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Wednesday Notebook: Barbosa Impresses, Wilcox and Darko Practice, C’s Ignore Ray Allen’s Jabs

A few odds and ends of note from today’s practice in Waltham today with some quotes courtesy of our friends Chris Forsberg and Greg Payne over at ESPNBoston:

Leandro Barbosa made his Celtics practice debut and did not disappoint head coach Doc Rivers and Rajon Rondo with his performance:

“He’s been here for three or four days and the last two days we ran him through all the stuff. So he had a concept of what we’re running. He’s played against us for so long — that helps as well. But he had a great practice.”

Added Rajon Rondo, “[Barbosa] was very vocal today. He was the point guard. He moved [Jason Terry] to the side and I think they both liked that situation. JET’s more of a scoring point guard and Barbosa set a lot of those guys up today in practice.”

It will be tough for Barbosa to get enough of the playbook down to be a meaningful contributor in time for the regular season opener next week in Miami, but positive talk like this from the C’s on and off-the-floor generals should not go unnoticed. This team needs offense anyway they can get it and despite the influx of talent to the bench for this season, a sparkplug like Barbosa seeing 10-20 minutes per game to jumpstart and push the pace with the second unit could be a pleasant change of pace and take the onus off Terry and Rondo at times.

Things will get interesting when Avery Bradley returns and Barbosa will need time to get fully comfortable with the team’s schemes but his experience so far looks to be paying dividends. 

According to Forsberg, Chris Wilcox (back) and Darko Milicic (wrist) also made their returns to practice today, giving the team their first day of full attendance since the starting of training camp. Here’s more from Wilcox on getting back on the floor:

“It felt good,” Wilcox said. “First day out there, it’s tough because you can’t really — you’ve kind of got to feel out what’s going on. But I felt great out there today.” 

Later he added: “Man, big relief. Just sitting back there, working out every day on the sideline, seeing these guys go up and down, I wanted to be a part of it. They’re out there grinding, getting ready for this year and I couldn’t be part of it, so today was a great challenge for me. I went out there, worked hard — it’s the first day, so I didn’t expect too much, but I think I did well.”

Though it’s good to see Wilcox back in action, his lengthy absence makes you wonder whether he will start the season on the outside looking in for the C’s rotation. We’re unlikely to see a number of bigs against an undersized Miami team in the season opener, but a back-to-back against Washington and Milwaukee next weekend should give us a better idea of where the C’s backup bigs stand. Darko appears to be the favorite for backup center minutes out of the gate.

Kris Joseph also confirmed to reporters he has made the team, although the team has yet to make an official announcement about the waiving of Rob Kurz and Micah Downs.

Finally, a few telling quotes from Doc an Rondo Ray Allen’s latest comments in the Miami Herald regarding potential tension between the two players as well as Doc and Rondo back in 2009.

“We’re going to just let Ray keep talking,” Rivers said. “It’s easier.” 

“I don’t know what happened or hear anything,” Rondo said. “I just stay focused and hit the gym. I didn’t read any papers or see anything on the news about No. 20.”

Just six days until the opener in Miami folks. That pregame speech in the locker room in South Beach by Doc should be something.

  • Tos

    What a terrible trade that would’ve been for us if that would’ve happened in 09… Rondo-Ray for Amare-Barbosa

    • mittsthetits

      that's why I believe Ray over Doc and Ainge…..that trade seems right up bonehead Ainge's alley.

    • Anthony

      It's easy to say in hindsight that it may not have been the best trade but Amare and Barbosa were in their absolute primes during that time. And I think the Celts were supposed to receive the #14 pick as well. Rondo was also still very raw. Obviously we have the best PG in the league now but I can't say that if I were DA, I wouldn't have considered it. Just saying…

  • High Rollers

    Doc’s not sure whether to make his team stand and watch the Heat banner raising Tuesday night or hang out in the locker room getting ready. If this weren’t such a new team, I’d say grit and bear the banner, it’ll stoke the fire. But since this is a new incarnation for the most part, might just be better to huddle up and Ubuntu.

    • CelticsBIG3

      That's a tough call. I think it would be beneficial for the motors of Bass, Garnett, Pierce, and Rondo to see what exactly Ray is doing during the banner raising. Does he sit on the bench? Does he help raise the banner? Does he salivate in Lebron's general direction? When the game play starts; Will he miss all his shot attempts? When the game play ends; Will he CONTINUE to talk about what went on in Boston despite not being a Celtic anymore? All these questions and more will be answered Tuesday night.

