Celtics

Jarell Eddie hoping to find permanent home with Celtics

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Jarell Eddie hoping to find permanent home with Celtics

BOSTON – It was a pretty standard day in the G-League for Jarell Eddie. 

The Windy City Bulls had a game that night, but a pre-game nap was in order. 

But before he could drift off into a brief slumber, Eddie’s plans – and basketball career – were soon jetting off in another unpredictable direction. 

It was his agent calling to let him know the Boston Celtics were signing him to a 10-day contract for what would be his second stint – sort of – with the Celtics. 

Back in 2014, the Celtics picked up Eddie off waivers only for him to be waived by Boston just a couple days later. 

“I remember I was excited I got picked up off of waivers,” Eddie recalled. “And I was really excited and I thought, ‘okay cool, I’ve got another opportunity. And then a couple days later I wasn’t here. So, it was a real quick stint.”

The fact that he will be on the bench tonight is indeed progress compared to his first time as a Celtic. 

But more than anything, Eddie has a specific strength – shooting – that the Celtics desperately need more of going forward. 

“As we went through this past week, as the flu went through our team, with Kyrie and the shoulder, we wanted to make sure as we begin to head West we had a full complement of guys,” Stevens said. “And his ability to shoot the basketball is unique.”

While it is indeed Eddie’s greatest strength, he’ll need to show that there’s more to his game than just knocking down shots. 

First and foremost, he has to get on the floor which will not be easy. 

One of the reasons the Celtics signed him was because they weren’t sure of the status of Kyrie Irving’s sore left shoulder which kept him sidelined for Boston’s 89-80 loss to Philadelphia on Thursday. 

But Irving’s shoulder has improved to the point where he will return to the Celtics’ lineup today against Orlando. 

Eddie, who has 31 NBA games under his belt from his time in Phoenix and Washington, understands that his opportunities will be limited.

But for him, it’s all about having an opportunity – something the Celtics are open to giving him. 

“It’s just so rewarding to finally get that call that you worked so hard for in the offseason, during the season, while you’re playing in the G-League,” Eddie said. “Going through that grind. So, to get that call is such a reward.”

And now, the focus will be on him to answer that call and do enough in the 10-day window that he’s hoping to extend to provide himself with the one thing that has been missing throughout his pro career – a basketball home. 

“You never get used to it,” he said. “I feel like at this point in my career I’m chasing stability, to be in one place longer than six months or however long. You never get used to it. I know my wife is tired of it.  You’re definitely trying to get somewhere, stick somewhere.” 

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Brad Stevens channels Bill Belichick to dodge questions about starting lineup

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Brad Stevens channels Bill Belichick to dodge questions about starting lineup

Brad Stevens was utterly Belichickian during the pregame press conference before Game 4.

The Boston Celtics coach fielded and dodged questions about the team's starting lineup. He was asked whether he would be making any changes. And he would not answer.

"We will start five people. I promise," Stevens said with a grin.

Reporters probed him a few times to try to get an answer. When their line of questioning failed, the press conference concluded -- after four questions.

Here's a look at the full transcript.

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Blakely's Game 4 Storylines: Brown knows he's got to be better early

Blakely's Game 4 Storylines: Brown knows he's got to be better early

CLEVELAND – That old basketball adage of “taking it one game at a time” has been modernized by today’s players, who have replaced it with “staying in the moment.”

Jaylen Brown is part of that movement, for sure.

Still, Brown has long exposed us to the reality that he’s a next-level thinker, someone who balances the reality of today with the promise that tomorrow brings, basketball and otherwise.

That’s why for him, the connectivity between tonight’s game and Boston’s ultimate goal – winning a championship – are intertwined in such a way that you can’t realistically look at one without acknowledgement of the other, which is why he’s operating on a level of focus unlike any prior to this point in his basketball career.

“We’re two games away from going to the NBA Finals,” Brown told NBC Sports Boston. “And six [wins] away from doing something special. We’re too close and we came too far to not be focused.”

And Brown knows his play will be among the keys to Boston leaving Cleveland with a Game 4 win and with that, absolute control of the series.

In Boston’s two wins in this series, Brown averaged 13.5 points in the first quarter.

The Game 3 loss saw Brown go scoreless in the first quarter while taking one shot attempt.

“We have to come in and play Celtics basketball and find ways to win,” Brown said.

Here are five other under-the-radar storylines heading into tonight’s Game 4 at Quicken Loans Arena:

HORFORD STREAK SNAPPED


Before scoring just seven points on 2-for-4 shooting in Game 3, Al Horford had reached double figures in points in every playoff game this season. Look for the Celtics to make a more concerted effort to get Horford going offensively tonight.

ROZIER’S RISE


Terry Rozier has had one of the best postseasons ever by a Celtic when it comes to knocking down 3-pointers. He currently has 41 made 3’s in this postseason, which ranks fifth all-time for a single postseason. Boston has at least two more games in this series with Cleveland (tonight and Game 5 in Boston on Wednesday) and at his current rate of 2.7 made 3’s per game, Rozier is on pace to finish this postseason with at least 46 made 3’s which would rank third all-time behind Ray Allen, who made 56 three-pointers in 2010 and 55 in 2008.

IN GOOD COMPANY


Much has been said about the Celtics’ struggles on the road in the playoffs, and justifiably so. They have lost five of six road games in the postseason, which gives them the worst road record among teams still playing. Their struggles aren’t all that different than Boston’s 2008 title-winning team, which also had problems away from the TD Garden. In fact, that team didn’t fare much better than this current Celtics with losses in nine of their 12 road games. That team survived round after round due to having home court advantage, a similar blueprint that has been working for this current crew of Celtics players.

SMART'S POSITIVE CONTRIBUTIONS


Even though the shots falling continue to be sporadic at best for Marcus Smart, you can’t knock the man for what seems to be good things happening most of the time he’s on the floor. Smart has a plus/minus of +18 in this series, which is tops among all players.

POWER OF 3


The 3-point shot has been the ultimate litmus test for whether Cleveland wins or loses in the playoffs. In losses, the Cavs averaged 8.8 made 3-pointers while shooting just 27.3 percent from beyond the arc. In victories, the number of made 3s increases to 11.8 per game while Cleveland’s 3-point shooting also rises, to 39.4 percent.

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