Celtics Media Day Notes: ‘Opportunity’ Awaits For Boston’s Young Guns

jeff greenWALTHAM, Mass. — The Boston Celtics’ practice facility was abuzz with activity Monday afternoon as the team tipped off the 2014-15 season with its annual media day.

Come along as we sift through a grab bag of news and notes from the event.

— Rajon Rondo gave a very thorough explanation of how he suffered the broken hand that will sideline him for the next two months or so. The point guard also said he would like to remain with the Celtics beyond the end of this season, when his current contract expires and that he believes he is a max-contract guy.

— Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said the team has no reason to doubt Rondo’s account of the incident and even offered an example of how he once required a trip to a Las Vegas hospital after falling in the shower. In other words, it happens to the best of us.

— Head coach Brad Stevens said Joel Anthony will miss the first few days of camp with a mild groin strain. Vitor Faverani and Gerald Wallace, who are both coming off season-ending injuries, will practice but could be limited during the second sessions of two-a-days, per Stevens.

— The Celtics have a local product on their training camp roster in forward Erik Murphy. Murphy was born in France but grew up in South Kingstown, R.I., rooting for the Celtics as he played his high school ball at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Mass. After bouncing between four different NBA teams over the past six months, the 23-year-old is excited to be competing for a roster spot back in New England.

“Pretty excited, for sure,” said Murphy, who was acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers last week as part of the Keith Bogans trade. “I grew up down the road in Rhode Island. It’s a pretty special feeling to come back to New England.”

Murphy, who holds dual citizenship in the U.S and Finland, competed for the Finnish national team at the FIBA World Cup earlier this summer.

— Marcus Smart and James Young did a little dancing. And wore shirts with their faces on them.

james young marcus smart— Smart will be thrust into a more prominent role in Rondo’s absence. Stevens said Boston’s top draft pick will play both backcourt positions this season and that newcomer Evan Turner also will see time at point guard — a position he played in college but has done so only sparingly in the NBA.

“We’ve got multiple primary ball-handlers on this team,” Stevens said. “I’ve always been a guy that thinks you can play two point guards together and you can play two combo guards together. We’ve just got to figure out who can best get the most out of everybody else and at the same run that position as well as they can on both ends of the floor.

“It’s an opportunity for Marcus. It’s an opportunity for Phil Pressey. It’s an opportunity for Evan Turner. It’s an opportunity for all those guys.”

— Ainge said he expects Stevens to keep it simple for Smart at first, adding that asking the Oklahoma State product to absorb the entire playbook at once would be “like Peyton Manning versus a rookie quarterback. You can’t do it.”

— Speaking of great soundbites, Kelly Olynyk had what might have been the quote of the day:

“It’s kind of like preparing for a test (when) you’ve never taken the class,” the second-year pro said, referring to how he felt at this point last year.

This season, he says, he knows what to expect.

— Avery Bradley’s wasn’t bad, either:

“I heard that Young was born in ’95,” he said of the Celtics’ 19-year-old rookie. “That’s crazy.”


Photos via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images

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