Smart apologizes to Celtics after oversleeping

  • BOSTON — The Celtics shuffled their lineup for Game 4 of their Eastern Conference first-round series against the Cleveland Cavaliers by moving Jae Crowder into the starting lineup and rookie Marcus Smart to the bench.

    It’s a move that the team decided on Saturday when it practiced with Crowder in a starter’s role, but it might have occurred anyhow because Smart was tardy to the team’s shootaround on Sunday morning after he overslept. 

    “Jae Crowder for Marcus Smart. I decided that [Saturday], just because Jae has been very good in this series,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens, whose team trails the Cavs 3-0 in the series. “We could have gone a couple of different directions with that, but obviously it’s just five more minutes where you’re matched up a little bit more traditionally with [the Cavaliers]. Again, I don’t think it’s an exact science, because our starts have been reasonable. But that’s the decision we made.”

    Smart said he was about 15 minutes late to shootaround. He said he went to bed at a normal hour on Saturday night, but suggested his alarm clock did not go off on Sunday morning.

    “Coach is doing what he has to do,” he said. “It’s not acceptable, especially when you’ve got everybody here. … I think Coach just made the right decision and it was my fault. I went and apologized to the team, the coach and the coaching staff about it. I’ll take the consequences of it.”

    When revealing Smart’s tardiness, Stevens added, “Marcus may not play early with [the second unit], I don’t know what we’re going to do. Marcus was, and I told him I’d share this with you, Marcus was late for shootaround because he overslept. We’ve been there before and, as I told Marcus, I’m not worried about him at all. This is not a big Marcus thing. And Jae Crowder would have started anyways.”

    Smart said Stevens told him Saturday he’d be moving to a reserve role.

    “I talked to Brad [Saturday] before practice and he told me that Jae was going to start for matchup reasons, which is understandable,” he said. “We’re trying to win the game and Jae’s our best defender on LeBron [James], so we gotta go with that because we’ve got guys that can score the ball, we just need somebody who can help us on defense. Jae’s a factor on the defensive end; [Stevens] made the right decision in starting Jae, and it’ll get that second group going, more energy with me coming off the bench, with Isaiah [Thomas] and those other guys coming off the bench. We just have to keep it up.”

    During the regular season, Jared Sullinger was tardy for two shootarounds. Each time he was removed from the starting lineup. The second time, he sat out the entire first quarter.

    Sullinger will play Sunday despite bruising his tailbone after hitting the ground hard trying to foul Kevin Love in the first quarter of Game 3. Sullinger did not practice on Saturday, but felt good enough after a pregame workout Sunday that he deemed himself fit to play.

    Sullinger said of the injury: “I went up, tried to wrap up Love, and I slipped and fell on my backside. Luckily, I have a big enough [backside] to the point where it didn’t hurt that bad. I didn’t have an Isaiah [Thomas]-type of [tailbone] injury. I was able to bounce back in two days.”

    Thomas missed eight games in March due to a bruised backside.

    The Celtics’ reluctance to make additional changes to their starting lineup — Jonas Jerebko had practiced with the starters at the end of Saturday’s practice — might reveal trepidation about how much Sullinger will be able to contribute overall.

  • | – NBA

    To read the rest of this article click on this paragraph and fill out this offer for free Axe Deodorant. After you submit your email you will be redirected to the rest of the article.

    Pelicans to offer Davis max deal, sources say

    0 Shares NEW ORLEANS — With star forward Anthony Davis eligible for a contract extension this summer, Pelicans officials plan to be aggressive as possible in presenting him with a maximum five-year deal that could exceed $ 140 million, according to league sources. In the series against the Warriors, Anthony Davis averaged 31.5 points and … Continue reading

    Source: Wainwright likely out rest of season

    0 Shares St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright is expected to miss the rest of the 2015 season due to an Achilles injury he suffered Saturday night while stumbling out of the batter’s box, a source told ESPN’s Jim Bowden, confirming an earlier report by Fox Sports. Adam Wainwright missed the 2011 season after undergoing Tommy John … Continue reading

    Beltre sends Richards invoice for broken bats

    0 Shares Adrian Beltre had a rough night at the plate Friday against Los Angeles Angels right-hander Garrett Richards, but the Texas Rangers third baseman got the last laugh. Adrian Beltre broke his bat three times against Garrett Richards on Friday. Victor Decolongon/Getty Images Beltre went 0-for-3 against Richards in Texas’ 3-2 loss, breaking his bat in … Continue reading

    Johnson retains title, beats Horiguchi at UFC 186

    0 Shares MONTREAL — If we didn’t know any better, we might accuse UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson of trolling. Johnson (22-2-1) recorded his sixth UFC title defense on Saturday, submitting 24-year-old title challenger Kyoji Horiguchi via armbar in the fifth round at UFC 186 inside the Bell Centre. The finish came with just one … Continue reading

    Grizzlies C Conley leaves after hit to face

    0 Shares PORTLAND, Ore. — Memphis guard Mike Conley left Saturday night’s 115-109 Game 3 win in the opening-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers with a facial injury. Conley, who had 14 points, went down on the court after he appeared to be caught by Portland’s CJ McCollum’s elbow while going for a loose ball. … Continue reading

    Klitschko decisions Jennings to retain title

    0 Shares NEW YORK – Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko was not at his devastating best and less effective than he had been in a long time, but it did not make much of a difference. Klitschko still cruised to a lopsided decision in a fan-friendly fight against Bryant Jennings to retain the title for the … Continue reading

    Protesters loot, vandalize near Camden Yards

    0 Shares BALTIMORE — Thousands of protesters took to the streets Saturday in the largest Freddie Gray rally yet, and after hours of peaceful demonstrations, pockets of protesters smashed out police car windows and storefronts. Two people were hurt in the mayhem, and at least a dozen were arrested. The problems happened near Camden Yards, … Continue reading

    Rose on last play of loss: ‘Put that all on me’

    0 Shares MILWAUKEE — Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose took the blame for the team’s 92-90 loss at the buzzer to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Saturday night. Rose had a chance to win the game — and close out the series — in regulation but had the ball … Continue reading

    Bulls’ Mirotic (knee/quad) available in Game 4

    0 Shares MILWAUKEE — Chicago Bulls rookie Nikola Mirotic is available to play in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. The Bulls say Nikola Mirotic has recovered enough to be able to play in Game 4. Gary Dineen/Getty Images The announcement by Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau came as … Continue reading