Malcolm Brogdon

Celtics Notes: Udoka, Stoudamire, All-Star Game, Smart

Celtics assistant coach Damon Stoudamire said he frequently checks in with suspended coach Ime Udoka, whom he’s known for 30 years. Stoudamire has tried to give him advice and keep his spirits high, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reports.

“I think that everything that happens to you, when it hits you like this it can really get overwhelming,” Stoudamire said. “So that’s what I check on him about. I check on him to make sure he’s doing all right, and make sure his son is good, and that he’s able to find some type of peace within what he has going on. As a human being when you do something, you beat yourself down. And with the success that we’re having now, it’s human nature, man. You’re sitting there; you’re watching [the team]. I just think the biggest thing is that he’s able to, in his own way, come to some kind of resolution and peace in his mind so he can move forward.”

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  • In the same story, Stoudamire expressed a desire to be an NBA head coach. He was a head coach at Pacific prior to joining the Celtics staff. He filled in for interim coach Joe Mazzulla when Mazzulla missed a couple of games due to eye irritation. “Of course I want to be a head coach again, but more importantly I want to be prepared when the opportunity presents itself,” Stoudamire said.
  • The Celtics will file an application to host the 2026 All-Star Game, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. Boston has gone nearly 60 years without hosting it, mainly due to modest interest within the city and among the team’s ownership groups. That thinking has changed because the Celtics expect to remain in championship contention behind All-Star talents Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Having an upgraded facility, plus plenty of hotel space near the arena, has also encouraged the current owners to bid for the game.
  • Marcus Smart has been ruled out for Monday’s game in Orlando due to a sprained ankle suffered Saturday night in Toronto, Tim Bontemps of ESPN tweets. Malcolm Brogdon will also miss the game due to personal reasons, while Robert Williams (knee) is questionable.

Central Notes: McConnell, Theis, Bogdanovic, Bucks

Pacers guard T.J. McConnell took a hit to his right shoulder on Sunday but an MRI showed the shoulder was “stable” and he was able to practice on Tuesday, Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star reports.

“I think it was one of those weird plays where I just got hit in a bad spot,” McConnell said. “I was a little worried at the beginning and it was really painful, but our training staff is awesome, they worked on it. They said it was stable and the MRI showed that there was nothing seriously wrong. So it’s just about playing through the pain right now knowing it’s good, it’s stable. I said that I missed enough games last year, I can play through a little bit of pain.”

McConnell is in the second season of a four-year, $33.6MM contract.

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  • Daniel Theis is showing progress from his latest knee surgery in November and he could make his Pacers debut in the coming weeks, Dopirak notes in the same story. Theis was acquired from the Celtics in July as part of the package Boston gave up for point guard Malcolm Brogdon. “I don’t know that there’s any real set, hard timetable on Theis’ availability to play in a game but he’s weeks, not months away,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “That’s good news.”
  • As if the Pistons didn’t have enough injury issues, leading scorer Bojan Bogdanovic missed Tuesday’s game against Philadelphia due to left calf soreness, Mike Curtis of the Detroit News tweets. Rookie center Jalen Duren missed his second straight game due to right ankle soreness and Isaiah Stewart (shoulder) was a late scratch.
  • The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Jim Owczarski breaks downs the Bucks’ cap situation, key dates and luxury tax implications of any moves they might make before the trade deadline. He notes that Jordan Nwora and Bobby Portis will be eligible to be traded as of Jan. 15, while Pat Connaughton becomes eligible to be moved on Jan. 18.

Celtics Notes: Brogdon, G. Williams, Stevens, Smart, R. Williams

In an interview with Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston, Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon says he isn’t interested in the Sixth Man of the Year award (Twitter video link).

I really don’t care about that award at all. I really want to win with this team — I came here to win a championship, to put up banner 18. And that accolade really means nothing. I want to win,” he said.

Brogdon, acquired in offseason trade with Indiana, has a strong case for the award, even if he doesn’t care about it. Through 27 games (24.1 MPG), he’s averaging 14.0 PPG, 4.1 RPG and 3.8 APG on an excellent .482/.451/.855 shooting slash line.

