Boston Celtics: Vitor Faverani

Report card: Vitor Faverani

May, 2, 2014
May 2
2:45
PM ET
Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty ImagesVitor Faverani started fast but hit speed bumps in his rookie campaign.
With the Boston Celtics' 2013-14 campaign in the rearview mirror, we've busted out our red pens and assigned grades to each player based on their individual performances this season. Our annual reminder that players are graded based on expectations versus personal performance. This is the 12th in a series of end-of-the-season report cards:

Player: Vitor Faverani
2013-14 base stats: 4.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.7 bpg, 43.5 FG%
2013-14 advanced stats: 0.80 Off ppp (20th percentile); 0.822 Def ppp (73rd)
2013-14 salary: $2 million

SportsNation

What's your grade for Vitor Faverani this season?

  •  
    5%
  •  
    18%
  •  
    48%
  •  
    22%
  •  
    7%

Discuss (Total votes: 1,442)

Season in a paragraph: With the Celtics thin on pure size, the 6-foot-11 Faverani opened the season as the team's starting center and, in Boston's home-opener against the Milwaukee Bucks, he put up 12 points, 18 rebounds, and 6 blocks to create a feverish buzz about the 25-year-old Brazilian rookie import (via Spain). Alas, his play slipped a bit, his playing time eroded while he adapted to the NBA came, and Faverani soon found himself ping-ponging between Maine to get additional reps with the Red Claws of the D-League. The man nicknamed El Hombre Indestructible proved destructible as a tear in his meniscus suffered while on assignment with Maine in late January forced him to undergo season-ending surgery after only 37 appearances with Boston.

Season highlight: It got no better than the home-opener (though he had a memorable poster dunk in Maine) Not only did Faverani dominate on the glass and swat six shots, but advanced defensive numbers showed he allowed only five points total on 15 possessions defended and opponents were a mere 2-of-11 shooting (18.2 percent) against him.

Season lowlight: The progress of Boston's other rookies make it a shame we didn't get to see more of Faverani. Once Boston's fate was sealed this season, it might have opened more doors to expand Faverani's playing time and give us a longer look at what he could do. Boston clearly needed size this season and Faverani's early season glimpses suggest he can help from the center spot. What was most surprising this season was that his defensive numbers were far better than his offense, which was the opposite of how he was advertised when the Celtics signed him last summer (but there's no denying that the strides he needed to make defensively where part of the reason his playing time eroded early).

Final grade: C

Teacher's notes: We're eager to see more of Faverani. While the knee injury spoiled a chance to get him more first-year playing time, he should hit the ground running in training camp after having had a full season stateside to get acclimated. Even the brief glimpse can help the coaching staff get him pointed in the right directions.

What's next?: Faverani will likely use the summer to rehab and get himself back in game shape for camp in October. The Celtics have have him under contract for at least two more seasons at reasonable money ($2.1 million next season). The Celtics clearly needed size and rim protection this season and Faverani can aid that if he gets healthy and continues his development.

Honor roll: Click HERE to read past report cards.

Don't agree with teacher? Just want to sound off on Faverani's 2013-14 season? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Faverani undergoes knee surgery

March, 7, 2014
Mar 7
5:15
PM ET
BOSTON -- Celtics rookie center Vitor Faverani underwent season-ending knee surgery Friday, the team announced.

Faverani, sidelined since early February with swelling in his knee, had left knee arthroscopy to repair a torn lateral meniscus at New England Baptist Hospital. The procedure was performed by Celtics team physician Dr. Brian McKeon and assisted by Jason Rand, PAC.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens said what was planned as a simple scope soon turned into a pretty major repair.

"When they went in and scoped his knee, they found a meniscus tear," said Stevens. "The way it was explained to me, it was near the root. That was the source of his major discomfort the past couple weeks. And so, it’s going to be a pretty significant rehab and so that was obviously not good news."