    • Josh

      I'd say this Rollers. After last years collapse and Lebron's abusement of Bass, let them watch. Let them experience that and never forget what happened. I say watch and come out like a bat outta hell.

  • James Patrick

    Poor little Ray. Your feelings got hurt so you took less money to play for the Heat. You're an idiot. Move on. The Celtics are so much deeper this year. More than they've been since 2008. Happy trailers cry baby.

    • elroz

      I just hope that about 1/2 of the season is enough to make the whole team jell and integrate smoothly…lots of talent, but with so many new guys it could take a while.

      Great to see Milicic and Wilcox practice.

  • Morpheus

    Still f**k you Ray…amen.

  • mittsthetits

    I honestly believe Ray more than I believe Doc's and Ainges story. That trade seems just like a typical knee jerk stupid Ainge move. when he doesnt like someone watch out and back then he really disliked rondo. i dont blame Ray for telling him to pull his head out his rear cause he didnt want to go to phoenix. rondo seemed to grow up a little bit this past season but he's still a pre madonna

    • NHBluesMan

      quit trolling man- when has Danny ever made a knee-jerk move? Yes we all criticized the Perk for Green swap, but in retrospect we got a fantastic athlete and OKC is now considering amnestying Perk cause he's not worth the near-max dollars they gave him = Danny Wins that deal. Everything Danny has done has been low-risk/potential high-reward, they just all haven't worked out (success: PJ Brown, Eddie House for Nate Robinson swap, etc. failures: Starbury, Mikky Moore, etc). His deals don't always make sense at the moment, but most of the time they pan out, including drafting Rondo, Bradley, and Sully (2 and quite possibly 3 HUGE draft steals).

      Plus there's no way Ray would've found out about the trade and Doc wouldn't have- Ray is just causing drama and he's mad cause we don't NEED him anymore. He went from being part of the Big 3 to a replaceable role-player, and we definitely got the better end of the deal with him leaving.

      • mittsthetits

        that trade has Danny Ainge stamp of approval written all over it thank god it didnt go thru. Ainge is just like he played a little twerp. Bird never liked him and ainge never like Bird cause Bird would shit down his throat. ainge was always second fiddle on the celtics. bob cousy would call him out all the time for being a prick. Ainge is a snake

      • smalltownID

        Nate was relevant in one, maybe two post-season games. House was a huge part of one of the greatest post season series in basketball history and pertinent in EVERY series, not just one or two GAMES. I hate when people make the Nate for Eddie a good deal. Nate. R.'s tenure is summarized by his nick name – Donkey.

  • Josh

    Ray is old news. We just gotta focus on what WE HAVE and what WE CAN DO. Having Jet, Bradley and Lee is a no-brainer upgrade from last year. We are better off, plain and simple. Its just the way it is. I'm muy muy muy excited for this year!!

  • Tos

    The bottom line is there are going to be, and certainly have been tons of possible trade scenarios that we have and will never hear of. That's the nature of the business, so yes I believe Ray about this potential trade scenario.

    Clearly there were issues between Rondo and Ray, no surprise there. What I find both sad and disappointing is that Ray can't seem to let it go and move on with his new team. I get that that's all they are asking him in Miami, but he's killing his own legacy here. I still love Ray, but I don't know how much more of this I can stand, Celtics haven't yet responded and I kind of hope they don't. Respond on the court by beating Miami like you should have in Game 6 last year.

  • sethesq

    All the badmouthing of Ainge is pretty amusing. "Typical knee-jerk Ainge trade." Are you people serious? The only deal of the last 8 years which can even be questioned was the Perkins deal, which was even then only arguably bad due to the effect it had on our guys mentally for the rest of the season. Perkins was returning from injury and pretty much useless on the court that postseason, and there was no way we were going to sign him that offseason. Now OKC has a player they maight amnesty and we have a player that should be a cornerstone for years. Don't forget we also got the draft pick that gave us Melo in that deal. Heck, that trade is already starting to look lopsided in our favor; if Melo turns out to be the servicable, defensive minded center he is certainly capable of becoming, forget about it.

    The only player Ainge ever considered moving Rondo for was CP3, who if you haven't noticed is a perennial MVP candidate. Of course, he didn't, and we now have our own potential MVP candidate locked up for short money for 3 more seasons.