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  • The Celtics have hit some adversity for the first time in 2022/23, dropping five of their past seven games, including a lackluster performance on Wednesday against Indiana, when Boston trailed by 28 at halftime. As Jay King of The Athletic writes, the poor stretch seems like a “meaningful moment” to see how the team responds. Forward Grant Williams agrees. “We can let it derail our season,” Williams said, “or we can let it shift and make us understand where we’re trying to be and allow us to zone back in. Because in a month like this, where you’re approaching January in midseason, you can easily take your foot off the gas and step back. But for a team to be great, for a team to be special, for a team to do what we want to do, you can’t do that.” For what it’s worth, the Celtics beat Minnesota on Friday, recapturing the No. 1 seed in the East after the Bucks lost to the Nets.
  • President of basketball operations Brad Stevens says he will continue to evaluate the roster and make changes if needed ahead of the trade deadline, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe (subscriber link). “Listen, we want to win, there’s no question about it. We have a really good team and hopefully we are playing great over the next couple of months, but we’ll evaluate that and we’ll make decisions, right or wrong, we think may give us the best chance at winning,” Stevens said.
  • Stevens also gave a strong endorsement for interim head coach Joe Mazzulla, Washburn adds in the same story. “It’s been really good,” Stevens said of Mazzulla’s job performance. “Looking at where we started from the start of training camp, the leadership, the organization, the way that everybody embraced him, he’s very open to people to the different ideas that they have, maybe too open sometimes, he’s been great.”
  • Guard Marcus Smart (non-COVID illness) returned to the lineup on Friday after missing Wednesday’s game, but big man Robert Williams was ill and ruled out, tweets Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Williams just made his season debut last week after offseason knee surgery, so having him out of the lineup again so soon obviously isn’t ideal. Still, there’s plenty of time left for him to get acclimated ahead of a playoff push.

Injury Updates: Magic, Bulls, Celtics, Raptors, Heat, Hayward, More

The Magic will be getting some reinforcements for Friday’s game in Chicago, according to Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Veteran guard Gary Harris has been cleared to make his regular season debut following offseason arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, Price reports. Additionally, starting center Wendell Carter Jr. will be back in the lineup after missing Wednesday’s game due to a strained right plantar fascia.

Orlando’s opponents also got some good injury-related news on Friday. As Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago writes, Bulls guard Coby White (left quad contusion) and forward Patrick Williams (right ankle sprain) both said at Friday’s shootaround that they’ll be able to play against the Magic. White has missed the last eight games as a result of his injury; Williams sprained his ankle on Wednesday, but it appears the injury won’t cost him any games.

Here are several more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • As expected, Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon will be available on Friday vs. New Orleans after missing four games with a hamstring injury. However, the team announced that Marcus Smart (right ankle inflammation) will miss a second straight game (Twitter link).
  • The already shorthanded Raptors will be missing Gary Trent Jr. and Chris Boucher on Saturday vs. Atlanta due to non-COVID illnesses, tweets Josh Lewenberg of However, Eric Koreen of The Athletic tweets that Dalano Banton‘s ankle sprain isn’t as serious as initially feared and Pascal Siakam (adductor strain) has resumed on-court activity. Another update on Siakam is expected in a week or so, Koreen adds.
  • Heat star Jimmy Butler (knee soreness) has been ruled out for Friday’s game against Washington and it’s possible that Bam Adebayo (knee contusion) won’t be available either, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Adebayo is currently listed as questionable.
  • Hornets forward Gordon Hayward, who has been on the shelf since November 2 due to a left shoulder contusion, has been upgraded from doubtful to questionable for Friday’s game vs. Cleveland, according to the team (Twitter link).
  • Pacers sharpshooter Chris Duarte isn’t expected to be available during the team’s upcoming four-game home stand, but could return from his ankle sprain at some point in the subsequent seven-game road trip, tweets Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star. That trip begins on November 27 and runs through December 7.
  • Sixers guard Jaden Springer, currently assigned to the Delaware Blue Coats in the G League, will miss at least one week due to a right quadriceps strain, tweets Kyle Neubeck of

Atlantic Notes: Banton, VanVleet, Harden, Brogdon

The already-shorthanded Raptors lost guard Dalano Banton to a left ankle sprain during Toronto’s 112-104 victory against the Heat on Wednesday, reports Blake Murphy of (Twitter link).

Toronto head coach Nick Nurse is pessimistic about the outlook, indicating that the ankle “doesn’t look too good,” per Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports (via Twitter). Nurse revealed that Banton will be undergoing tests to determine the extent of the injury.

The second-year guard out of Nebraska is averaging 6.4 PPG, 1.3 RPG and 1.1 APG for the Raptors as a reserve in just 11.2 MPG, but had a breakout performance on Monday, scoring a career-high 27 points.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet made his return to the floor for Toronto in its Miami victory following a bad cold. He noted that he is continuing to test negative for COVID-19, tweets Lewenberg. “It wasn’t fun but hopefully the worst is behind me, just happy to be back,” VanVleet said. In 39 minutes, he scored 23 points on 7-of-21 shooting.
  • Sixers guard James Harden reveals that he has been progressing positively from his tendon strain, per Derek Bodner (Twitter link). Bodner notes that Harden has indicated he is “on pace” to come back to the floor in line with his initially projected one-month rehab window. “We’ve got a plan,” Harden said, according to Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter). “We’ve got a script that we’re trying to stick to. All in all, I feel good.”
  • Celtics sixth man Malcolm Brogdon looks set to suit up once again for Boston, having made significant progress in his recovery from a tight right hamstring, reports The Athletic’s Jared Weiss (Twitter link). The 6’5″ vet has not played since November 9.

