time he and the Houston Rockets faced the Boston Celtics.

It was, and still is, the most epic of comebacks this season for the Celtics. And that’s saying a lot, considering how often Boston has rallied from double-digits deficits for wins.

When these two met a few days after Christmas, Boston rallied from a 26-point deficit and emerged with a 99-98 win.

So when I asked Harden about his biggest takeaway from that game, his response was clear and succinct.

“We had them beat; we had them beat,” he said. “We just have to finish the game off.”

Boston made several plays in the closing minutes, but arguably none bigger than the two offensive fouls Marcus Smart drew against Harden.

With that particular matchup playing such a pivotal role in the game’s outcome, it only made sense for the MVP candidate to have some thoughts on those plays or Smart’s play in general.

So I asked him about Marcus Smart.

“I don’t know,” said Harden, followed by a couple seconds of silence with him then saying, “Next question.”

While Harden was mum on Smart’s play, his coach, Mike D’Antoni, had plenty to say.

“Certain guys have to play with an edge. That’s why they got to the NBA; they play with that edge,” D’Antoni said. “I think that’s great. Marcus has been one of the better [defensive] players in the league. However he plays, he plays with a determination that very few people have in this league. That’s what makes him good.”

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CELTICS TALK PODCAST: Robert Williams' college coach Billy Kennedy discusses the C's draft pick

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CELTICS TALK PODCAST: Robert Williams' college coach Billy Kennedy discusses the C's draft pick

Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely bring you the latest in Celtics and NBA news in this episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast...

1:40 - The Celtics select Robert Williams with the 27th overall pick. Draper and Blakely discuss why he was still on the board and if the reward will outweigh the risk.

5:15 - Blakely says that a comparison to Roger Williams could be Clint Capela, with maybe a chance to be even better. Also, a discussion about why the Celtics did not move up in the draft.

8:27 - 18:18 - Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely are joined by Texas A&M head basketball coach Billy Kennedy. Kennedy describes the potential he sees in Robert Williams, if he thought he would go higher in the draft, and what part of his game he will need to improve in the NBA.

18:53 - All eyes will be on Roger Williams during the Celtics summer league. What will he be able to bring to the Celtics?

20:04 - Would you want the Celtics to sign Dwight Howard? Or would you rather have Aron Baynes return to Boston?

26:02 - The Spurs are not going to be able to get full value for Kawhi Leonard and how it's looking less and less likely that the Celtics will trade for Leonard.

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Grande: Celtics drafting of Williams a very Spurs-like move

Grande: Celtics drafting of Williams a very Spurs-like move

Are the Boston Celtics turning into the San Antonio Spurs?

Appearing Friday morning on "Toucher & Rich" on 98.5 The Sports Hub, long-time Celtics radio play-by-play announcer Sean Grande said that drafting Texas A&M center Robert Williams -- once speculated as a potential lottery pick -- late in the first round was a play straight out of the Spurs' playbook.

"With the caveat that every team pretty much wakes up this morning and says ‘Wow, we nailed it’, it’s hard to imagine the Celtics could do better," Grande said. "I don’t want to say they’ve become the Spurs, but this is what the Spurs, picking every year in this spot, would do. You wake up the next day, and say, ‘Wow, how did the Spurs get a really good player? How’d they get a player they weren’t supposed to get late in the first round?’"

And the Celtics have their own discipline to thank for this, Grande added.

"I think the key to this draft, wasn’t it really, was to not overreact, not to get involved in all the crazy, and the Celtics are exactly where they wanted to be 24 hours later," he said.

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