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Cats in the NBA

Former Kentucky Players in the NBA

Colin Cowherd saying UK players have underwhelmed in the NBA is one of the dumbest things you’ll ever hear in your entire life

For the life of me I will never understand why anyone would listen to Colin Cowherd’s radio show, but, it has a big following and he makes millions and I’m sitting here writing about him today on a sunny Friday afternoon, so good for him.

But he’s an idiot for the comments he made today when he went all the way in on a scorching hot take, telling his listeners John Calipari’s former players in the NBA have been underwhelming.

You’ll have to hear it to believe it:

Cowherd uses playoff wins to discredit John Wall and Anthony Davis, without acknowledging the fact they are former No. 1 picks and that No. 1 picks go to the worst team in the league. He also trashed the names of DeMarcus Cousins, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Julius Randle, Nerlens Noel, the entire Phoenix Suns roster and many others.

“Kentucky guys are mostly immature, uncoachable, underwhelming or, in Anthony Davis’ case, spectacularly gifted but I’m still waiting for the first playoff win,” he said at one point.

WHAT?! Underwhelming?!

May I remind Colin Cowherd there are currently seven Wildcats in New Orleans participating in the NBA All-Star weekend. SEVEN. There aren’t many schools with seven players in the entire league.

Has he not seen the historic numbers Karl-Anthony Towns put up in his rookie season? Or that Devin Booker is only 20 years old and and the fourth youngest player to ever score 4,000 points, behind LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant? Or that Julius Randle is one of only six players with multiple triple-doubles this season? Or that Eric Bledsoe had a triple-double two days ago? Or that DeMarcus Cousins is widely considered the best center in the NBA?

Cowherd can’t even believe his own nonsense this time around. He’s been hard on John Wall since Day 1, but this is ridiculous. He should be banned from talking about the NBA ever again.

Holy shit he’s an idiot.


Bill Simmons thinks NBA scouts are sleeping on Monk

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In his Trade Deadline Mailbag for The Ringer, Bill Simmons was asked by Danny in Phoenix if and when everyone will stop salivating over Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball and come to realize Malik Monk is the best prospect in the draft.

Simmons replies with the very good point that Monk is a lights-out shooter, the NBA has turned to a shooter’s league and Monk thrives on the big stage, among others reasons.

“I love that he’s five spots too low on every list,” writes Simmons.

Read the entire response:

BS: Don’t jinx it! This is working out perfectly: he’s a lights-out shooter with 25-foot range, A-plus footwork and a real sense of the Moment (a la Steph at Davidson) — someone who couldn’t be more perfect for the way everyone plays professional basketball in 2017. You want your team to stretch the floor, play the math and shoot 40 3s a game so you can hang with the Rockets, Warriors and Celtics? In the words of John Bender (dated ’80s reference!), I know someone who would be OUTSTANDING in that capacity.

But wait, he’s a little too short for a 2-guard and might not be able to defend bigger guards? (Didn’t we already go through that two-inches-too-short crap with C.J. McCollum and Avery Bradley?) Oh, and Monk doesn’t rebound! (Who the eff would draft Malik Monk to help their rebounding???) Let’s dwell on that stuff instead of stuff like “The bigger the crowd, the bigger he plays,” “By all accounts, he’s the first guy at practice and the last guy to leave” and “Maybe it’s a good idea to take a freaky-good shooter/scorer during an era when everyone wants shooting and scoring?” I love that he’s five spots too low on every list. Let’s drop Monk out of the top five and throw a massive chip on his shoulder that Monk can lug around for the next 12 years as he’s dropping 3s on everyone. I heard he’s actually 6-foot-1 and wears lifts. [The Ringer]

As Simmons notes, Monk, a self-described animal, is the type of guy who would seek vengeance (and find it) on whatever teams pass him up on draft night. For all the good in Fultz and Ball and Smith and whoever else may go ahead of him, I’d be terrified of what Monk could do to me if I didn’t take him if given the opportunity.


Calling it now: Devin Booker will be Rising Stars MVP tonight

Calling it now: Devin Booker will be Rising Stars MVP tonight

booker-all-star

Remember who told you first, folks: Devin Booker will take MVP honors in tonight’s BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge.

This clip of Booker hitting 19 three-pointers in today’s practice session is all I need to see to know Booker will outshine everyone else on the Rookie/Sophomore stage, including other MVP hopefuls like Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, Jamal Murray and Kristaps Porzingis.

Give me Booker tonight in the 9 pm game down in New Orleans.

Unless it’s Towns. Then give me Towns.


