Celtics

Marcus Morris evaluates his job defending LeBron: 'I did a (expletive) job'

Marcus Morris evaluates his job defending LeBron: 'I did a (expletive) job'

CLEVELAND – There was plenty of blame pie to go around the Boston Celtics following their 116-86 Game 3 beating by Cleveland. 

But no Celtic seemed to be taking ownership of his role in the defeat, more than Marcus Morris who acknowledged his poor play particularly on defending LeBron James.

“Personally, I did a (expletive) job defensively against LeBron,” Morris told reporters following Boston’s Sunday afternoon practice at Quicken Loans Arena. “He (James) was just too comfortable when I was guarding him.”

In the first two games of this series, James was just 8-for-23 shooting (34.8 percent) with a total of 22 points with 13 assists and five turnovers when defended by Morris. 

On Saturday, James tallied 14 points when defended by Morris on 5-for-9 shooting according to NBA.com/stats, along with five assists and just one turnover.

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As the team poured over the film from Saturday night’s loss, there were several contributors to one of the worst losses ever under fifth-year coach Brad Stevens.

Morris knows this. 

But he also knows that how he fares against James will go a long way in determining whether the Celtics can emerge victorious in Game 4 which would then put them one win away from a trip to the NBA Finals. Despite his struggles against James on Saturday, Morris and the rest of the Celtics haven’t lost any faith that when all is said and done, things will work out for him and the Celtics.

“Very confident. Very confident,” Morris said when asked about the team’s level of confidence right now. 

“I’m 100 percent sure it won’t be the same (Celtics) team on Monday,” Morris said.

LINEUP CHANGE? Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens won’t rule out making a change to the team’s starting lineup for Game 4 on Monday. If there is a change, it would likely involve Marcus Morris returning to the bench while being replaced by Aron Baynes or potentially Semi Ojeleye. A case can be made for why Stevens would start either guy. In Baynes, Boston would have Al Horford matched up against Kevin Love while Baynes would have to battle with Tristan Thompson underneath the rim. Such a move would also bolster Boston’s bench with the return of Morris to the second unit.

LARKIN PROGRESS: Shane Larkin's left shoulder injury suffered continues to improve, but there's still no timetable for when he'll be healthy enough to return to the Celtics lineup. Following Boston’s practice on Sunday, Larkin and a member of the Celtics’ training staff were playing catch with several feet of space in between them. While it’s certainly a good sign to see Larkin throwing the ball with some distance, he remains highly unlikely to play in this series.  

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Jaylen Brown contract extension: Isaiah Thomas shouts out 'ugly ass friend'

Jaylen Brown contract extension: Isaiah Thomas shouts out 'ugly ass friend'

Jaylen Brown is getting his money, and at least one former teammate couldn't be happier.

The 22-year-old wing reportedly agreed to a four-year, $115 million contract extension with the Boston Celtics on Monday afternoon.

Minutes after that news broke, Washington Wizards guard (and former Celtic) Isaiah Thomas chimed in with a hilarious congrats for his old friend.

Thomas overlapped with Brown for one season in Boston, compiling his career 2016-17 campaign when Brown was a rookie. That team grew close amid a surprise run to the Eastern Conference Finals, and it appears Thomas still is keeping tabs on the 22-year-old.

The Celtics haven't confirmed Brown's extension, but the fourth-year guard appeared to reference the deal Monday afternoon on his Instagram story:

Brown averaged 13.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game last season in a regression from his 2017-18 campaign, but the Celtics clearly are betting on him by locking him up through 2024.

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Celtics' Jaylen Brown gets paid ... Is Jayson Tatum next?

Celtics' Jaylen Brown gets paid ... Is Jayson Tatum next?

BOSTON -- Wow!

We all knew that Jaylen Brown was going to get paid, but reportedly $115 million over four years?

It’s a huge investment on the Celtics’ part, for sure. 

And it provides Brown with the kind of generational wealth that NBA players covet.

But more than the money, it sends a clear and undeniable signal to Jayson Tatum who will be in line for a contract extension at the start of next season. 

And that message? 

You’re next. 

Brown’s monster contract will be joined a year from now by Tatum’s deal which gives Boston a dynamic tandem who will both be 23 years old or younger and have already been through the kind of postseason wars and battles that few players so young have had to fight.

And in the case of Brown, he has shown himself to be at his best in the postseason. Tatum has had some of his strongest moments as an NBA player in the playoffs, too. 

It’ll take fans a minute to get over the sticker shock of Brown’s deal because it was for more money than most had imagined. 

But make no mistake about it. 

This deal was about more than rewarding Brown for his play thus far and potential going forward with the Celtics. 

The Celtics are loading up for a future fueled by Brown and Tatum. 

Brown’s payday has arrived. 

Tatum?

That Brinks truck will be pulling up for you a year from now, young fella.

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