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on basketball

Matt Howard says Stevens will thrive in Boston

LAS VEGAS — He is the player probably most synonymous with the Brad Stevens era at Butler University, a wild-haired big man who thrust himself in the middle of every key play, diving for loose balls, clipping that key rebound, or scoring with his jump hook.

Matt Howard was the central figure of Butler’s two NCAA title game appearances and his bond with Stevens is unquestionable, so much so that the new Celtics coach delayed attending his first summer league to make good on a promise to Howard’s father to attend the 200th anniversary parade in Howard’s hometown of Connersville, Ind.

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