Bird’s play could cause roster move

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Bird’s play could cause roster move

Post by bobheckler on Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:04 pm

http://www.providencejournal.com/sports/20180408/celtics-journal-birds-play-could-cause-roster-move




Celtics Journal: Bird’s play could cause roster move




By SCOTT SOUZA / The MetroWest Daily News
Posted at 7:27 PM  




BOSTON — Jabari Bird scored five points in 37 minutes over nine games in the first six months of his NBA career.

The Celtics rookie has since scored 24 points in 46 minutes over two games that could redefine the future of that career both immediate and long-term.

Not only has he played his way into the Boston rotation as the Celtics play out the end of the regular season already locked into the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, there is still a chance he could be playing his way into a full contract and a spot on the playoff roster.

Because Bird is on a two-way G-League contract, he is ineligible for the playoffs since he is not on the team’s 15-man roster. In order for the Celtics to add his contract for the playoffs, they would have to waive one of those 15 contracts — which would most likely mean waiving struggling guard Abdel Nader.

“Those aren’t my discussions or my job,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said following Sunday’s 112-106 loss to the Atlanta Hawks at TD Garden. “So I don’t really get into that. But, at the end of the day, I think he is playing well. He’s doing some good things. I thought he’s been pretty good offensively, especially early (in the games).”

Stevens went with Bird ahead of Nader both in the first half of Sunday’s game and the second half of Friday night’s victory against the Chicago Bulls.

For most playoff teams, talk of the No. 15 roster spot would be rather perfunctory. But with all the injuries on this year’s team, there is a real chance the last man on the roster could play some real minutes in the postseason.

With Gordon Hayward, Kyrie Irving and Daniel Theis all out for the playoffs — and Marcus Smart out for at least the first round as he recovers from thumb surgery — the Celtics will only have 11 players in uniform to start the postseason next weekend.

It means Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge could have a decision to make this week on a roster spot that could factor significantly into the playoff rotation.

Bird insists he’s not viewing this last week as an audition for this year’s playoffs.

“Nah, for me, it’s just basketball,” he said. “I love to play basketball. It’s my job. I just go out there and be myself and try to have fun. I’m not really too concerned with what’s going to happen with my contract, and this and that.

“That’s not in my control right now. The only thing I can worry about is doing the best I can on the court.”

Bird is mostly relieved he can at least do that after sitting from December until March with a back injury while assigned to the Maine Red Claws of the G-League, as the Celtics searched for players to take minutes due to injuries on the big club.

“My first thought was: Dang, I’m missing myself an opportunity right now,” he said. “But you can’t really dwell on those types of things. I had to focus on getting as healthy as possible and just staying hungry.

“My mindset was that whenever I did get back, and get that opportunity, I had to make up for lost time.”

He has certainly done that as he tripled his previous career total with 15 points on Friday night and nine points with five rebounds and two assists in 21 minutes in Sunday’s loss.

Nader is scoreless on 0-for-3 shooting with three turnovers in 26 minutes over the same two games.

“In this NBA, you never know when you’re going to get your opportunity so you have to stay as ready as possible,” Bird said. “So I just try to be locked in on whatever is going on out on the court so I see the positions I can be in (to succeed).”


Around the rim

Stevens said the prognosis is good for Irving after his procedure on Saturday to remove to screws at the site of an infection in his surgically repaired left knee.

“It went well,” the coach said. “Everything that I’ve heard is great. He should be fully healthy by the time we start next year.”

Stevens opted to rest Marcus Morris for Sunday’s game, while rookie Guerschon Yabusele was out with knee pain that kept him out of Saturday’s practice.

″(The MRI) was clear,” Stevens said. “Nothing that stood out. But he still has a sore knee so he won’t play (until it’s pain-free).”





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Re: Bird’s play could cause roster move

Post by wideclyde on Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:42 pm

Bird's recent play may not get him a roster spot for this season, but may help him to get a spot on next year's roster. If nothing else his play now may get him into serious competition for a roster spot next Fall.

Not to pick on Nader, but Bird looks much more comfortable on the NBA court in recent play to me so these two guys could end up competing for the same roster spot in October if both are still on the Cs roster.

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