Alise Amendola/Associated Press - Evan Turner

With NBA summer league in the books and time before official team activities begin Coach Brad Stevens and Evan Turner crossed the ocean to promote the NBA in Africa last week. The pair spent time in Johannesburg, South Africa where they participated in the first NBA game on the continent of Africa. Stevens role was assistant coach to Brooklyn Nets head coach Lionel Hollins. Evan Turner joined a Team World roster of NBA players including ex-Celtics forward Jeff Green, Chris Paul, Bradley Beal, Marc and Pau Gasol as well as a few others. They faced a Team Africa squad led by Luol Deng, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Boris Diaw and Nicolas Batum.

The game was a spectacle and in the first half was similar to an All-Star game with entertainment and fun taking place of intensity. In the second quarter Team Africa brought out (of retirement) the big guns: Dikembe Mutombo and Hakeem Olajuwon, both sporting their respective NBA jerseys, Mutombo #55 for the Denver Nuggets and Olajuwon #34 for the Houston Rockets. Each played for a few minutes, much to the excitement of the crowd and players at Ellis Park Arena. Even the normally stone-faced San Antonio Spurs and Team Africa head coach Gregg Popovich was smiling. Continue reading Celtics’ Brad Stevens and Evan Turner Join NBA Cast in Africa »

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Alex Brandon/ Associated Press

‘The Truth’ and other NBA stars from around the league told the world and, most importantly, the media, what they believe to be the truth about awards handed down for NBA players. In the first annual NBA Players Association (NBPA) Players Awards hosted in Las Vegas, taped on Sunday and aired Tuesday night, players were given the opportunity to vote on who they thought should receive various league awards normally voted on by members of the media. Players have been pushing to have a say in the accolades that get handed out at the end of each season for some time and now the NBPA has come up with a way to give them just that. An awards ceremony where the players, who assert they know the league and their fellow players better than the media, get to cast votes and have their voices heard.

Paul Pierce, now teammates with Chris Paul, President of the NBA players union, made an appearance on stage to accept the player’s choice award for Defensive Player of the Year DeAndre Jordan after presenter Gary Payton joked that his new teammate Dirk Nowitzki would accept in his place. Continue reading Paul Pierce Participates in the First Annual NBA Players Association Players Awards »

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AP Photo/Charles Krupa

The Celtics have waived reserve point guard Phil Pressey to make room in the already crowded Boston backcourt. Pressey played two seasons in Boston, providing high energy, defensive intensity, and ball handling. The 24 year old Pressey was a coaches dream in Boston. He was happy to have the chance to play on the parkay floor, having spent time around the Celtics organization as a kid when his father, Paul, was an assistant to Doc Rivers. Danny Ainge made the tough decision to release Pressey, this was likely done with a heavy heart as he is known to be a favorite of Ainge. Continue reading Celtics Bid Farewell to Phil Pressey »

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The Boston Celtics have acquired athletic wingman Perry Jones III, a 2019 second round pick from the Detroit Pistons and cash considerations from the Oklahoma City Thunder for a future conditional second round pick.

Jones averaged 4.3 points and 1.8 points per game for the Thunder last season. As Royce Young of ESPN noted, Jones showed people across the league his potential by filling in for superstar Kevin Durant last season. In Durant’s three game absence, Jones displayed his offensive ability by scoring 32, 20, and 16 points respectively. Continue reading Perry Jones III Flipped to Celtics »

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David Lee coming to Boston (USA Today Sports)

Last season David Lee was injured, lost his starting job, at times was irrelevant and when you look at his numbers they are shockingly competent. Sure, he can’t defend at all but at 6’9” with limited athleticism and short arms, what do you expect? And its not like his lack of defense is going to create a huge hole; this Celtics front court wasn’t going to be blowing up any offenses anyway. Lee’s defensive deficiencies were amplified by the fact that he was behind Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut, who are two of the best ten front court defenders in the league.

Regardless, David Lee is going to bring a lot to the table and be a great fit for Boston, even if it’s only for one year. Continue reading What David Lee Can Bring to Boston »

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Chris Forsberg/ESPN

Summer league basketball has officially begun giving the opportunity for players to demonstrate why they should be playing in Boston for the Celtics at the start of the season rather than in Portland for the Maine Red Claws.

Summer ball affords the Celtics coaching staff and front office the chance to evaluate what they have between young players who made the roster last season, D-Leaguers that hope to make it this year, and the draftees that came out of the 2015 NBA draft last month. With only a few, sloppy games played the young guys are still working on getting comfortable with their new roles and figuring out what they can provide on a bigger stage. Continue reading The Draft Picks: Will They Be Celtics or Red Claws? »

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Summer league for the Celtics officially started Monday night and it was a joy to watch. Despite the loss, it is exciting to watch these younger players compete and perform. While conclusions about the future success of these guys cannot be drawn from one summer game, there were a number observations I took away from Monday night’s game.

James Young looks different

Monday night was the first I had seen of James Young since his off-season workouts. Although Young did not have the greatest game statistically Monday night, I was thoroughly impressed. The muscle he put on is a welcomed addition to his lanky frame, and will help both offensively and defensively over the grind of an 82 game NBA season. I’m optimistic as to how it will translate on the defensive side of the ball, a place where Young struggled last year. James Young is a natural scorer whose statistical number are bound to come, but I’m especially excited to see how he develops as a defensive player this year. His body looks NBA ready this year, and I’m excited to watch this guy as the season progresses.

Marcus Smart is emerging as a leader

The 21-year-old point guard was extraordinary in Monday night’s contest. Continue reading Some Thoughts From Celtics’ First Summer League Game »

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