James Young was supposed to be in Portland, Maine on Sunday for the Red Claws’ game with the Erie Bayhawks, but a last-second decision to keep him on Boston’s five-game road trip allowed him to suit up for the Celtics last night in New Orleans, where he made the most of his opportunity in a season-high 20 minutes.
“I was literally at the gate about to walk in (to the airplane),” Young said Saturday night, after a phone call from the Celtics kept him from boarding the flight back home. “I got up early and everything. Mentally was heading back to Boston.”
Instead, the former Wildcat walked away from the flight and rejoined the team after Brad Stevens realized he could use Young’s length and more depth in Boston’s banged up backcourt.
The decision proved to be the correct one, as Young was a key contributor in his team’s 111-93 win over Anthony Davis and the Pelicans last night.
Stevens singled out two big plays by Young for preventing second-half Pelican runs.
One was this strip of Anthony Davis and dish to Evan Turner:
The other was this tough finish in transition:
And to think, he was only a few steps toward an airplane from being back in Maine and missing his shot at sticking around with the Celtics.