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Your Morning Dump… Where Courtney Lee is looking to atone from last season’s disappointment

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump. 

“Change is good. It was a busy summer so far, and we’re still going to have a group of guys who are going to go out there and compete,” Lee said. “That’s all you can ask for. A lot of people are writing us off, but that’s only going to motivate us. Even with the injuries this past season, a lot of people were like, ‘There’s no way they can make the playoffs,’ and we just went out there and just played for each other and played hard and made a run at it.”

Lee was personally recruited by Rivers to come to the Celtics. That led to a sign-and-trade deal with the Rockets, who were clearing salary-cap space to make their first run at Dwight Howard.

Danny [Ainge] did a good job getting a coach with a winning track record,” Lee said of Brad Stevens. “He knows what it takes to win, been in a situation where he’s changed a program, and hopefully he can come in and do that with us.”

Lee said he took no time off following the playoffs, and has been working to regain his offensive touch. Lee never got comfortable last season with his changing roles. Rivers lost confidence in Lee as a starter, moved Jason Terry into the starting lineup, and Lee’s playing time fluctuated. He averaged less than 10 minutes per game and did not play in two of the six playoff games.

“The only way to correct having an up-and-down season is hard work,” Lee said. “I have been getting my shot back, a lot of shooting. There was a lot of inconsistency last year as far as roles, not knowing when I was going in or coming out, or with myself, I wasn’t playing at the level I was capable of and I was used to playing at.”

There could be more roster changes before the season begins, but as of now, the Celtics believe they have a playoff-caliber team with Rondo, Green, Lee, Kris HumphriesJared SullingerKeith Bogans, and Gerald Wallace.

“We have a team of scrappers that compete every night. Nobody is into themselves, everybody is going to be for the team and we’re going to go out there and just play,” Lee said. “When you do that, everything will fall into place. People are writing us off. They consider us being an underdog in every situation we go into, so that’s going to work for us when we come out there and when we start winning games. I think that’s going to change.”

Lee said he can see the improvement in his game and increase in his confidence. Without championship aspirations for the team, Lee will enter this season without the pressure of having to replace a future Hall of Famer.

“Everybody on the team is going to have a chance to step up,” Lee said. “With everybody’s offseason work, it’s definitely going to help us this year. I think we’re going to approach this season with a fresh attitude.”

Boston Globe Sunday NotesDoc Rivers diving into his work with Clippers

Courtney Lee certainly had a disappointing season last year as did nearly everybody on the team.  When the C’s acquired him last summer it was nearly a 100% consensus of how great of a move it was locally as well as nationally.  Lee never delivered and in the above quote he explains why.  It’s never easy to play consistently when your role isn’t consistent.  Lee is at an interesting stage in his career where he has a great chance opportunity on a rebuilding team.  He hasn’t taken a day off and seems very much in focus. I’m sure Brad Stevens will be tinkering with roles and lineups for the majority of the season but if Lee is driven, he could vault up his status here or up his trade value if that’s what the C’s choose to do.  Either way Lee is one of many players on this team who has a clean slate.  Just like Lee, the fans are curious and anxious to see just what type of team emerges once the games begin.

Also, in Washburn’s notes, he states the reason why Greg Oden is no longer on the C’s radar is due to the signing of Brazilian center Vitor Faverani.  By splitting a portion of the mid-level exception, they have essentially opted to take themselves out of the Oden running for the time being.

I would also like to use this space to promote the Reggie Lewis special that will air on CSNNE tonight at 8pm.  For me, Reggie was the first Celtic that I could latch on to as “my guy.”  I was young when I got to see Larry Bird and only caught the tail-end of his career, so Reggie was the guy.  I loved him and Dee Brown at the time and as a 14-year old I was excited to see what Reggie could do for the future C’s, to have my own generation of champions to cheer for.  I was actually in the driveway at my house shooting around (like I did for many, many days/nights back then) just like Reggie.  Unlike Reggie, I was lucky enough to complete a simple task like that without my life being at risk.  When he tragically died, I was devastated and sort of in a trance.  It was such a sad time and even in the years after the tragedy only seemed to get uglier, never allowing Reggie to rest in peace.  I’m not sure tonight will bring closure to his family and to all of those closely involved with him, but hopefully it will bring something positive.  Anyway, please watch it, especially if you’re a younger fan who has no recollection of Reggie.

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston – Podcast: Celtics Summer Cooler | Boston Globe – Reggie Lewis’s death, 20 years ago, one of the worst moments in Boston Sports history | CSNNE – Iverson signs two-year deal to play in Turkey

 

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  • Chuck Moran

    Thanks rivers u shoulda took him with u now were stuck with his huge contract. Hope ainge learned his lesson when a player averages 12 points on a bad team he’s not that good. Maybe if a player averages 18 to 20 points on a bad team maes him a good player but anything less u dont sign for a decent contract.

  • zippittyay

    Courtney Lee will be worth every penny this year.

  • MrCuret

    I’m glad that Doc is gone, he’s a good motivator & seems to be a great person, but he’s not the best coach in the NBA, not even the 2nd best. He relies way too much on the veterans & has no trust in the young players. Imo he wasn’t the right coach for the C’s, I’m sure someone else would’ve done a much better job with this team last season. Lee has been a pretty good role player in the league until he played for Doc last season. I’m sure him, Bass, Rondo, Bradley & the rest of the guys will have a much better season under Stevens.

  • KGino

    I forsee Courtney flourishing under Stevens… Good young two way player who plays hard and hustles. Especially if he’s been putting the work in this summer, look for him to be the most improved player from last year.

  • Slap Dog Hoops

    Lee had better because last season’s performance was rather shamefull, especially when he Tore it up the previous season while at Houston. As four Brad Steven being names head coach–that’s a recipe for disaster. The guy has NO NBA experience nor credentials and Danny Ainge expects this guy who does not even look like he reached puberty to take over a storied team as the Celtics. You would think the Celtics learned their lesson from the whole Rick Pitino fiasco; however unlike this guy, Pitino ACTUALLY had some NBA experience being an assistant under Hubie Brown and coaching the Knicks to the playoff before leacving to become one of the best coaches in NCAA basketball history.