Celtics

Ricky Rubio mentions Celtics as possible destination in free agency

Ricky Rubio mentions Celtics as possible destination in free agency

Kyrie Irving out, Ricky Rubio in?

With Irving and Terry Rozier's futures in Boston very much unclear at the moment, Rubio sees the Celtics as a possible destination in free agency if they're left scrambling for a starting point guard.

Rubio, who has spent his last two seasons with the Jazz, discussed the chances of joining the C's in an interview with EuroHoops:

There are a thousand possibilities, excluding the teams that have a starting point guard under contract who will remain there. Like Houston or Golden State. Then there’s Boston where you still don’t know if Kyrie Irving will be there. Or Charlotte with Kemba Walker. Things really don’t depend on you but on the other players.

For example, if Kyrie Irving went to Utah, this wouldn’t be a possibility for me anymore. In the end, they choose first.

Rubio isn't known for his scoring, but he's established himself as one of the game's best facilitators. Having Rubio take the reins at point guard wouldn't the sexiest move for the Celtics, though they certainly could do worse than the 28-year-old.

NBA free agency will begin on June 30.

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Positives tough to find in Celtics' opening-night loss to the 76ers, but Brad Stevens swears they were there

Positives tough to find in Celtics' opening-night loss to the 76ers, but Brad Stevens swears they were there

PHILADELPHIA — For anyone who watched the Celtics’ wretched whistle-and-brick filled season-opener in Philadelphia on Wednesday night, the last thing they wanted to hear Boston coach Brad Stevens say was that he's, “a lot more encouraged than discouraged.”

Encouraged?! From Al Horford ringing the Sixers bell in his new red, white, and blue duds on to Horford driving a closeout and throwing down a different sort of hammer late in the game — and the entire 2 hour, 33 minute rock fight in between — there didn’t seem much for Stevens to be upbeat about.

Certainly not the 57 missed shots, or the 19 missed 3-pointers. Not the 14 missed free throws, and especially not the 29 fouls that sapped the game of any rhythm as Philadelphia pulled away for a 107-93 victory at the Wells Fargo Center.

By the end of the night, the locals were chanting “Boston sucks!” and, at least based on what they’d seen on this night, it was hard to argue with their review.

Alas, Stevens is not one to overreact, especially not to one game. And it was all those missed shots that encouraged Stevens — or at least the notion that his team will rarely do it again.

So while it was hard to watch Kemba Walker miss 14 shots in his Boston debut and Jayson Tatum miss 14 more, Stevens boldly declared, "All that means is, [Walker] and Tatum, there’s a lot of good nights coming.”

Make no mistake, Stevens wasn’t thrilled with everything. Jaylen Brown had four fouls called against him by the end of the national anthem. The Sixers were perpetually in the bonus. A lot of the good the Celtics did, defensively, was negated by the team’s inability to make its own open shots.

And it didn’t help that the other departed All-Star, whose name rhymes with Myrie, made exactly the same number of 3-pointers (7) as Stevens’ entire roster as part of a 50-point debut for Brooklyn on Thursday night.

Stevens noted that no team’s story is told after one game and pledged that the Celtics would learn from the loss. It’s worth remembering that Boston logged an opening-night triumph over Philadelphia last season and that certainly didn’t dictate how their season unfolded,

There were a couple of areas to really like, including how Gordon Hayward looked aggressive while putting up a team-high 25 points that included getting to the free-throw line 11 times. Tatum didn’t have a great shooting night but he did hit four of eight 3's and the 21-year-old showed a desire to attack.

Stevens had pleaded for patience out of the gate this season given the daunting nature of the schedule and has routinely suggested heading into opening night that the first few games would serve as information gathering that would allow the team to truly set its expectations.

For his part, Walker said of his shooting woes, “I thought I got my shots, the shots I love to take. I thought I got to my spots. I just missed, yeah. Later he added, “I don’t think I was pressing."

Walker put up some gaudy numbers against Philadelphia last year, including a 60-point barrage. He didn’t have it on this night and couldn’t rescue his team.

"We just made some small mistakes, defensively, down the stretch that we have to be better with,” said Walker. "We’re still learning each other. I know we’ve been through preseason and stuff like that, but it takes time for teams to really come together and get better and be in rhythm. So, Game 1. Obviously it sucks that we lost but I think we’re still extremely confident. We still believe in each other. It’s a long year.”

Yes, deep breaths Celtics fans. There’s still a long way to go.

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Jaylen Brown: Foul trouble 'threw everybody’s rhythm off' in Celtics' opening loss to 76ers

Jaylen Brown: Foul trouble 'threw everybody’s rhythm off' in Celtics' opening loss to 76ers

PHILADELPHIA -- After signing an extension worth as much as $115 million earlier this week, no one knew for sure what to expect from the Celtics' Jaylen Brown in his first game of the season. 

Four fouls in his first nine minutes of court time?

No one saw that coming - certainly not Brown. 

It was among the many things that did not go the Celtics’ way in their 107-93 season-opening loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Brown, who turns 23 years old Thursday, had eight points and seven rebounds with one steal. 

But the foul trouble, his and that of his teammates as well, was a major factor in the Celtics’ struggles. 

“It was tough; we have to be better at not fouling, starting with me,” Brown told NBC Sports Boston. “I got in foul trouble. That just threw everybody’s rhythm off a little bit.”

Boston shot just 36.7 percent from the field and 26.9 percent on 3’s (7-for-26) while the Sixers connected on 43.5 percent of their shots from the floor with many of the shots going down for Philly coming with Brown on the bench as a spectator. 

More than anything else, Brown’s biggest takeaway has to be learning how to be a more effective player despite being in foul trouble.

“You have to adjust with the game,” Brown said. “See how the game is being called, adjust. I did a bad job of adjusting.”

But as we’ve seen as Brown enters his fourth season with the Celtics, more often than not he follows up periods of struggle by successfully navigating his way past those occasional stretches of choppy waters.

And by doing so, it’ll serve as a reminder of Brown’s consistency when it comes to improvement, which was among the many traits that gave the Celtics confidence that investing $115 million in Brown was a wise decision both for what he can do presently and for what he’ll strive toward accomplishing in the not-so-distant future. 

“Jaylen has made tremendous strides over the last three years and has become a fantastic player for us on both ends of the court,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in a statement shortly after Brown signed his new deal. “He’s a great person and hard worker who, at (23) years old, can score and defend against the best players in the NBA. Jaylen is a true professional who did a great job accepting his role last season, and he is a major part of our championship goals.”

While most of the talk following the loss was centered on the moment, Brown was already focusing on Friday night’s home opener against the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors. 

“That’s going to be exciting. For sure I’m looking forward to it,” Brown said. “Home opener; the energy is going to be crazy. And we’re looking to split our first two games. So stay tuned for that game, that’s going to be a good one.”

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