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Marcus Smart emphasizes Celtics’ lack of togetherness following disappointing loss

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With five losses in their last seven games, including a disheartening blowout loss to the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night, the Boston Celtics are not looking like a team that was expected to run away with first place in the Eastern Conference prior to the start of the season. So what gives?

Clearly this team has the talent to compete with anyone, but consistency has turned out to be a major problem. According to Celtics guard Marcus Smart, they are lacking the necessary chemistry and trust in each other on the court that will take their game to the next level.

“Nobody is together…We’ve got to have everybody on the same page doing the same things at the same time.” said Smart following Tuesday’s 118-95 loss to the Raptors.

“What are the main ingredients to those collapses? Not being together. And that’s it. We’re just not together. Plain and simple. That’s it…Because if we were together, that wouldn’t happen. We’re all talking and linking up, but like I said, it’s something we’re going through, and it’s something we’re going to have to continue to work at and figure it out.”

Smart finished with just five points, four rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes of action on the night.

The Celtics (37-24) sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. They are currently two games back of fourth place Philadelpha 76ers and 9.5 games back of the first place Milwaukee Bucks. They hope to bounce back when they host the Portland Trail Blazers at TD Garden on Thursday night.

Basketball

Clippers ink Patrick Patterson to one-year, minimum-salary contract

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The Los Angeles Clippers got themselves a veteran forward to round out their roster heading into a highly anticipated 2019/2020 season.

The team has officially signed Patrick Patterson to a one-year, minimum contract worth approximately $2.33 million.

The 30-year old, who will be entering his 10th season since being selected 14th overall in the 2010 NBA Draft, forfeited $3.5 million by agreeing to a buy out in the final season of his three-year deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier this offseason.

Patterson averaged a career low 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 63 games in 2018/19.

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Basketball

Kyle Lowry hoping to stay with Raptors long term: ‘I would love to have an extension’

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Fresh off the high of winning an NBA championship, Kyle Lowry has expressed his desire to remain with the Raptors organization for the longterm.

The 33-year old, who will become an unrestricted free agent next summer, admits that he has yet to have contract discussions with the franchise, but hopes it doesn’t get to that point. He hopes he can work out a deal with the team beforehand.

“I want to be there…I would love to have an extension. We’ll see what happens. I would love to be here long term, but we’ll find out, and have that discussion when the time is right.” said Lowry while practicing with Team USA earlier this week.

Lowry, who was initially acquired in a trade with the Houston Rockets back in July 2012, has averaged 17.4 points, 7.1 assists and 4.9 rebounds over a span of seven seasons and 497 career games with the franchise.

Arguably the greatest Raptor of all-time, Lowry has also made five NBA All-Star appearances, and has an All-NBA Third Team selection under his belt.

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Basketball

RJ Barrett will not play for Canada at FIBA World Cup due to mild calf strain

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Canada will be missing a key piece heading into the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.

Mississauga, Ontario native and New York Knicks’ 2019 third overall pick RJ Barrett announced that he will not represent Canada on the international stage this summer due to a mild calf strain he sustained during the Summer League.

However, the 19-year old will still be with the national team during training camp and participate in team activities. His father Rowan Barrett currently serves as a general manager for Team Canada.

Barrett averaged 15.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.2 rebounds in five Summer League games back in June.

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