David Lee excited to join Warriors at White House
NEW YORK — Celtics forward David Lee said Tuesday he is scheduled to join his former team, the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors, when they are honored at the White House on Thursday.
“It’s certainly a thing that I definitely can’t pass up, especially since we have the off day, and it’s a chance, one of the final times to kind of celebrate what was accomplished last year,” said Lee. “With all the guys being around, and Justin Holiday was able to make it from Atlanta as well, so we’ll have the whole squad there. It’ll be really cool to just to celebrate that and obviously to do something that’s really neat that a lot of people don’t get a chance to do.”
Lee played for the Warriors for five years before being traded to the Celtics last summer. He entered this season as a starting forward but has since lost his spot in the regular rotation. He has not played since logging 16 minutes in the Celtics’ loss to the Grizzlies on Jan. 10.
The Celtics are off Thursday, so the timing is perfect for Lee to attend the gathering at the White House. The Warriors are in Washington to face the Wizards on Wednesday night. Lee was unable to go to the Warriors’ home opener for the ring ceremony because the Celtics had a game the following day. But he said the White House event would be a more comfortable situation anyway.
“The ring ceremony was a pregame thing, and this is more of a field trip away from anything basketball right now, so it’s a little bit of a difference,” Lee said. “While I would have liked to be at the ring ceremony, that was right before their game started. So once that’s over I’ve just got to stand there like, ‘All right, what next?’ So this is something that’s away from that. It’s a good chance to see everybody and be a part of that.”
Lee will be back with the Celtics for their game against the Cavaliers on Friday.
Celtics forward Jae Crowder, who suffered a lower leg injury in the second half of Boston’s loss to Orlando on Sunday, had 16 points and 5 rebounds in the Celtics’ 97-89 win over the Knicks on Tuesday.
Crowder said he initially thought he had been kicked in the shin during the Orlando game. But when he missed Monday’s practice, he said the training staff told him he might have suffered a calf strain.
“When I sit down for a long time and stop moving for a long time that’s when it gets right back tight and I really feel it again,” Crowder said. “But once I get going. my juices get flowing, I feel it slightly. But it gets stiff on me really fast.”
With 7:27 left in the first quarter, Crowder was hit in the face by Knicks guard Carmelo Anthony as Anthony turned and attempted to fire a jump shot. Anthony was called for a flagrant-1 foul on the play and Knicks coach Derek Fisher received a technical, so it turned into a 5-point possession for the Celtics when Crowder added a jump shot to the three free throws. Crowder took the hit to the face in stride afterward.
“I’m still looking pretty handsome, as you can see,” he said, smiling. “But it was tough. It was a good swing for us and it’s kind of what woke us up a little bit.”
Rookie is a star
Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis was named the Eastern Conference rookie of the month for the third time in a row. Porzingis averaged 15.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in January.
“He may not always jump off the page statistically in terms of 20 and 10,” Fisher said, “but his 14 points, his 8 rebounds, his 2 or 3 blocked shots and 3 or 4 shots that he changes, all that stuff makes a difference for us, even if he’s 5 of 14 from the field.”
When the Knicks defeated the Celtics on Jan. 12, Stevens assigned the 6-foot-4 guard Marcus Smart to defend the 7-foot-3 Porzingis for stretches in the second half, and Smart was effective.
“One of Smart’s great abilities is his competitive spirit and physical strength, so it makes sense that he should be able to guard a lot of different people for short amounts of time,” Stevens said. “I don’t think it’s realistic to ask a 6-3 guy to guard a guy of that caliber for long periods of time.”
Smart did not defend Porzingis on Tuesday, but the other Celtics held him to 10 points on 4 of 11 shooting.
Pistons at a glance
■ When, where: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., at TD Garden.
■ TV, radio: CSN, WBZ-FM (98.5).
■ Scoring: Reggie Jackson 19.1, Andre Drummond 17.3, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 14.9.
■ Rebounding: Drummond 15.1, Ersan Ilyasova 5.6, Marcus Morris 5.2.
■ Assists: Jackson 6.3, Brandon Jennings 3.3, Steve Blake 3.0.
■ Head to head: This is the fourth and final meeting. The Pistons have won two of three.
■ Miscellany: In their last matchup, Jan. 6, the Celtics blew a 13-point third-quarter lead and lost, 99-94 . . . Drummond, who leads the league in rebounding, had 18 boards in a win over Brooklyn Monday.