Health Updates: Cavs, Doncic, Zion, Connaughton, Banchero, Celtics

As expected, Cavaliers wing Dylan Windler has received a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection in his injured right ankle, the team confirmed today in a press release.

According to the Cavaliers, Windler will miss approximately four-to-six weeks while recovering, with the ankle stabilized in a walking cast for the time being. Health issues have limited the former first-round pick to just 81 total appearances since he entered the NBA in 2019.

Meanwhile, Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen has officially been ruled out for Wednesday’s game vs. Milwaukee, tweets Chris Fedor of However, it sounds like Allen’s left ankle soreness, which sidelined him on Sunday, is no longer the primary issue — he’s listed on the official injury report as having a non-COVID illness.

Here are a few more health-related updates from around the NBA:

  • Mavericks star Luka Doncic will miss a game for the first time this season on Wednesday, with the club opting to give him a rest night vs. Houston (Twitter link). Doncic is averaging a career-high 37.2 minutes per game and played 40 minutes in the first half of the team’s back-to-back set on Tuesday, so this decision had been expected, as Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets.
  • Pelicans forward Zion Williamson will miss a second consecutive game on Wednesday due to a right foot contusion, the team announced. Head coach Willie Green‘s comments on Tuesday suggested that it isn’t a serious injury, so perhaps Williamson will be able to return on Friday vs. Boston.
  • It appears Bucks wing Pat Connaughton will likely make his regular season debut on Wednesday vs. Cleveland. Connaughton, who has been on the shelf due to a right calf strain, has been upgraded to probable, tweets Eric Nehm of The Athletic.
  • Magic rookie forward Paolo Banchero will miss a fourth straight game on Wendesday vs. Minnesota due to a left ankle sprain, according to the team (via Twitter).
  • The Celtics will be without two key members of their backcourt on Wednesday vs. Atlanta, having ruled out both Malcolm Brogdon (right hamstring tightness) and Marcus Smart (right ankle inflammation), the team announced (via Twitter).

Atlantic Notes: Banton, Raptors Bench, Horford, Brogdon

With several starters out of the Raptors lineup, Dalano Banton erupted for a career-high 27 points in a victory at Detroit on Monday. The 2021 second-rounder displayed his growth during that performance, Michael Grange of writes.

“He obviously scored it really well,” Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said. “He is kind of naturally a point guard but when we have other lineups in there, we like having him off the ball so he’s not under so much duress to make plays all the time. I think sprinkling him on and off the ball helps him set some people up. And obviously he’s shooting the ball really well this year, when he’s catching and faced up, you’re expecting him to make them now, which is a huge step forward for him.”

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors’ early-season injuries might be a blessing in disguise, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports opines. Nurse has generally leaned heavily on his starters and used a tight rotation since becoming the head coach but now he’s gaining more trust in his bench.
  • Al Horford becomes a free agent next summer and wants to finish out his career with the Celtics, Steve Bulpett of reports. Horford gave an emphatic ‘Yes’ when asked if he wanted to stay in Boston. The 36-year-old forward also feels he has at least a couple more years left. “I’ve thought about it,” he said. “I want to keep playing for two, three more years, for sure.”
  • Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon, who has missed the last three games due to right hamstring soreness, is listed as questionable to play against Atlanta on Wednesday, Jared Weiss of The Athletic tweets.

Celtics Notes: Tatum, Brogdon, Mazzulla, Offense

Jayson Tatum has certainly placed himself firmly in the Most Valuable Player discussion while averaging 32.3 points per game so far this season. The Celtics forward told Yahoo Sports’ Vince Goodwill he wants people to think of him as an MVP-level performer.

“As a kid, was one of my dreams winning MVP? Sure,” Tatum said. “If it happened, it would be a dream come true. But it wasn’t, like, ‘Come back, win MVP.’ It’s like, ‘Come back, get to the championship.’”

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  • Malcolm Brogdon hasn’t played since Wednesday and the point guard will remain out on Monday due to right hamstring tightness, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman tweets. Brogdon is averaging 13.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per night in his first season with Boston.
  • Joe Mazzulla was thrust into a difficult situation when the team suspended head coach Ime Udoka for a season. The Boston’s Globe Gary Washburn believes that Muzzulla has handled it so well that he deserves to have the interim tag removed. Not only has the team thrived with him at the helm, he has approached the job with the kind of humility and respect it deserves, Washburn notes.
  • The Celtics entered Monday’s action ranked first in points per game and second in field goal percentage. Ethan Fuller of the Basketball News takes a closer look at why the team’s offense has been so efficient.