Faverani averaged 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds over 13.2 minutes per game spanning 37 appearances during his rookie season. The Brazilian import started fast in his rookie season, but playing time diminished and he spent time bouncing between the Celtics and Maine Red Claws of the D-League. He was on assignment with the Claws when he suffered the knee injury on Feb. 4 in Delaware. With Maine, Faverani averaged 12.8 points and 9 rebounds over 25 minutes per contest in four appearances.

"He’s obviously had some up moments, had some down moments, like a lot of rookies," said Stevens. "He’s a guy that, to be the very best that he can be, just continues to work and he has a good work ethic for scoring on the block and also refining his jump shot, which he does work really hard on.

"On the other end of the floor, anybody with that size, you need him to protect the rim as well as he possibly can. And he really had some good moments doing that, and he had other moments when he didn't do it as well. I think it’s just going to be a process of growth with him and getting better at that. And hopefully he gets healthy so he can work on some of the things that will help him do that better."

Faverani's surgery comes on the heels of veteran Gerald Wallace undergoing season-ending surgery for his own torn meniscus on Tuesday.

Faverani is under contract for two more seasons, the final of which is nonguaranteed. The Celtics used a portion of their midlevel exception to sign the 25-year-old big man last summer.

(Read full story)

Notebook: Celts injury roundup

February, 26, 2014
Feb 26
11:05
PM ET
BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics navigated Wednesday's 115-104 triumph over the Atlanta Hawks with only nine available bodies. A rundown of the injury report:

Bradley's return remains uncertain

Celtics guard Avery Bradley, who has missed 13 of the team's past 16 games due to a lingering right ankle sprain, said Wednesday that he's improving but has not engaged in any basketball activities and has no timeline for his return to game action.

Bradley did not accompany the team on its four-game trip out west after the All-Star break and hasn't played since Feb. 9. He missed five games in January with a right ankle sprain, then aggravated the injury trying to resume game activity.

"It’s been very frustrating, not to be able to be there for my team, especially on a tough West Coast trip," Bradley said. "Watching the games has been tough. Having another setback, another year -- it’s been hard on me. All I can do is get healthy and try to get back as soon as possible."

Bradley's rookie season was detoured after he required surgery on his ankle after he chipped a bone in a pre-draft workout. He emerged in his sophomore season, but suffered injuries to both shoulders that required surgery and forced him to sit out much of the playoffs that season, as well as the first 30 games of the 2012-13 season.

Bradley appeared in the first 43 games of the 2013-14 campaign before spraining his ankle in Miami. Bradley was asked if he's being extra cautious trying to return this time after rushing back too soon earlier this month.

"Not only me, but I think [the team is] as well," he said. "We don’t want to irritate it any more and go back to where I started at. We’re just taking our time and letting everything calm down."

Does Bradley feel snakebitten?

"Of course, but at the same time, I play so hard, I know that injuries like this can happen sometimes," he said. "Twisting your ankle, that’s part of the game. I’m not really worried about it. I know that nothing is broke or anything. I’m fine. All I have to do is get better so I can help my team."



Sprained toe sidelines Olynyk

Celtics rookie Kelly Olynyk sprained the big toe on his left foot during Saturday's loss at Sacramento, then aggravated it while trying to play through the pain on Monday in Utah. The team feared he might have broken the toe, but tests revealed a sprain that should limit the time he misses.

Olynyk wore a protective walking boot while watching Wednesday's game from the bench.

"We actually thought it was broken [Tuesday, but] got good news today," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "He’s going to be in a boot for at least the next couple of days. Probably unlikely [to play Saturday against the Pacers], but possibly."

Olynyk said he's not even sure how the injury happened, but he's likely in the boot for the rest of the week. When will he be back?

"Not sure," he said. "Trying to get this boot off first. Hopefully, sooner than later."

Olynyk scored 21 points despite the toe injury in Utah.

"I was just running on the outside of my foot," he said. When a reporter joked he shouldn't mess with what works, Olynyk added, "That’s true. I could try and do that. It might cause more problems."

(Read full post)

PHOENIX -- Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley and center Vitor Faverani will not join the team on a four-game road trip coming out of the All-Star break due to lingering injuries.