    Yeah, Danny is an idiot. lol

  • justburnho

    I cant say im enjoying what hppend to Ray, I wanted to retire as a celtic, a true legend of the court. Im sure the decision wasnt easy on both sides, after all Ray gave a lot to this franchise for us to be badmouthing him and I also thought was man enoguh to let all that shit go…….Ray is still one of the greatst C's to evr played the game of basketball

    • CelticsBIG3

      You clearly haven't been watching the Celtics very long if you honestly believe he is one of the greatest C's ever. The guy came to this team at the end of his prime.

  • CG12

    The Ray angle is already tired. It isn't that complicated. He left because he, like all NBA players, thinks he is great, and he decided (accurately) that the Celtics didn't value him like he valued himself. The Miami Herald article is dead-on – it is about respect, in the form of minutes, plays run for you, and general ego-stroking. Ray and Rondo are both high-maintenance guys, and it became clear a while ago that the C's were more interested in bolstering Rondo than they were Ray. One of Ray's best features was that he endured it in relative silence. But when the time came to re-up, the C's had some work to do to overcome that. They didn't really feel like doing that work and more or less let Ray go.

    Miami is a better fit for Ray right now. He is going to get all the spot-up 3's he could ever want on kick-outs from Lebron and Wade. My feeling now is the same as it was when he first left – thanks for the years and the memories, but you are now just another guy who I will be rooting against.

    • CelticsBIG3

      He had PLENTY of plays run for him; but when your not making the shots Rondo has to go elsewhere; like to KG who dominated in the Playoffs.

    • Anthony

      But the Celts/ DA essentially apologized to Ray by offering him double the money. Ray's ego got in the way and left on his accord and out of spite. As much I like Ray as a player, I will only be rooting for the Celts and our great backcourt of Rondo, JET, CLee, AB, Barbosa.

    • CG12

      Jackie MacMullan's piece on ESPN from this morning is the best summary yet. Ray's role had been shrinking over the last few years and would likely be its smallest yet this year, with JET, Lee, and Bradley all squeezing his minutes. And his role won't really be that much different in Miami, but he will be there without any past history, which would have gotten in the way in Boston. It was just time for him to move on.

  • CG12

    Seriously – Ainge is terrible. First he signs old Ray Allen then brings in old KG. Later he signs childish Rajon Rondo to a long-term deal. He gets rid of offensive force Kendrick Perkin,s rather than signing him for nearly $10M/year. He picks up crappy guys like Brandon Bass, Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, and Leandro Barbosa. He drafts duds like Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger. Booooo Ainge.

    • mittsthetits

      he got KG handed to him on a silver platter by his best bud Mchale who was getting the can and on his way out after failing miserably as a GM so why not help an old pal who is also failing miserably as a GM? any one who followed the celtics before 2008 remembers the likes of sebestian telfair, wally szerbiak and ricky davis. grade A outstanding pick ups by the one and only danny boy. Without getting KG the big 3 never happens and the celtics are still stuck in irrelevancy right now. nobody wants to play in boston but now there winning it has changed things. remember everyone calling for Doc's head as well before the big 3 got there? my how things have changed

      • NHBluesMan

        so does that mean the Lakers front office also sucks for being gifted Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard?

      • CG12

        And anyone who was a C's fan in 2005 and 2002 and so on remembers what a mess the team was when Rick Pitino left. The team randomly lost out on Duncan. Antoine got a huge contract. They were relying on the likes of Kenny Anderson, etc. Ainge very methodically built a group of young assets that could be flipped for difference makers. Doc and Danny took a little while to hit their stride, but they have been throwing strikes over the last number of years.

        • mittsthetits

          hmmmm jermaine o'neil, rasheed wallace and shaq immediately come to mind….

    • monsz

      Man, better stop talking. I don't think you know what you're saying. Better quit posting things here not worth reading.

      • monsz


        • CG12

          Nah – I think I will continue to post when I feel like it. But thanks!

  • Nate

    Although I was initially upset when ray left I think us cs fans have to be happy because we go an upgrade with Courtney lee- whom we wouldn’t have been able to sign if ray would have stayed because ofthe cap
    So we go to say thanks for leaving ray and taking some bad karma to the heatles

    • NHBluesMan

      not to mention the upgrade in Terry as well. Ray will demand coverage beyond the 3 point line, but Terry can create off the dribble, as well as shoot the 3, and Lee is a MUCH better defender than Ray, and finished 2nd behind Ray in 3pt % last season… so really Lee is almost a Ray and Bradley hybrid

      • CelticsBIG3

        I took your -1 away with a +1. I don't understand why you got one thumbs down on this comment anyway.