BBNBA: First half of the season ends, All-Star Game up next

BBNBA: First half of the season ends, All-Star Game up next

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With All-Star Weekend right around the corner, last night was the final few games before the players head to New Orleans. John Wall, Rajon Rondo, and James Young all suited up for their respective teams last night, as the Pacers hosted the Wizards, and the Celtics traveled to Chicago to take on the Bulls. Let’s take a look at how the three former Cats stacked up.

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John Wall, Washington Wizards (111-98 win over Pacers)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
 37  8-20  0-2  4-4  0  2  2  12 1  2  5  2  +18  20

Chase down block from Wall.

Wall finishes with finesse on the quick drive to the basket.

And in the end, can’t beat this moment between Wall and a young fan.

bbnba-rondo

Rajon Rondo, Chicago Bulls (104-103 win over Celtics)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
 20  0-5  0-1  0-0  1  6  7  8  1  1  2  3  -7  0

Rondo with the steal and assist in transition.

Perfect full-court pass from Rondo for the slam.

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James Young, Boston Celtics (104-103 loss to Bulls)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
 9  2-3  1-1  0-0  0  1 1  0  0  0  0  0  +1  5

This video was made after Young’s big 10 second half points off the bench on Wednesday night. He also stepped up late last night as well, coming up with a big loose ball with under a minute remaining.

Stay tuned this weekend for all of the former Wildcats participating in All Star festivities.

@BrettBibbinsKSR


8 of ESPN’s Top 35 NBA players under 25 are Kentucky Wildcats

8 of ESPN’s Top 35 NBA players under 25 are Kentucky Wildcats

@KentuckyMBB

@KentuckyMBB

If our daily #BBNBA updates weren’t indication enough, Kentucky players are absolutely killing it in the NBA right now. Nine Cats will participate in this weekend’s All-Star festivities, the most from any school. Today, ESPN wrapped up their ranking of the top 50 NBA players under the age of 25, and, predictably, Kentucky accounted for a big chunk of them. Eight in the top 35, in fact:

1. Anthony Davis, Pelicans
3. Karl Towns, Timberwolves
13. Devin Booker, Suns
22. Enes Kanter, Thunder
23. Julius Randle, Lakers
30. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Hornets
31. Nerlens Noel, 76ers
35. Jamal Murray, Nuggets

If you’re curious, Giannis Antetokounmpo was #2, Joel Embiid #4, and Kyrie Irving #5. Check out the complete list here.

In accordance with NBA All-Star Weekend, UK sent out a release about its nine participants that included this great breakdown of how each is doing:

  • Devin Booker – Earlier this season became the youngest player in NBA history with three games of at least 39 points and the youngest player to post back-to-back games of 39 points or more
  • Demarcus Cousins – In late November, posted four straight games with at least 30 points, marking the longest streak by a Kings players since Chris Webber in 2001. Also one of four players (Davis and Towns being two of the others) with a 45-point, 15-rebound game this season
  • Anthony Davis – Ranked seventh in the league in player efficiency rating and began the NBA season by becoming the first player since Michael Jordan in 1986-87 to begin the first two games of the years with at least 90 points
  • Dakari Johnson – Was named NBA D-League Player of the Month for the month of November and leads his team with 11 double-doubles
  • Trey Lyles – Has scored in double figures in 18 games this season
  • Jamal Murray – Has scored in double figures in eight of the last 11 games
  • Alex Poythress – Leads the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in scoring and rebounding to go along with nine double-doubles
  • Karl Towns – The reigning NBA Rookie of the Year is third in the league with 42 double-doubles, highlighted by a 47-point, 18-rebound game in November vs. the Knicks
  • John Wall – Was named the NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month for December and currently leads all Eastern Conference guards in assists, steals and double-doubles (trails only triple-double machines Russell Westbrook and James Harden among all guards in double-doubles)

Here’s the schedule of events:

Friday, Feb. 17
BBVA Rising Stars Challenge (9 p.m. ET | TNT) – Booker, Lyles, Murray, Towns

Saturday, Feb. 18
NBA D-League All-Star Game (2:30 p.m. ET | NBA TV) – Johnson, Poythress
Taco Bell Skills Challenge (8 p.m. ET | TNT) – Booker, Cousins, Davis, Wall

Sunday, Feb. 19
NBA All-Star Game (8 p.m. ET | TNT) – Cousins, Davis, Wall

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BBNBA: Eric Bledsoe messes around for a triple-double

eric-bledsoe-devin-booker

On an extremely busy night in the NBA for former Kentucky Wildcats, one of the original members of the Coach Cal era in Lexington, Eric Bledsoe, stole the show. Bledsoe turned in his 3rd career triple-double on a night when several other former Cats could’ve gotten the title honors for this post. Let’s take a look at what the nearly 20 Kentucky guys did in NBA action last night.

