How many boards for Kevin Love?


How many boards for Kevin Love?

With the Celtics in Minnesota for tonight's tango with the Timberwolves, there's naturally a ton of talk about Kevin Garnett and his return to the city he once called home.

But this year, for the first time since Garnett escaped the Land O' Lakes, there's another Kevin stealing headlines in this match-up.

Of course, I'm talking about Celtics assistant coach Kevin Eastman.

No, I'm talking about Kevin Love. The 23-year-old superstar, and recent first-time All Star, who comes into tonight as the league's third-leading scorer (26.9 ppg), second-leading rebounder (13.9) and a legitimate (albeit fading) MVP candidate.

He's also a walking double-double, with 44 in 48 games this year.

Meanwhile, the Celtics only have 38 double-double as a team. (16 for KG, 14 for Rondo, four for Pierce, three for Bass and training camp MVP-worthy one for Jermaine O'Neal). As a team, the Celtics also have the league's third worst rebounding percentage, have lost their only two centers for the season and just generally stink when it comes to keeping the other team off the boards.

That's led to an interesting question throughout Celtics circles. One that I find far more fascinating than the old: What kind of reaction will the fans give Garnett?

It is: How many rebounds is Kevin Love going to have against the Celtics?

Could he go for 30?

Maybe a 3030? Hey, it wouldn't be the first time

Or how about 3020? That's probably a little more reasonable, and actually, it might not be so bad. After all, Love's posted 30 points and 20 rebounds in a game three times this season.

The Wolves record in those games? 1-2.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?


BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?

0:41 - Kyle Draper, Brain Scalabrine, Tommy Heinsohn, and Mike Gorman break down the Celtics loss to the Cavs and Gordon Hayward’s injury.

4:22 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions to the gruesome injury to Gordon Hayward and how it impacted the game.

9:39 - Dr. Chris Chihlas joins BST to give his medical opinion on Gordon Hayward and if he thinks there is a chance Hayward could return this season. 

13:40 - Chris Mannix and A. Sherrod Blakely discuss what the feeling was like in the arena when Hayward went down but how there is actually a 'cautious optimism' surrounding the injury.

Jayson Tatum flashes potential with double-double debut

Jayson Tatum flashes potential with double-double debut

CLEVELAND – Jayson Tatum has seen plenty of games featuring Cleveland’s LeBron James.

And in the Boston Celtics’ preparation for Tuesday night’s matchup, the 19-year-old rookie had seen plenty of James on film.

But facing him, up close and personal, was something entirely different.

“He’s way bigger than I thought,” Tatum said. “He’s way better than I imagined. That’s the reason why he is who he is.”


James’ play was among the key factors in Cleveland handing Boston a 102-99 loss on Tuesday night.

But Tatum showed he too has some big-time potential by finishing with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds which included some nifty drives to the basket as well as showing the ability to hold his own on the glass in terms of rebounding the basketball.

The last Celtics rookie to post a double-double on opening night?

That was Larry Bird back in 1980, helping the Celtics to a 114-106 win over the Houston Rockets.

What’s even crazier?

Bird had 14 points and 10 rebounds in that Rockets game, too.

Tatum’s solid performance didn’t seem in the making in the first half when Tatum had missed all five of his shot attempts while tallying just two points.

But as the Celtics mounted their comeback, Tatum’s play was a key to the team’s improved play.

“Just being more relaxed” was how Tatum described his improved play in the second half.

Tatum added, “first half, I think I was nervous and anxious. And then the game slowed down for me. That helped out a lot.”

And the Celtics will need even more from Tatum going forward after Gordon Hayward’s left ankle injury that will keep him sidelined indefinitely.

There was plenty of room for him to improve upon following Tuesday’s game.

But for the most part, head coach Brad Stevens liked what he saw from the rookie.

“Jayson was pretty good,” Stevens said. “He did a pretty good job for a first game. That’s pretty hard to do, to be thrown into this environment, first game and play that well.”