Bradley aggravated a second sprain of his right ankle before the break and, after missing five games last month with an initial sprain, appears set to miss at least as many from the new sprain. Faverani is nursing a knee injury suffered in a D-League appearance, but the team anticipates him being available again when it returns home next week.

"Avery and Vitor are not on the trip, they will not play the whole trip," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.

On Bradley, Stevens noted, "I was told [after a recent MRI before the break] that it definitely had been aggravated and worse since whenever he sprained it the second time. And that he’d be out for [the San Antonio] game and most likely the West Coast trip, but I didn’t say that at the time because I didn’t want to say that and come back on those words."

As for Faverani, Stevens said, "I think Vitor was sick right before we left in the San Antonio game, but the knee, he got reexamined [Monday] and [the team's training staff] called me [Monday] and decided not to send him on the trip. They are going to keep him there, and he gets to work on all our equipment. Work on that [weightless] Ultra-G [treadmill] and get himself back, fully conditioned and ready, so that when we get back, I anticipate he should be near ready to go."

The Celtics held their first post-All-Star practice Tuesday afternoon at the US Airways Center. They'll have 11 available bodies for Wednesday's tilt with the Suns (excused Keith Bogans also remains away from the team), but Boston is thin, and will be thinner if there's any activity at the trade deadline.

What's more, point guard Rajon Rondo noted that he plans to sit out the second night of a back-to-back on Saturday in Sacramento. The Celtics also play Friday in Los Angeles and Rondo doesn't want to attempt three games in four nights this early in his return from ACL surgery.

"Not yet. I don’t feel comfortable," Rondo said. "It’s three in four nights, that’s a lot of games. Maybe if we had three days off, then two days [with a] back-to-back and two [more] days off, maybe then."

Rondo has appeared in 10 games since returning on Jan. 17 against the Lakers. His minute restriction recently was lifted and he expects to play in back-to-back games later this season.

Video: El Hombre Indestructible poster

February, 3, 2014
Feb 3
3:33
PM ET
Vitor Faverani's recent trip to Maine included this little poster jam on Saturday vs. Erie ...



Faverani posted 16 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks on Friday against Delaware, then put up 20 points, 17 rebounds and 6 assists against Erie on Saturday night. Said Celtics coach Brad Stevens: "I thought he did some good things Friday; he played well [Saturday]. The thing that you want out of that is, No. 1, to get more game experience. And, No. 2, is to get up and down the court from a physical standpoint and make sure you’re staying sharp from a playing standpoint. It’s great for him to get those extra minutes. Like we said before, we’ll probably utilize [D-League assignments] more throughout the next couple of months."

(h/t: Maine Red Claws)

C's (briefly) assign Faverani to Maine

January, 25, 2014
Jan 25
3:30
PM ET
The Boston Celtics announced Saturday that rookie center Vitor Faverani has been assigned to the Maine Red Claws of the D-League.

Faverani won't be with Maine much longer than Rajon Rondo was during his two-hour assignment before his return to game action last week.

"This is just a quick assignment to get Vitor some more game action," said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. "He'll be back with the Celtics for shootaround tomorrow morning. This is a great option for any Celtics player to get more in-game experience without missing any Celtics activities, and we expect there will be more of this type of assignment for Celtics players during the remainder of the season."

Faverani, a 6-foot-11 center, is averaging 4.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks in 13.4 minutes per game in 35 appearances this season, including eight starts. In January, Faverani has appeared in only eight games, playing just 8.5 minutes per game.

The Red Claws host the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Saturday night at 7 p.m.

Lee's spark, Wallace's dunk, Hump's impact

December, 4, 2013
12/04/13
2:22
AM ET
BOSTON -- Even Boston Celtics guard Courtney Lee had wondered how his sore left knee would respond when he returned from a two-game absence on Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks. The answer? Lee might have owned the freshest legs on the floor and his extra bounce helped Boston pull out a win.

Coming off the bench, Lee provided 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting over 15 minutes, 39 seconds of floor time as the Celtics posted a 108-100 triumph over the visiting Milwaukee Bucks. Lee scored seven fourth-quarter points and connected on all three of his attempts in the frame.

