Celtics lift Gordon Haywards minutes restriction

Celtics lift Gordon Hayward\s minutes restriction

Carter making a name for himself as top defender in 18 class

BOSTON — The Boston Celtics will be without one of their best players so far this season on Wednesday: Marcus Morris, who has been perhaps the most consistent offensive threat coming off the bench.

The Celtics ruled Morris out hours before the game due to illness. Brad Stevens wasnt sure what the illness was, but he said Morris had been feeling sick before he left the practice facility on Tuesday.

“For me, Im happy to be on the court, No. 1, more than anything and, No. 2, whatever I can do to help us win,” he said. “I said it before the season, its whatever to me. We have to figure something out because for whatever reason were not playing our best basketball right now.”

“Its a loss every night when you dont have one of the guys whos playing at the level hes playing at,” Stevens said. “This is about us all getting back to playing the way we want to play, and doing it for 48 minutes. Whether hes here or not, its about whoever is playing doing it. Thats our challenge. Were better with Marcus, no question about it, we want him back ASAP.”

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Video: Boston Celtics vs. Chicago Bulls Injury Report | Gordon Hayward Willing to Come Off Bench |…

“We havent been mediocre — weve either been bad or good,” Stevens said. “Theres been no in between. We have to work harder to be the better version of ourselves. Weve put a lot of time into it. Well see what happens.”

Boston Celtics small forward Gordon Hayward said Tuesday hes willing to come off the bench after struggling during the early stages of the 2018-19 NBA season in his return from a severe leg injury.

– Stevens has been impressed by Bulls rookie Wendell Carter, who has drawn comparisons to Al Horford.

Cora finished second in voting to Athletics manager Bob Melvin, who won with 18 first place votes. The first year Boston manager tallied seven first place votes. The award was chosen by a group from the Baseball Writers Association of America. Two writers from each American League city voted. Heres who cast their first place ballot for Cora:

“I thought he was a steal where they got him, because I think that he looks like he has a great understanding of how to play on both ends and hes got the skill set thats just going to get better and better, and completely transferrable to the NBA,” Stevens said. “He can play the 4 or the 5. And I think hes going to be really good. I think their young core is probably under-discussed, about how good they are. Obviously you start with LaVine, but when you add a Jabari Parker, you got some of the guys that are hurt, youve got Carter, I think (Antonio) Blakeney is a guy that can put points up in a hurry but not a lot of people talk about. I think theyve done a really good job and may be somewhat under-discussed.” 

Gordon Hayward is open to a bench role: Amid his return from injury, Gordon Haywards comeback is off to a slow start. The Celtics forward has shot just 31.9 percent from 3-point range. On Tuesday, Hayward said that he would willingly accept a role coming off the bench should coach Brad Stevens shuffle the lineup. [The Boston Globe]

– According to the team, Robert Williams was assigned to join the Maine Red Claws this weekend. The Red Claws have games Thursday and Friday before several days off. Williams could get significant reps before rejoining the team after Fridays game against the Toronto Raptors, in which he is unlikely to play major minutes.

Patriots CB depth chart: Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty, Jonathan Jones, J.C. Jackson, Duke Dawson, Keion Crossen. With Dawson elevated to 53-man roster from IR on Tuesday, he adds another interior option in sub. McCourty has settled in nicely as No. 2 option, played well Sunday

Bulls big man Lauri Markkanen takes big strides Monday, but timetable unchanged

– Despite a small amount of chatter about it — and Gordon Haywards claim that he would be fine with the move — Stevens said he wouldnt change his starting lineup entering Wednesdays game.

Even if they do eventually make those shots, theyll never make enough to make this offense good. The only way it can get as good as it needs to be is for the ball to move and get into the paint. Paint touches destroy defenses and generate great looks. They can lead to free throws, easy baskets, and open threes. The Celtics will eventually start hitting open shots, but the first step to getting them is trusting that this kind of aggressive offense will be good for everyone. If they start hunting paint touches, well start seeing a dramatically improved Celtics offense.

“The thing I appreciate about our team is that anybody would say that,” Stevens said. “And feel that, and be willing to do it, because we have a bunch of good guys on this team. Whether good or bad as far as coming back from the injury, if we deem that its the right thing, then well do that. But right now, its lets see if we can play better. Weve had some tough starts, and then weve had some great starts. It goes back to either being bad or good, with no in between. Lets see if we cant establish ourselves to play a little better, and as the season goes on well have to make more of those decisions. If youre really good and get to play in the playoffs, thats pretty much a daily occurrence.”