bbnba-bled

Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix Suns (137-101 win over Lakers)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
 36  7-14 3-6  8-9  2  8  10 13  2  0  3  1  +31  25

Shoutout to the Suns’ Twitter account for a highlight video dedicated to E-Bled’s triple-double.

bbnba-book

Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (137-101 win over Lakers)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
 30  9-14  4-7  1-2  1  3  4  1  0  1  3  3 +29  23

Booker finishes the oop in transition.

bbnba-knight

Brandon Knight, Phoenix Suns (137-101 win over Lakers)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
 21  5-10  1-4  0-0  0  2  2  4  0  1  0  2  +5  11

 

bbnba-ulis

Tyler Ulis, Phoenix Suns (137-101 win over Lakers)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
 6  1-1  0-0  0-0  0  0  0  4  0  0  1  1  +10  2

 

bbnba-randle

Julius Randle, Los Angeles Lakers (137-101 loss to Suns)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
 29  4-9  0-0  5-5  3  7  10  3  1  0  0  4  -30  13

 

bbnba-towns

Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves (112-99 win over Nuggets)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
 39  8-19  1-2 7-8 4  15  19  2  1  0  0  2  +13  24

Put-back slam with authority for KAT.

Karl finishes through contact, but no foul called…

bbnba-murray

Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets (112-99 loss to Timberwolves)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
 23  5-13  4-8  0-0  1 1  2  0  0  0 4  1  -9  14

Glad Denver could keep the bow-and-arrow tradition going for Jamal Murray.

bbnba-davis

Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans (95-91 win over Grizzlies)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
 39  9-20  0-1  0-0  0 7  7  2  1  2  3  2  +1  18

Filthy fade-away to beat the shot block here.

(more…)


Calipari’s UK Dream Team would cost you $63 million this season

If you were to sign each of the five ex-Wildcats in Calipari’s dream lineup to a one-year deal at their current salaries, it would cost your hypothetical NBA franchise a hypothetical $63,014,848 to sign the hypothetical lineup.

Pretty pricey, but doable, hypothetically:

2016/17 Salaries

John Wall: $15,756,438
Devin Booker: $2,223,600
Anthony Davis: $22,116,750
Karl-Anthony Towns: $5,960,160
DeMarcus Cousins: $16,957,900

= $63,014,848

And that is getting a good bargain on Devin Booker and Karl-Anthony Towns, who are still in their rookie contracts. Wait a couple more years and you will be paying top dollar for those two as they will almost certainly be max-deal players when it is time to sign a second deal.

Then there is DeMarcus Cousins, who is expected to sign a $200 million contract with the Kings this summer.

Point being: Calipari’s dream team is expensive. (And you better get it now, hypothetically, before it gets much worse.)


Calipari names his dream starting five from UK

Calipari names his dream starting five from UK

KSR-0564

Thanks to the good people over at Bleacher Report, we now know John Calipari’s dream starting five from his former Wildcats in the NBA.

In an interview following the win at Mississippi State last month, Cal was asked to name his hypothetical starting lineup, to which he responded, “Well, Anthony Davis. John Wall. Karl Towns. I’d probably play DeMarcus Cousins and let Anthony be a 3. And what would the last position be? Shooting guard? I’d probably say Devin Booker.”

So, that lineup would look like this:

G – John Wall
G – Devin Booker
F – Anthony Davis
F – Karl-Anthony Towns
C – DeMarcus Cousins

He then said, “But you still have Brandon [Knight]. You still have Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who is the X-factor, and he would be included on that team. You still have Eric Bledsoe, who, there may be games that he starts, just because of who he is. You still have Julius [Randle]. You still have Trey [Lyles].”

“But as I’m telling you all these names—Brandon Knight, Eric Bledsoe, Julius Randle. They’re all max guys. You’d have a team of 10 or 12 max players. It can’t happen. But here’s what I’d like to have: My goal before I retire is 12 guys in the All-Star Game.”

Now let me ask you, Big Blue Nation: Who is your starting five? We’ve done this several times before, but now that Cal has opened it up to position-less basketball, it is a whole new debate.

It’s lame to agree with Cal, but that’s the same five I would take as the players are in their current form. If I have to divert from Cal’s roster for the sake of the discussion, give me Eric Bledsoe for Devin Booker. Other than that, it’s tough to disagree.


The NBA D-League is now the NBA G-League

We live in a world where everyone needs a filter to decipher the difference between news and “fake news,” America’s new favorite phrase.  When I saw the headline, “NBA D-League will now be the NBA G-League,” my “fake news” senses started buzzing.  Surely that could not be true, right?  Wrong.