“[Lee] was huge because you talk again about the third/early-fourth quarter," said first-year coach Brad Stevens, who didn't hesitate to toss Lee back on the floor. "He helped settle us down and he made tough [shots]. He looked like he had an extra bounce in his step.

"He didn’t make the trip with us [to Milwaukee on Saturday] so he could stay back and get better and do rehab and, when you’re only going to be gone for 18 hours or whatever we were gone, it didn’t make much sense to take those guys with us. And he had a little more bounce in his step than maybe our guys did at that time, and we needed it.”

Lee is now averaging 7.8 points on 52.3 percent shooting over 16.8 minutes per game. He's providing a much-needed offensive spark for the second unit, something the team missed during his two-game absence.

A couple other notes from Tuesday's game:
  • WALLACE'S DUNK: Gerald Wallace hopped in his time machine and went back a decade. Early in the second quarter, Wallace caught his defender sleeping and launched toward the paint from above the arc. Luke Ridnour could only watch as Wallace corralled a pass from Humphries, took one dribble, then exploded to the rim for a one-handed jam that had both Zaza Pachulia and Ersan Ilyasova trying to get out of the way. Said Wallace, "I don’t know what happened on that one. Don’t get used to that. That was a spur of the moment type thing. I just happened to dunk it. I didn’t realize I was that high."

  • HUMPHRIES' IMPACT: Good things continue to happen when Kris Humphries is on the floor. The veteran big man was a team-best plus-12 in plus/minus against Milwaukee and Humphries also grabbed eight rebounds and handed out three assists (including the feed that led to Wallace's dunk). In limited playing time (202 minutes), Humphries actually ranks No. 1 on the Celtics with an offensive rating of 104.4 (only negated by having one of the worst defensive ratings -- 104.3).

Faverani shows some upside

November, 24, 2013
11/24/13
8:15
PM ET
The first 15 games of Vitor Faverani's NBA career have been every bit the roller coaster we probably should have anticipated as the 25-year-old Brazilian import gets acclimated to his new professional environment.

Scott Halleran/Getty ImagesContrary to expectations, Vitor Faverani's strengths have been rebounding and defense.
Faverani emerged as the Boston Celtics' starting center to begin the regular season and, by Game 2, Vitor Fever had infected much of Celtics Nation as he went for 12 points and 18 rebounds against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Just as quickly as he broke through, Faverani regressed, and by Game 7 he was shuffled out of the starting lineup in favor of fellow rookie Kelly Olynyk. El Hombre Indestructible has seen inconsistent playing time recently, but his ride could be back on the climb.

Faverani turned in 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting with five rebounds over 14 minutes in Saturday's 94-87 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Faverani was plus-10 in his floor time, and after the game coach Brad Stevens noted how it was "good to see Vitor back at it."

With Olynyk sidelined for what Stevens suggested could be a couple of weeks with a sprained right ankle, Faverani is going to get another chance to find the consistency that he has lacked to this point.

Faverani is averaging 5.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks over 17 minutes per game. Boston's only pure center, the 6-foot-11 Faverani has shown offensive versatility (range to the 3-point line) while being a consistent rebounding presence at the other end of the floor.

Faverani leads the team with a total rebound percentage of 17.4 percent (ranking him in the top 25 in the league among qualifiers). He's grabbing 21.8 percent of defensive rebounds available during his floor time (only Kris Humphries and Jared Sullinger have better numbers on the Celtics) and a team-best 12.6 percent of offensive caroms.

Faverani has been a solid one-on-one defender, according to individual defensive data logged by Synergy Sports. He's allowing 0.717 points per play, which ranks him in the 85th percentile among all players. Among centers with at least 75 possessions defended, Faverani sits seventh in the league (one spot behind Indiana's Roy Hibbert).

Faverani also has been a solid rim protector. He owns the fifth best block percentage in the league (5.6 percent, putting him a fraction of a point ahead of Oklahoma City swatter Serge Ibaka), according to Basketball Reference. SportVU's player-tracking data shows that Faverani is allowing opponents to shoot just 43.3 percent at the rim -- a number that's not quite up to Hibbert's otherworldly 35.3 percent, but puts Faverani ahead of the likes of Dwight Howard (44.7 percent).