Celtics Notes: Udoka, Tatum, R. Williams, Brogdon

The Nets decided not to hire Ime Udoka, but he’s expected to eventually land another head coaching job, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (video link). Wojnarowski said Brooklyn conducted a thorough investigation of the suspended Celtics coach, but determined it was “too difficult” to bring him on board because of the turmoil surrounding the team.

Nets officials view Jacque Vaughn as better able to stabilize the organization, but Woj believes Udoka could have been the choice under different circumstances. He adds that plenty of other teams have also done their due diligence on Udoka’s situation and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him back in the league by next season.

The Celtics might have preferred to see Udoka go to Brooklyn, writes Brian Robb of MassLive, adding that it’s telling that they weren’t seeking any compensation from the Nets. Udoka’s departure would have prevented a potential legal battle regarding the years he has left on his contract. It may have also eased the pressure on interim coach Joe Mazzulla, who continues to operate in Udoka’s shadow.

There’s more from Boston:

  • Jayson Tatum appears to be OK following an injury scare in Monday’s win over the Grizzlies, according to Souichi Terada of MassLive. After colliding with Ja Morant while chasing a loose ball, Tatum was down on the court grabbing his left knee, but he was able to walk off the pain and finish the game. “It was kind of like a weird fall,” Tatum said. “He dove for it, I tried to pick it up, get out the way. Nothing intentional. It was kind of like, I guess his knee collided with mine. Felt a little discomfort there. Obviously kept playing, got it looked at. So I’m fine.”
  • Robert Williams is making progress in his recovery from knee surgery, but the team has avoided setting a definite timetable for him to return, per Steve Bulpett of Heavy. The Celtics are willing to give Williams as much time as he needs in order to ensure that he’s healthy for the playoffs. Bulpett adds that Williams is steadily increasing his workload and it’s an encouraging sign that he joined the team for its most recent road trip.
  • Malcolm Brogdon has been a welcome addition to the second unit, notes Matt John of Brogdon is averaging 14.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists through 10 games, and Boston is plus-6.7 with him on the court. “He does a good job of penetrating into the paint and spreading out the shooters around him and creating shots for himself,” Grant Williams said. “He provides different values and opportunities to a team that needed it.”

Atlantic Notes: Mitchell, Barrett, VanVleet, Brogdon

The Knicks are about to get their first look at Donovan Mitchell since spending much of the summer trying to trade for him, writes Peter Botte of The New York Post. Buoyed by Mitchell’s addition, the Cavaliers are tied for second in the East at 4-1 and they’ll try to improve that record when they host New York on Sunday.

The Jazz and Knicks held protracted trade talks through the offseason, but they weren’t able to finalize a deal, allowing Cleveland to swoop in with an offer for the three-time All-Star. Mitchell has been everything the Cavs thought he would be, averaging career highs in points (31.0), rebounds (4.8) and assists (6.4) through the first five games of the season.

“The one thing he does extremely well is he stops on a dime. When he drives hard to the basket and he stops, with the speed and agility he has, he always creates separation,” said Evan Fournier, who was rumored to be in several versions of the Mitchell trade. “He’s really hard to guard. He’s very streaky. He can be not efficient at times. But when he gets it going, it feels like he can’t miss.” 

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The KnicksRJ Barrett has struggled with his shot this season, but he’s making up for it with defense, according to Steve Popper of Newsday. Barrett, who was also rumored to be part of proposed packages for Mitchell, will likely get the first chance at slowing him down on Sunday. “Ever since (coach Tom Thibodeau) got here, the whole defensive intensity kind of picked up, and just me being that guy on certain players every night,” Barrett said. “It’s been a fun challenge. Watching the film, trying to get better every day. Really, that’s it. … Just a commitment. Coming in locked in and focused every day. I think it’s more mental than physical.”
  • The Raptors risk burning out Fred VanVleet if they can’t find some backcourt help, warns Dave Feschuk of The Toronto Star. VanVleet is averaging a team-high 38 minutes per game, and Toronto doesn’t have a reliable point guard replacement off the bench.
  • Malcolm Brogdon is playing fewer minutes with the Celtics than he did with the Pacers, but his new teammates appreciate everything he does when he’s on the court, per Jay King of The Athletic. “To be able to come in and accept a role that he’s not used to — and I know from experience that’s not easy to do,” Marcus Smart said. “But he’s done it, he’s been professional. And then to come in and be able to not miss a step when he does come in, it’s like he’s been with us ever since day one.”