The NBA announced its minor league will no longer be the “Developmental League,” changing its name to the NBA Gatorade League, creating the first entitlement partnership in professional sports, starting in the 2017-18 season.

As much as people despise the integration of sponsorships into sports (Anthony Davis plays home games at the SmoothieKing Center), this one makes sense after you watch their two-minute promo video.

Still, the masses will refer to the NBA minor leagues as the D-League for many years to come.  Whenever the new name is brought up, many will ask, “What is G?”

Read the NBA’s press release here.


Tyler Ulis Will Have His High School Jersey Retired

Phoenix Sun and former Kentucky point guard Tyler Ulis will be the first person to have his jersey hanging from the rafters at Chicago’s Marian Catholic High School.

Ulis will be honored Friday at halftime during Marian’s rivalry matchup.  The Suns will be in town to play the Bulls, but with the games going on at the same time, it’s safe to say it’s unlikely Ulis will be able to make it to his old stomping grounds.

Before Ulis was a consensus All-American, SEC Player (and Defensive Player) of the Year, Bob Cousy Award winner and a second round selection by the Suns, he earned McDonald’s All-American honors in high school.  Hw rewrote the record books during his time at Marian to become the school’s leader in points (2,335) and assists (578).

Before he was a star at Marian, he was a tiny headache for Andrew Harrison on the AAU circuit.


The 5 best UK pictures on social media this weekend

The 5 best UK pictures on social media this weekend

socmedia5

It was a busy weekend in UK land, so if you weren’t able to keep up with your favorite UK players on social media, it’s totally understandable. Here are the five best posts from former Cats on social media this weekend, counting down from number five:

5. Skal Labissiere and his dogs

Just chilling #Yogi #Dash #pomsky #chowchow @yogi_dash

A photo posted by Skal Labissière (@skal_lab) on

If you know me, you know that any dog picture’s gonna make the top five.

4. Andrew Harrison, Vince Carter & fellow Grizzlies in a photo booth

😂

A photo posted by Andrew Harrison (@drewroc5) on

As always, Andrew is all business, even in candid photobooth shots.

3. Marcus Lee and Dakari Johnson in Oakland

Forever family! Keep killin it bro @dakarijohnson

A photo posted by Marcus Lee🎗 (@justmarcuslee) on

Marcus Lee came to Dakari’s game in Oakland yesterday to see his former teammate put up 21 points and 7 rebounds. This weekend, Dakari will play in the D-League All-Stars Game with fellow former Cat Alex Poythress in New Orleans.

2. Julius Randle napping with his newborn son

My babies 😩😍

A photo posted by Kendra Shaw (@kendra.shaw) on

It doesn’t get more adorable than that.

Finally, drum roll please…

1. Anthony Davis trolling Buddy Hield

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By now, you’ve probably seen Buddy Hield’s cheap shot to DeMarcus Cousins’ nether regions from last night’s Pelicans/Kings game, and although Hield tried to deny he was going for Cousins’ groin, Anthony Davis gave him grief on SnapChat.

Well done, AD.


Anthony Davis and Karl Towns on Kentucky: “It’s a brotherhood”

Anthony Davis and Karl Towns on Kentucky: “It’s a brotherhood”

Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 9.16.16 AM

Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, and Karl Towns are three of John Calipari’s most successful pros, and, in turn, all three will participate in this weekend’s NBA All-Star festivities. Davis, Cousins, and Towns’ time at Kentucky never overlapped, but as we’ve seen continuously in the Calipari era, they still feel a kinship. Davis and Towns opened up to the Star Tribune’s Jerry Zgoda about how the UK “brotherhood” has helped them bond at the next level.

“It’s a brotherhood,” Towns said. “No matter if you were the star player to the last player on the bench, there’s a journey you have to go through and it’s the same journey. No one will understand unless you’re a player there.”

Davis agreed.

“Cal preaches family, so you just stick with that for the rest of your career no matter where you are,” said Davis. “When you see guys who played at Kentucky, you already have that connection with them even when you don’t know them.”

Is there anything more Karl than Karl talking to alums going back to the 1980’s about the Kentucky basketball experience? Because he says he did that. Of course.

