Rajon Rondo will play for Celtics in season opener against Nets

BOSTON — It’s official: Rajon Rondo is back. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens announced Wednesday that Rondo will in fact be in the lineup for Boston opens its regular season against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden. Rondo will start in his usual point guard spot after missing the entire preseason with a broken hand. Had he not been able to go, rookie Marcus Smart would have gotten the nod. Smart should be the first point guard off the bench for the Celtics, and Evan Turner and Phil Pressey could see time at the position, as well. Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk will round out the starting five against the Nets.Filed under: Boston Celtics, Top Stories, Zack Cox

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Rondo can’t commit to opening night for Celtics (Yahoo Sports)

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 22: Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics warms up prior to a preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden on October 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

If Rajon Rondo knows whether he will play in the Boston Celtics opener on Wednesday night, he isn’t saying. The star point guard, who has missed most of training camp with a broken bone in his hand, told reporters that he will make up his mind after he awakens from his usual pregame nap on Wednesday afternoon.

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Celtics finalize opening roster, waive 6 players (Yahoo Sports)

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Celtics have waived six players to prepare for Wednesday’s opener.

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End of an era: Will Bynum officially waived by Celtics (plus the Cs make 5 other cuts)

As quickly as he came into our lives, Will Bynum has left them.The Celtics just announced that they have waived the 31-year-old point guard, along with five other players. The Celtics have waived Will Bynum, Tim Frazier, Rodney McGruder, Erik Murphy, Christian Watford and Jarell Eddie: http://t.co/ZNZwGkaRtJ— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 27, 2014The Cs roster now officially stands at 15 players, the maximum amount allowed by NBA rules. This is good news for Dwight Powell and Vitor Faverani, who seemed to be the logical candidates to be cut had the team not decided to part ways with Bynum. The Jarell Eddie cut is also worth noting, mainly because the Celtics just signed him a few days ago after he was cut by the Hawks. Obviously the release makes sense, but it’s still a little awkward to cut a guy after only a few practices. But Danny Ainge and company were honest about simply wanting to check him out in a few practices, and who knows, maybe he’ll sign on with the Red Cl…

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Celtics Waive Guard Will Bynum, Cut Roster To 15 Players

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the 2014-15 Boston Celtics.
The Celtics finalized their opening-night roster Monday, two days ahead of their regular-season opener. Will Bynum, acquired in a trade with the Detroit Pistons just 10 days ago, was one of the unsurprising cuts to pare down the roster to the maximum allowable 15 players.
Bynum joined Tim Frazier, Rodney McGruder, Erik Murphy and Christian Watford as those officially waived Monday.
All except Frazier and Bynum were actually released last week; Frazier was kept on to provide point guard depth in Boston’s preseason finale last Wednesday, and Bynum was retained while Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge tried to work out a last-minute trade.
With no deal coming to fruition, the Celtics evidently chose to eat Bynum’s $2.9 million contract, although they are not on the hook to pay any luxury tax for the coming season at the moment.
The Celtics open the season Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. against Kevin Garnett and the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden.

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Bucher: Celtics Trio Was More Talented, but Spurs Will Have Greater Legacy

Just 43 wins away, the San Antonio Spurs‘ legendary three—Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker—can feel it.

With those 43 wins, they will eclipse the Boston Celtics trio of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, who dominated the NBA in the 1980s and entertained with so many thrilling battles with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Given this milestone, B/R’s Ric Bucher examines which of these trios was better and which will have a more lasting legacy.

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6 Things to Watch For During Boston Celtics’ Opening Week

For a team likely looking at another lottery pick, there are plenty of intriguing storylines involving the Boston Celtics as we approach the opening week of the 2014-15 season.

Obviously, the NBA franchise with the most championships can’t be mentioned these days without a flurry of Rajon Rondo trade rumors, but even beyond the behind-the-scenes drama there is plenty to observe.

Armed with a slew of young talent and unproven players, the C’s may not make waves this year but should be an interesting team to follow, at least for the first few weeks.

Will the two star rookies live up to expectations? Will the new starting unit mesh from the jump? How will the Boston faithful receive Kevin Garnett more than a year removed from the infamous trade?

