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Celtics follow pocket book: prep for Magic and Cavs, Porzingis on damage timetable, and Brown’s aggravating free throw follow


AUERBACH CENTER — On condition that the Magic compelled a Recreation 7 in opposition to the Cavaliers, the Celtics nonetheless don’t know who their subsequent opponent might be. So, for the second consecutive day, the workforce nonetheless practiced in preparation of an ambiguous second-round opponent.

Regardless of the lengthy wait till Recreation 1 on Tuesday, it’s nonetheless the playoffs nonetheless.

Earlier than media was allowed in, loud crowd noise emulating TD Backyard’s “protection” chants pumped by the Auerbach Heart, and a barrage of synthetic ‘boos’ continued as Jaylen Brown practiced free throws on the finish of follow.

Right here’s what you have to know from Saturday’s Celtics follow.

A smiling Kristaps Porzingis made his first post-injury look

Kristaps Porzingis walked round follow with a smile and supplied his first media replace since straining his calf on Monday evening in Miami. He acknowledged that the pressure was worse than the one he suffered in opposition to Orlando earlier within the season, but additionally stated he was in good spirits, and that he understands accidents comes with the territory.

“It will get you down for a second, however it’s what it’s,” Porzingis stated. “It’s a part of the game. This stuff occur. And one of the best I can do now’s, ‘Okay, what’s the following factor I’ve to do to get wholesome as quickly as attainable and comply with the plan and ensure I do the whole lot and simply getting in that mindset.’ As a result of I can’t change what occurred within the sport. And that’s it.”

Porzingis nonetheless doesn’t have a goal return date, however stated he intends to journey with the workforce and has been lifting and is making progress. He additionally joked he’s anticipating to recuperate from the soleus pressure at “a historic charge.”

Joe Mazzulla and the Celtics teaching employees are prepping for each attainable opponents — however see similarities between the 2

With the Magic extending the collection to the max seven video games, the Celtics are the one workforce who doesn’t know who they’ll face within the convention semi-finals. Tomorrow, after Orlando and Cleveland face off in a deciding Recreation 7, the Celtics will lastly know who they’ll internet hosting on Tuesday evening.

Joe Mazzulla stated the workforce sees similarities between the Cavs and the Magic — each high defenses within the league — and that they spent as we speak’s follow getting ready within the ways in which they’re the identical.

“When it does come time realizing your opponent, you’ll be able to decide two or three issues that you simply actually wish to [focus on] heading into Recreation 1,” Mazzulla stated. “Proper now, we’re actually specializing in the themes that each opponents — the challenges that they current are related.”

Mazzulla stated he beforehand held scouting obligations as an assistant coach in 2021, when the Celtics misplaced within the first spherical. He had being getting ready for each Milwaukee and Miami as potential match-ups, however the Celtics had been eradicated by the Brooklyn Nets in 5 video games — so he’s accustomed to the method of scouting for an opponent that the workforce gained’t finally face.

“Each scout coaches are getting ready to be prepared for Monday morning,” Mazzulla stated with a smile. “One will get the following couple weeks off, the opposite one doesn’t.”

Jaylen Brown practices free throws to a refrain of boos

For weeks now, Jaylen Brown has been noticed practising free throws practically each time media will get entry to shootaround or follow. He usually additionally spends time on the line pregame at TD Backyard.

Brown has struggled with free throw capturing all yr. Within the first spherical in opposition to Miami, Brown shot simply 45% from the road — hitting simply 9 of 20 free throws. That got here after a season wherein he shot 70.3% from the charity stripe.

His postseason free throw capturing percentages have regressed in every of the final 4 playoff runs — in 2020, he shot 84.1% from the road, in 2021, 76.3%, and in 2022, that quantity fell to to 68.9%.

The teaching employees has gone to nice lengths to emulate in-game capturing as a lot as attainable, with assistant coaches lined as much as rebound and a game-like inbounds move going down after a make. On Saturday, the workforce went a step additional, with crowd noise pumping in as Brown shot free throws — together with the reverberating noises of a refrain “boos” of an away area.



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