(Read full post)

Insider: Faverani 4th on Rookie Watch

November, 22, 2013
11/22/13
4:55
PM ET
ESPN Insider's David Thorpe debuts his Rookie 50 rankings this week and -- surprise, surprise -- Boston's Brazilian import (via Spain) Vitor Faverani emerges at No. 4.

A snippet from Thorpe: "Faverani continues to impress with his solid rebounding numbers and good perimeter shot with 3-point range... He blocked four shots [vs. Minnesota] and is averaging over one block per game. He's the rare big man who can rebound, shoot from distance, and block shots well."

As for Boston's other rooks, Kelly Olynyk checks in at No. 13, while Phil Pressey lands at No. 28.

(Read the full Rookie 50 post Insider)

Snapshot: Vitor's all in

November, 10, 2013
11/10/13
7:35
PM ET
One of the celebration shots from the Boston Celtics' 111-110 triumph over the Miami Heat on Saturday stood out. It's a picture snapped just moments after Jeff Green hit the winning 3-pointer over LeBron James. Avery Bradley, who was on the floor with Green, stopped him at the free-throw line to give a thankful squeeze. Boston's bench was at the opposite end of the floor, but the pair were greeted with a bear hug from rookie Vitor Faverani (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky):

Faverani, Bradley, Green

Here's why the photo resonates: Faverani was demoted from starting center to a reserve role against the Heat. After starting Boston's first six games of the season, Faverani played only 2 minutes, 41 seconds against Miami (though he gave Boston a brief spark, finishing a team-best plus-8 for his first-half cameo).

And who was the first player off the bench and into the celebratory fray when Green hit the winner? Faverani.

Last week, first-year head coach Brad Stevens talked about replacing Faverani in the second-half starting lineup with fellow rookie Kelly Olynyk. He noted how Faverani slung his arm around Olynyk and tried to pump him up as he prepared to take his spot.

Said Stevens: "I really like Vitor. Vitor is all in."

That echoes what Stevens has said in the past. Stevens noted how he invited Faverani out to dinner with his family upon the 7-footer's initial arrival in Boston this past summer. Stevens walked away gushing about the soft-spoken Brazilian, who stressed upon Stevens that nothing meant more to him than being a part of the team and winning as a group.

Faverani proved it on Saturday with his actions after the buzzer.

Notebook: Faverani's night overshadowed

November, 2, 2013
11/02/13
12:30
AM ET
BOSTON -- If the Boston Celtics had held on to win Friday's visit from the Milwaukee Bucks, your morning papers (or RSS Feed) would have been filled with stories about Vitor Faverani. Alas, Boston kicked away a 22-point lead, a couple veterans vented about selfish play, and any talk of thrusting Faverani into the Rookie of the Year pool was tabled (for one game at least).

The 25-year-old Brazilian center started his second game of the young season and put together another excellent early effort. He finished with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting with a game-high 18 rebounds and six blocks over 37 minutes. But like his teammates, Faverani's production ground to a second-half halt and the Bucks' rally overshadowed the performance.

“I thought Vitor did a lot of good things," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. "The one thing that I really appreciate and respect about Vitor is [that he] works as hard as anyone on our team. If I had to say the two guys that are in the gym most consistently and are doing every single thing every single day, I’d say Vitor along with [Rajon] Rondo. Those guys. They really work at an elite level and it’s paying off for Vitor."

Maybe most impressive on this night was Faverani's defense. He didn't just block six shots, but he altered most any shot near the hoop. According to Synergy Sports data, Faverani was credited with defending 15 possessions and allowed only 5 points (0.333 points per play). Opponents shot just 2-of-11 (18.2 percent) against him. Faverani made his impact felt on the court.

For the second straight game, he struggled to get going again after the intermission. But that didn't temper any of his teammates' excitement about his performance.

"He’s getting better and better every game," said Gerald Wallace. "I think that once he understands the NBA style of play, he’s only going to get better."