All these questions will receive some answers between Boston’s tilts with the Brooklyn Nets and Houston Rockets.

There’s no way around the fact that things should get pretty bleak for C’s fans by the time we hit the New Year’s, so let’s cherish the first few weeks of Boston basketball and take a look at some of big questions for the new season.

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Celtics assistant coach denies larceny charge (Yahoo Sports)

Boston Celtics assistant coach and former player Walter McCarty has pleaded not guilty to larceny for allegedly failing to pay $18,000 he owes for the purchase and installation of cabinets. Prosecutors say the 40-year-old McCarty ordered more than $30,000 worth of cabinetry for the home he’s building in Wayland, and paid a $12,000 deposit.

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Celtics win preseason finale; 100-86 over Nets (Yahoo Sports)

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 22: Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics defends the basket against the Brooklyn Nets during the game on October 22, 2014 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

Rookie Marcus Smart scored 16 points and Jared Sullinger had 15 with 17 rebounds to lead the Boston Celtics to a 100-86 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night in the final preseason game for both teams. Gerald Wallace had 12 points for Boston, which finished the preseason 5-3 with its second straight win over Brooklyn. Mason Plumlee led the Nets with 15 points and 11 boards. Mirza Teletovic also scored 15 points.

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Boston Celtics: Preseason Stats Suggest 3-Point Barrage on the Way for 2014-15

A season ago the Boston Celtics finished 25-57, tied for the fourth-worst record in the NBA.  One of the many statistical categories that Boston failed to excel in was three-point shooting.  The Celtics hoisted an average of 21.1 threes per game and connected just 33 percent of the time.  The number of attempts ranked 18th overall, while the percentage was the third-lowest in the league.

But if the 2014-15 preseason is any indication, Boston could be a very different team this year from beyond the arc.

Over their eight-game exhibition schedule, the Celtics took 230 three-pointers and knocked down 82 of them.  That averages out to 10.25 makes and 28.75 attempts per contest, both of which rank in the top three league-wide.  Each of those numbers would also have led the NBA during the 2013-14 regular season.

While not as impressive as the overall level of production, Boston’s .357 long-range shooting percentage is the 11th best in the league—and a large portion of it stems from some fairly unlikely sources.  

Despite being better known for his defense, shooting guard Avery Bradley is one of several Celtics who showed great proficiency from downtown this preseason.  Bradley sank 46.9 percent of his attempts (15 of 32), a significant uptick from his career rate of .366.

The 23-year-old hasn’t changed his philosophy though.  Via Frank Dell’Apa of The Boston Globe, Bradley said:

I’m a defensive player first. Like I always say, you can have an off shooting night but never an off defensive night, and that’s my mindset. I just have to go out there with high energy and play as hard as I can and let the game come to me. That’s my main focus. I don’t think it matters if I score first quarter, second quarter, it really doesn’t matter, as long as I play hard.

Even more surprising than Bradley’s shooting are the three-point exploits of Boston’s starting frontcourt tandem, Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk.  Together they made 24 of 50 threes this exhibition season, a staggering 48 percent.

Neither Sullinger nor Olynyk fit the description of a traditional NBA big man and both are somewhat undersized for their positions.  CBS Boston’s Brian Robb credits this as part of the explanation for why Boston is launching so many three-pointers:

With no true post presence on the team yet again this season, [Celtics head coach Brad] Stevens has committed himself to floor spacing, as well as pushing the pace. Despite a small sample size, Boston’s performance this preseason shows a big part of that plan is taking three-pointers at every reasonable opportunity.

Not to be outdone, even veteran power forward Brandon Bass has gotten in on the action.  Over 558 regular-season games spanning a nine-year career, Bass is 2-for-21 from long range.  This preseason he went 2-for-4.

In fact, of the 13 active players on the Celtics roster, only two failed to attempt a three-point field goal in any of Boston’s exhibitions—backup center Tyler Zeller and end-of-the-bench forward Gerald Wallace.

Regardless of whether or not the Celtics actually improve from last season, it does appear they intend to make three-point shooting a major part of their repertoire in 2014-15.


Statistics courtesy of RealGM.com

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