fb-pixel Skip to main content

James Young making progress for Celtics

James Young had 33 points in an NBADL game Saturday.AP

James Young sparkled in the Maine Red Claws’ loss to Fort Wayne on Saturday, draining 9 of 13 3-pointers en route to 33 points.

Performances like that will only contribute to the buzz surrounding the rookie from Kentucky, as well as questions about when he will get a more extended look from the Celtics.

Young played nine minutes in Boston’s 83-75 loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday, registering 3 points and three rebounds.

In addition to the normal bumps in the road of a rookie season, Young’s progress has been slowed by a preseason shoulder injury and a recent bout with a bug.


“For him, offense is never going to be an issue, and I don’t think defense is once he gets strong enough,” coach Brad Stevens said before the game. “I think the biggest thing right now is there will be some guys he struggles to guard just physically. But once he continues to work the way he’s working, he’s good.

“He’ll be good on both ends of the court. Defensively, he’s had some real moments.”

Andre Dawkins, who was recalled by the Celtics after also playing for Maine on Saturday night, witnessed Young’s impressive shooting display.

“It’s effortless,” Dawkins said. “It’s a very smooth stroke. It’s one motion, and he’s tall, so he’s able to get up and shoot over the top of guys. It makes it a little bit easier for him to get a shot off. Even when guys are right there, he can get a shot off.”

Prince in pain

Tayshaun Prince missed Sunday’s game with hip flexor soreness. The 34-year-old said he began to experience pain three or four games ago but had managed it with treatment.

“And then I go to sleep and wake up and get out of bed and it’s like starting all over again,” Prince said. “It’s stiff when I get up in the morning.”


Prince said he played through similar pain when he was younger, but at this point in his career that is not an option.

“Hopefully it’s just a situation where I’m trying to get back adjusted to this cold weather,” Prince said with a smile.

Prince expects to be ready for Tuesday’s game against the Knicks in New York.

On bench to start

Jared Sullinger was replaced by Tyler Zeller in the starting lineup after Sullinger showed up a few minutes late to the team’s walkthrough.

“We’d already gone through a couple of things, so I decided to do that,” Stevens said. “Not a trend, not a problem, not a short- or long-term problem. You know, I just felt like Zeller had gone through what he needed to go through.”

Sullinger entered the game with 5:52 remaining in the opening quarter and tallied 7 points on 3-for-11 shooting.

Belichick fan

Stevens said he has long been an admirer of Patriots coach Bill Belichick. The two have never met, but they have exchanged text messages. Stevens said they have yet to share coaching tips, however.

“Those would be one-sided if it was coaching [advice],” Stevens said.

“It would be me asking him what the heck to do. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to sit down at some point in the future and talk to him. You know, obviously he’s incredible.”

The Celtics moved their trip to New York up to Sunday to beat Monday’s expected snowstorm, but they were not scheduled to leave until 10:30 p.m.


“Obviously, I think we all wanted to watch the Super Bowl,” Stevens said.

Sign him up

Dawkins said after the game that he plans to sign a second 10-day contract. The rookie from Duke did not play against the Heat, but he scored 17 points for the Red Claws Saturday night.

Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at adam.himmelsbach @globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @adamhimmelsbach