Jared Sullinger hasn't been surprised by what he's seen from Faverani.

"I’ve seen some film on him. Vitor is a very special basketball player," said Sullinger. "He can really change the game and score on the blocks with both hands. That’s what makes him really good. He’s playing well. We’re going to ride that pony until it falls off."

Faverani grabbed 28.6 percent of all defensive rebounds available during his time on the floor and 24 percent of all available caroms. Boston still gave up 17 offensive rebounds (for 22 second-chance points), but Faverani showed the potential to be an impact player on the glass.

Some other notes from Friday's game:

* C'S TAKE BREAK TO SALUTE RUSSELL: The Celtics honored Bill Russell with a tribute video at the end of the first quarter, mixing highlights from his career and scenes from his statue unveiling Friday on City Hall Plaza. Coach Brad Stevens had his team stand in front of the bench and watch the tribute video, then players joined in the standing ovation for the 11-time champion. Asked why it was important for his team to watch the tribute, Stevens said, "There are things that are bigger than the game... To honor Bill Russell, and for us to be in a huddle while they are honoring Bill Russell, wouldn't have been right. You prioritize the right thing over a huddle."

* BRADLEY FOCUSED ON FUTURE WITHOUT EXTENSION: The Celtics and representatives for third-year guard Avery Bradley talked deep into the night Thursday trying to hammer out an extension before the midnight deadline, but never got close enough to make it happen. That sets Bradley up to be a restricted free agent next summer. Asked if he was disappointed by the lack of an extension, Bradley said, "I’ve just been trying to focus on the season more than anything. When the time comes, I’ll worry about it. But right now, I’m just worried about winning games and doing whatever I can to help our team so we can be successful this year and we can have the best season we can have." Pressed on his future, Bradley added, "Of course I would love to stay here. I’ve been here going on four years now, so I love it. I’m just going to continue to work hard, like I said, and just focus on this season."

* STILL NAVIGATING THE REGION: Asked if the Russell statue should have been erected around the TD Garden, Stevens said he was the wrong guy to ask. "I gotta admit, I don’ know if I could find [City Hall Plaza] off the interstate right now without being told how to get there. My GPS [only] takes me to the Garden and home. I’m still learning. I’m still in discovery mode."

MRI negative for Faverani

October, 25, 2013
10/25/13
7:30
PM ET
Boston Celtics rookie center Vitor Faverani, who sat out Thursday's practice due to lingering soreness in his lower back, said an MRI came back negative and he was back on the floor Friday.

"My back’s OK," said Faverani. "I practiced today, just one day rest, I think it’s good. The MRI is clear, it’s clean."

Faverani is expected to get treatment over the weekend and said he'll be ready to go again on Monday when the team reconvenes after a weekend off.

Asked how Faverani looked Friday, Celtics coach Brad Stevens noted, "He was fine. He didn’t do much, but he was fine. I’ve been told that everybody is available Monday."

Faverani threw down a couple dunks during the open portion of practice held Friday night in front of season-ticket holders, which suggested that back is indeed feeling fine.

Faverani gets MRI on sore back

October, 24, 2013
10/24/13
7:00
PM ET
BOSTON -- Boston Celtics rookie center Vitor Faverani underwent an MRI Thursday on a sore lower back and said he'll meet with team doctors Friday to examine the results.

Faverani was nearly a scratch for Wednesday's game against the Brooklyn Nets when his back stiffened up during warm-ups. Instead, he earned his first preseason start and responded with 15 points, 7 rebounds, and a whopping 6 blocks over 28 minutes.

Asked how he did that given the sore back that kept him out of Thursday's practice, Faverani offered, "Adrenaline. You want to play every time. After the game, when you relax, you feel some pains, but in the game, no."

Asked about those six blocks, even Faverani marveled at his rim defense.

"I think that’s the first time in my life I’ve blocked six shots," said Faverani. "It’s wonderful for me. I don’t know if that’s good luck, or one day you have timing. But I’m happy."