With NBA All-Star weekend coming up, get ready for more articles like this. Here’s the schedule of festivities:

  • Rising Stars Challenge (Friday, 9 p.m.): Karl Towns, Devin Booker, Jamal Murray, Trey Lyles
  • D-League All-Star Game (Saturday, 2:30 p.m.): Dakari Johnson and Alex Poythress
  • Skills Challenge (Saturday, 8 p.m.): Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall, Devin Booker
  • All-Star Game (Sunday, 8 p.m.): Anthony Davis (starter), DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall

No better BBNBA moment than Davis and Cousins celebrating with Karl after he won the Taco Bell Skills Challenge last year:

Awesome.


@KentuckyMBB

Eric Bledsoe’s grandmother makes a cameo in UK’s behind-the-scenes video of the Alabama win

@KentuckyMBB

@KentuckyMBB

Saturday’s win at Alabama was huge, and in turn, UK has released a behind-the-scenes video of the team’s trip to Tuscaloosa, which includes an awesome cameo by Eric Bledsoe’s grandmother, who came to see the team in the locker room afterwards. When Calipari asked Grandma Bledsoe thought the Cats did, all she could do was dance:

Very cool. Let’s keep those happy locker room vibes going tomorrow night.


BBNBA: Boogie gets hit in the family jewels, then gets a double-double

BBNBA: Boogie gets hit in the family jewels, then gets a double-double

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Last night was a rough night for DeMarcus Cousins, who got hit in the nuts by Pelicans guard Buddy Hield:

Thankfully, Hield got kicked out for that, but earlier in the game, Boogie got T’d up for going after a rebound with Donatas Motiejunas, then arguing with the referee after the call:

That was Cousins’ 17th technical this season, and if he picks up one more, he’ll get a one-game suspension; Boogie had a great quote about it after the game, telling reporters, “I’ve accepted it. Shit, they’re after me, so just play.” (Quote via Sean Cunningham)

LOL. Drama aside, DeMarcus did plenty of great things last night, so that’s where we’ll start today’s BBNBA roundup.

bbnba-cousinsDeMarcus Cousins, Kings (105-99 win over the Pelicans)

MIN

FG

3PT

FT

OREB

DREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

+/-

PTS

36

7-14

0-4

14-16

2

12

14

7

2

1

7

3

+1

28

Boogie ended up getting a double-double last night, putting up 28 points, 14 rebounds, and 7 assists:


bbnba-davisAnthony Davis, Pelicans (105-99 loss to the Kings)

MIN

FG

3PT

FT

OREB

DREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

+/-

PTS

40

11-24

1-2

9-9

1

9

10

3

2

1

6

4

-1

32

Meanwhile, Anthony had another 30+ point night, and did ridiculous stuff like this:

Did you know he was a point guard before his growth spurt in high school??? Here are the complete highlights form his duel with Boogie:


bbnba-cauley-stein-wcsWillie Cauley-Stein, Kings (105-99 win over the Pelicans)

MIN

FG

3PT

FT

OREB

DREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

+/-

PTS

18

3-6

0-0

2-2

0

4

4

1

0

0

1

1

+4

8


bbnba-labissiereSkal Labissiere, Kings (105-99 win over the Pelicans)

DNP – Coach’s Decision


bbnba-jonesTerrence Jones, Pelicans (105-99 loss to the Kings)

DNP — Thumb injury


bbnba-townsKarl Towns, Timberwolves (117-89 win over the Bulls)

MIN

FG

3PT

FT

OREB

DREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

+/-

PTS

34

8-11

0-2

6-6

1

6

7

4

1

0

1

1

+26

22

A relatively quiet night for Towns, who “only” had 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists, but his +26 efficiency rate really tells the story.


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Nerlens and Philly end the Heat’s 13-game win streak, Davis 5th youngest player in NBA history to record 750 blocks

Image result for nerlens noel getty images

The 76ers ended the Miami Heat’s 13-game win streak in Philadephia on Saturday night. Nerlens led Philly in scoring with 19 points on 9-12 shooting, and had had 4 steals to go with it. After some early season frustrations with the team, and talk of him being traded, Noel seems to be finding his stride at the right time on a rising 76ers team.

With Jahlil Okafor on the trading block, and Joel Embiid out with a knee injury, Nerlens claimed the starting spot and made the most of his 32 minutes on the court last night. Check out this dagger of a highlight to put the game away last night. Trust the process.

Anthony Davis is also now the fifth-youngest player in NBA history to have reached 750 career blocks. The crazy thing to think is how much quicker he would have gotten there had his body not been constructed of glass. In his 310th career game on Friday he recorded the 750th block. Congrats AD.

Last night, both Tyler Ulis and James Young got in on some scoring action as well. Ulis ended up with 13 points on 5-13 shooting in a blowout loss to the Rockets, and Jimmy Buckets dropped 10 points, going 4-7 from the field while seeing some extended minutes for the Celts.