Celtics Notes: Lee, Porzingis, Tatum, Pagliuca

Celtics assistant Charles Lee is the only participant in the NBA Finals who’s working two jobs. Lee, who was hired more than a month ago as the Hornets‘ next head coach, is preparing to take over in Charlotte while fulfilling his commitment to his current team, writes Marc J. Spears of Andscape.

Lee said he sought advice from Kings head coach Mike Brown, who was in the same situation two years ago as an assistant with Golden State.

“The biggest thing is focusing on the right now, which I need to,” Lee said. “When my Celtics hat is on, I’m fully engaged. That is where my mind is at. When I leave the arena, all of the sudden you have to think about your staff and connecting with your players and what does the training camp and Summer League look like. I’ve been making pretty good progress.”

Once the Finals are done, Lee will only have a few days to spend with the Hornets before the draft and the start of free agency. He has already started to familiarize himself with the team, according to Spears, meeting LaMelo Ball for lunch, watching a pair of workouts in Charlotte, and holding Zoom calls with prospective members of his coaching staff. Lee told Spears that he plans to coach the Hornets’ Summer League team in July.

“I’m so excited for a number of reasons,” Lee said. “Nothing is ever given to you. And you have to work for it. And that’s what I’m all about and the mentality I want to bring to Charlotte, too. It’s not going to be easy. No one is going to give us anything. But we have to work every day. You have to be obsessed with daily improvement.”

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • The leg injury that Kristaps Porzingis suffered in Game 2 has the potential to change the direction of the series, observe Jared Weiss and Jay King of The Athletic. Weiss notes that Boston hasn’t been nearly as good defensively in the playoffs with backup big men Luke Kornet and Neemias Queta on the court, while King suggests Jayson Tatum may see time at center in small-ball lineups if Porzingis is unavailable.
  • Tatum tells Khari Thompson of The Boston Globe that he’s reached a point in his career where he can help the Celtics even when his shot isn’t falling. Tatum is just 12-of-38 from the field in the past two games, but he’s contributing by rebounding, passing and playing defense. “I think being in the Finals two years ago has helped me in this moment,” he said. “I understand that I do need to be more efficient. I do need to shoot the ball better, I would not disagree with anybody on that. But I’m not letting it bother me. I’m still trying to find ways to impact the game and dominate the game in other areas.”
  • Celtics minority owner Stephen Pagliuca spoke to Brian Lewis and Josh Kosman of The New York Post about how close he came to joining Joe Tsai in his purchase of the Nets in 2017.
View Comments (5)