Its not that the Celtics offense is broken, per se. Its that the Celtics players tend to give up on the good offense that generates good open shots when they dont fall early in games. Gradually, the Celtics start settling for the bad open shots, and even if a few go in, they never fall at a high enough rate to make them part of a healthy offense. Even the best long-two shooting team, the San Antonio Spurs, make them at a 45.6 percent clip, which is hardly high enough to be worthwhile. Those shots will happen; they just shouldnt happen often.

Speculation around the time of the 2018 NBA Draft was that Mohammed Bamba, Jaren Jackson Jr. or even DeAndre Ayton could end up being better defenders than Carter due to their athleticism. And while time will tell if this is true, so far in 2018-19, Carter has shown that he is ahead of his peers in terms of breaking down what is happening in front of him and assessing what his responsibility is. One of the main thing holding back the Bulls on defense is ball-watching.

To be effective against an opponent that swings the ball around on offense—generating good shots from the strong and weakside—your defense needs to have all five players on the floor with their head on a swivel, keeping an eye on the ball and their man. Carter has done a lot of leading by example in this specific area. 

Share Share Marcus Morris to miss Wednesday nights game vs Chicago due to illness tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris has been downgraded to out for Wednesday nights matchup with the Chicago Bulls due to illness, according to the team. The late scratch was reported around 4:30 this afternoon.

Wendell Carter Jr. is a BEAST. He currently has seven more blocks than any other rookie.His 30th block this season just happened against the Celtics: pic.twitter.com/7aOEAv4n84

Morris has been one of the Celtics most consistent contributors throughout the young season, averaging 14.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. The eight-year veteran has also been one of the teams most efficient offensive players over their first 13 games, shooting 50.4% from the floor and 48.4% from three. This is will be Morris first absence of the season.

Carters defensive numbers have been head-and-shoulders above his fellow rookie big men and with Hoiberg trusting him with 25+ minutes a night, the gap between he and his peers is likely to grow.

And the schedule wont do the Bulls any favors the next few weeks. They head to Milwaukee on Friday, then play again Saturday at home against the Raptors. In one seven-game stretch from Nov. 26 through Dec. 8, the Bulls will play the Spurs, Bucks, Pistons, Rockets, Pacers and Thunder, then the Celtics again.

Marcus Morris And Marcus Smart Will Play A Major Role In Any Celtics Success This Season

Wendell Carter Jr. is a BEAST. He currently has seven more blocks than any other rookie.His 30th block this season just happened against the Celtics: pic.twitter.com/7aOEAv4n84

Heading into Wednesdays game, opponents attacked him frequently within 6 feet of the basket. When Carter defends shot within 6 feet of the basket he makes opponents shoot 9.3 percent worse, the best mark on the Bulls if you consider sample size. 

Hes gradually been moving [his shooting range] back, Hoiberg said. [On Wednesday], he was able to get in his conditioning workout — a lot of high-quality reps, as far as shooting — and doing it with range. The fact he didnt have any discomfort is obviously a great sign.

As of now, Carter is still on pace to be the only teenager in NBA history to average at least 2 blocks per game. And if he keeps this up, his case for Rookie of the Year will only get stronger.

And with all of the injuries and struggles of this young team, Carters impressive defensive IQ continues to bring hope.

Video: (FULL) BRAD STEVENS Previews CELTICS vs BULLS

The Bulls upcoming back-to-back will see them take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard respectively. 

Boston isnt teetering on disaster, but things could be better through 15 percent of the schedule. The Cs offensive rating sits at 104.2, sandwiched between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls for 26th in the league. Gordon Hayward and Al Horfords early struggles from the field, Marcus Smarts immense difficulties hitting shots and Jayson Tatums volume of mid-rangers are all reversible trends but so far, have devolved the offense from mediocre to bad.

Video: (FULL) BRAD STEVENS Discusses the 1-4 Road Trip

Marcus Morris of Boston Celtics out vs. Chicago Bulls with illness

These matchups will likely show just how far away the Bulls are from being a competitive team. But with Chicagos perimeter defense lacking sufficient wing defenders, these two games will also showcase Carters ability to be the last line of defense, on a team that could use a first one.

Looking at this locker room, me being in my eighth year and being a veteran as well as Al [Horford] and [Aron] Baynes. Right now I think it would be nice if we had someone that was a 15-year vet, a 14-year vet that could kind of help us race along the regular season and understand its a long marathon rather than just a full-on sprint, when you want to play, when you want to do what you want to do.

The Bulls are still looking for a leader, says Wendell Carter Jr. after the game pic.twitter.com/zZs5Ar2U1w

Ultimately, these comments might prove benign, just more weird words from Irving. Still, theyre potentially significant enough to keep an eye on Bostons leadership situation.


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