Celtics

Larkin back in Celtics lineup vs Bulls

Larkin back in Celtics lineup vs Bulls

BOSTON – In-between coughs, Shane Larkin said he was feeling good enough to play in tonight’s game against the Chicago Bulls. 

“Still got a little cough,” Larkin, in-between more coughs, told NBC Sports Boston. “It was pretty rough for a minute. I was in the hospital, they took good care of me.”

And Larkin takes great care of the basketball which will be important in Boston’s quest to finish the regular season playing well which begins with tonight’s game against the Bulls. 

Larkin has appeared in 50 games while averaging 13.7 minutes per game, but has only had four games all season in which he had more than one turnover. 

Larkin, who spent a couple days in the hospital with flu-like symptoms, will likely play limited minutes tonight after having missed the Celtics’ last couple of games because he was too sick to play. 

With the Celtics looking to rest players – Al Horford and Jayson Tatum are both sitting out tonight’s game to rest – it affords players like Larkin a chance to play extended minutes. 

And while Larkin isn’t feeling as well as he would want to right now, he’s not making any excuses. 

He understands that tonight will be an opportunity for him to play and potentially help the Celtics snap a two-game losing skid. 

It’s all about being that next man up which has been the mantra of this Celtics team all season. 

“We’ve gone through it all year,” Larkin said. “So you had to be very open to adversity. That’s changed what we wanted to do sometimes. But it’s just another opportunity for guys to make the most of their chance to play. That’s how it’s been all year, so why stop now?”

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Report: Some teams down on signing Kyrie Irving after rough series vs Bucks

Report: Some teams down on signing Kyrie Irving after rough series vs Bucks

While everyone has been focusing on which team Kyrie Irving should or will choose to play for once free agency begins on June 30, some teams have reportedly fallen out of love with the idea of signing the All-Star point guard to a big contract. 

According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, at least two teams are saying they will only go after Irving if they can land another big-time free agent first who wants to play with him. 

The most interesting bit of information from several sources that we’ve been able to consolidate and confirm is that some teams thought to have interest in Irving as a free agent are now a great deal more wary. Based on the way things played out with the Celtics this season and Irving’s role both off the court all year and on it in the playoff loss to Milwaukee, certain clubs are concerned about putting too many eggs in his basket right away.

Irving was not his usual self against the Bucks. He shot 35.6 percent from the field, 21.9 percent from three and averaged 3.6 turnovers per game compared to the 2.6 turnovers he averaged during the regular season. 

Much of that can be attributed to the Bucks, who have proven they are a juggernaut after blowing out the Raptors to take a commanding 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. But it seems the way Irving struggled on offense and how he let it negatively impact his effort on defense has resonated with teams who have the cap space to sign him. 

The 2019-19 season did not end how the Celtics or Irving expected it would. After declaring his commitment to the team before the regular season began, Boston's roller-coaster year could have changed his mind. 

If the Celtics want to want to pursue a trade for Anthony Davis, having Irving in the fold would seemingly be the linchpin in that plan. 

However, one executive told A. Sherrod Blakely that it's possible Irving is, "Playing all of you guys right now," and will return to the Celtics once he gets a chance to look at all of his options. 

If this report is true, Irving's options may be dwindling.

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Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren says 'nearly any kind of transaction is in play' this summer

Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren says 'nearly any kind of transaction is in play' this summer

This summer is going to be an interesting one for the Celtics.

Obviously, all eyes will be on Kyrie Irving as he decides where to go in free agency. Along with that, the C's have three first-round draft picks and are sure to be involved in the Anthony Davis sweepstakes. There's a chance Boston ends up being one of the more active teams in the NBA in the upcoming offseason.

Mike Zarren is ready for it.

The Celtics' assistant general manager talked with Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe about how busy the team expects to be in these next few months.

“Given the state of our roster and the draft assets we have now and going forward, nearly any kind of transaction is in play. To trade for players around the league, to move up or down in the draft, for future picks, to use our picks,” Zarren told Himmelsbach. “We’ve got a lot of flexibility this summer, but also a lot of big decisions to make. So the next two months are going to be very, very busy.”

Buckle up, Celtics fans.

Fortunately for Zarren, he'll have "Trader Danny" by his side during the hectic offseason. The Celtics' president of basketball operations is "back at it" after suffering a heart attack on April 30.

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