November 15, 2012

Melo, Joseph sent from Celts to Claws

Fab Melo and Kris Joseph, both pro rookies, will receive the playing time not available in Boston.

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - While Boston played before a boisterous home crowd Wednesday night, two Celtics sweated through practice at an empty Portland Expo.

20121114_RedClaws
click image to enlarge

Fab Melo, according to Celtics Coach Doc Rivers, may become dominant for the Maine Red Claws because the D-League, he said, doesn’t have numerous big men.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

20121114_RedClaws
click image to enlarge

The Celtics weren’t sure they really wanted to send Kris Joseph to Maine, but he needs the playing time.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

Boston sent 7-foot center Fab Melo and 6-7 small forward Kris Joseph to Portland to join the Maine Red Claws.

"They fit right in with the guys," Coach Mike Taylor said. "I know it's not easy for those guys (but) I think they look at this as a great opportunity to work on their game."

Both Melo and Joseph expected the move.

"This move was really important for me," Joseph said, "to get more reps and more game-time experience.

"I saw (the move to Portland) coming, just how the rotation was. As a small forward, being behind Paul (Pierce) and being behind Jeff (Green), it was tough getting reps, even in practice."

Joseph played in one game for the Celtics, for three minutes.

Melo never dressed for a game; NBA teams can put only 13 of their 15 roster players in uniform each game. Melo and injured guard Avery Bradley were the ones to sit out.

"Of course I wanted to play but I understand the process," Melo said. "I'm getting better every day. I'm working on my game. I have to be patient. My time will come."

Both players were drafted out of Syracuse last year, Melo in the first round (22nd overall) and Joseph in the second (51st).

Melo, 22, is a 7-footer who didn't begin playing basketball in his native Brazil until he was 16.

"Soccer didn't work out for me," Melo said. "I was tall so I started playing basketball."

When Melo took a recruiting visit to Syracuse, he made an impression.

"I thought he was huge," Joseph said. "We played a little pickup basketball and I could see the potential. He was raw, but he had the ability and the willingness to learn.

"When he came back as a freshman, I saw improvement, so I knew he had the work ethic to get better."

Joseph, 24, grew up in Montreal, progressing from using "garbage cans for baskets in a schoolyard" to the Boys and Girls Club gym, then youth leagues.

Joseph came to the U.S. and played two years for Archbishop Carroll High in Washington D.C., before a four-year career at Syracuse (1,476 points/627 rebounds).

Celtics Coach Doc Rivers was quoted on the team website, saying he considered keeping Joseph but there just wasn't enough playing time. Rivers also said he has high hopes for Melo.

"I think (Melo) will be really good in the D-League because there's not a lot of bigs," Rivers said. "So I'm expecting him to almost be dominant."

This is the Red Claws' fourth season and their first as the sole affiliate of the Celtics.

In previous years, Maine received players from Boston, Charlotte and Philadelphia. Most of their stays were short (although Charlotte center Alexis Ajinca remained for more than two months).

Now that Boston is in charge of the Red Claws' basketball operations, players in Portland will run the same systems Rivers uses with the Celtics. So not only will Melo and Joseph get playing time, they will continue to get experience in the Celtics' way of doing things.

"Ultimately that's what this league is for, to develop and go back to your respective teams and show what you've worked on," Joseph said.

Joseph said the Celtics didn't say how long he and Melo will be in Maine.

While here, both remain on the Celtics' 15-man roster and receive their NBA salary.

And according to D-League rules, the NBA players don't count as part of the league's 10-man roster limit.

NOTES: The Red Claws don't expect to make any roster moves until next week, but other teams are making cuts. The Iowa Energy already waived six players, including Ralph Mims, the former Brunswick High and Florida State standout.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH

 

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)


 

Blogs

Clearing the Bases - Yesterday
Pitching, pitching, pitching

More PPH Blogs

Winter sports 2013-2014

High School Football 2013

Fall sports photos