Sunday, July 6, 2014
Notes: Young and the restless
By Chris Forsberg
Chris Forsberg/ESPN BostonORLANDO, Fla. -- Boston Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga laughed before the question was finished. In charge of Boston's summer squad again this year, Larranaga has been deflecting questions on the health of rookie James Young all week, and Young was the focus of the very first query when Larranaga met with reporters before the team's offday session on Sunday at an area high school.
Celtics rookie James Young, far left, watches his teammates go through an offday practice.
"I am not the medical liaison," Larranaga joked. "Summer league head coach is the extent of my responsibilities."
Here's what he did know: "Young shot around a little bit, he rode the bike," Larranaga said. "I don’t think we anticipate him doing any more than that today."
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, who was on hand for the workout, echoed that sentiment while suggesting the team expects more definitive news on Young in the coming days.
"[On Monday], we’re going to get more information, and then go from there," Stevens said.
When pressed on whether that meant Young was undergoing additional medical testing, Stevens added, "I don’t know what they’re doing. They just said they’re going to let me know what the plan is for the rest of the week. I know he’s going through a light workout [Sunday]."
Young injured his neck in a car accident before last month's draft, forcing him to shut down his workouts, which might have contributed to him being available when the Celtics picked at No. 17. Stevens said he believes Young is making progress, but "he hasn’t done anything stringent, basketball-wise ... so it’s hard for me to say that he’s progressed from that standpoint."
Added Stevens: "From everything I know, they’re doing the light workout [Sunday] to see how he feels [Monday], then we’ll go from there. I don’t know if he’ll play this week or not. From everything I know, it's unlikely [Young plays on Monday]. Then from there, we got another day off [on Tuesday] and we’ll see about later in the week."
While the 18-year-old Young, who played one season at Kentucky, watched his teammates go through the start of Sunday's practice, Stevens stressed the importance of simply having him in Orlando.
"He’s in every film session, he’s watching every walkthrough," Stevens said. Later he added, "He’s never been through anything like this. And I think, like any young guy -- and he’s a young young guy -- he’s got a lot to learn about how the NBA game is played and also how we want to play."
A couple other tidbits from Sunday's session:
• When Boston launched into drills, the same starting five from Saturday's opener -- Smart, Phil Pressey, Chris Johnson, Kelly Olynyk and Colton Iverson -- was together on the first unit. Asked how many players he wanted to play each game, Larranaga said, "Ideally, you want everybody to play 30 minutes and get a chance to enjoy the summer league experience. I think the game dictates how many you actually get in the game. [The Celtics have had] six or seven practices for [players] to kind of separate themselves from their competition. [Saturday], we played the guys that we felt had played the best in the practices. But every game is different, and we might need something different each time. So everybody has to be ready to step up when their number is called." The Celtics played nine of their 13 summer players on Saturday, but stuck with a tight eight-man rotation for most of the game.
• Celtics forward Brandon Bass, who spends much of his offseason in Orlando, visited the team's practice with his son. Bass is entering the final season of a three-year, $19.4 million extension he inked in July 2012.