Celtics coach Brad Stevens said after Wednesday's game that the challenge for Faverani now is building off Wednesday's effort.

"I thought Vitor was really good," Stevens said. "Now I think the challenge for Vitor is, coming off of success, how do you handle that? I think that he’s shown nothing but a good maturity about him thus far. And I don’t have any reason to think that he won’t handle it well. For a rookie out there, I thought he looked pretty darn good -- albeit an old [rookie]."

Over eight preseason appearances, Faverani averaged 7.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks over 15.5 minutes per game.

Faverani's game translating to NBA

October, 10, 2013
10/10/13
11:45
PM ET
WALTHAM, Mass. -- Vitor Faverani is a mountain of a man and the only thing snazzier than his fauxhawk is his nickname, El Hombre Indestructible. Watch the rookie big man in action for the Boston Celtics: He's often the loudest voice on the floor, barking out commands like a veteran from the back line of Boston's defense.

Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY SportsVitor Faverani has made a big impression in a short time.
Which is ironic when you consider that Faverani's biggest adjustment to the NBA game might simply be the language. The 6-foot-11, 265-pound center is a native of Brazil and spent the past eight seasons honing his game while playing professionally in Spain.

At times, it seems like the only thing that can dent the Indestructible Man is the language. He has bravely attempted to navigate media sessions stateside while responding in English (he did have Austin Ainge help translate on Media Day) and always handles himself well. In fact, the broken and honest nature of his responses only endears him further.

An example: Late in the first half of Wednesday's preseason loss to the New York Knicks in Providence, Faverani was running the floor in transition when Courtney Lee threaded a beautiful bounce pass to him in the lane. Faverani, in one smooth motion, brought in the pass and delivered a right-handed slam over New York's Andrea Bargnani as both the Boston bench and Dunkin' Donuts Center erupted in celebration.

Asked after the game about the positive response to his highlight dunk, Faverani said, "I don’t have time for nothing on the court; I made the dunk but then I have to run back on defense. But I’m very, very happy. I’m very, very happy. Because the dunks can help my teammates. I can show the coach [Brad Stevens] I can play in the NBA. I’m very happy."

(Read full post)

Countdown to camp: Resetting depth chart

September, 28, 2013
9/28/13
11:45
AM ET
The Boston Celtics formally open the 2013-14 season with Media Day on Monday at the team's training facility in Waltham. On Tuesday, they'll open training camp in Newport, R.I. A quick look at where the depth chart stands entering the preseason, no easy chore when you consider the Celtics are heavy on shooting guards and power forwards (and thin at point guard and center):

POINT GUARD: Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jordan Crawford, Phil Pressey

Analysis: With Rondo expected to be sidelined for the start of the regular season, new coach Brad Stevens has hinted that Bradley is the early frontrunner to handle point guard responsibilities. The diminished on-ball pressure early in the season and Stevens desire to be a running, up-tempo team could alleviate concerns after Bradley struggled to quarterback the team at times during a Rondo-less postseason. Pressey, the undrafted free agent out of Missouri, is the only pure ball-handler on the roster beyond Rondo and will get a chance to show he's ready for the NBA level after a strong summer performance. With a logjam at the shooting guard spot, slick-passing Crawford can initially carve out a reserve ball-handling role if he shows he can throttle his shot attempts and be a pass-first guard.

SHOOTING GUARD: Courtney Lee, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans

Analysis: Stevens can get all sorts of creative at the 2 and noted we might even see Jeff Green play there at times early in the year. Lee and Bradley comprised the starting backcourt during some of Boston's most inspired ball last season, but Lee must show more consistency at both ends of the floor after an underwhelming first season in green. Brooks is an intriguing scoring option off the bench, while Bogans provides a steady veteran presence in a coach-on-the-floor role. When Rondo is healthy, Bradley is likely the starter here and makes this a crowded field. Crawford and Brooks must distinguish themselves from one another to carve out consistent playing time.

(Read full post)

SPONSORED HEADLINES

PODCASTS

ESPN Boston high school football: Week 3 preview

ESPN Boston high school football: Week 3 preview

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksB. Bass 0.9