Celtics draft pick Thornton back from Australia


Celtics draft pick Thornton back from Australia

BOSTON - Remember Marcus Thornton?

No, not that Marcus Thornton that the Celtics traded away last season. The William & Mary guard Marcus Thornton drafted by the Celtics with the No. 45 pick in this year's NBA Draft.

Well, he's back from Australia and now with the Celtics' D-League affiliate Maine Red Claws for the remainder of their season.

Thornton played in 28 games with the Sydney Kings, averaging 12.8 points on 37.7-percent shooting from the filed. He shot 28-percent from three-point range.

Thornton met with Brad Stevens at a recent Celtics home game, sitting in his office with him for a bit, according to Stevens. The two discussed his time in Australia, among other things.

"It was a great learning experience for him," Stevens said. "They didn’t have the year that they wanted to have or he wanted to have. The good part about him playing in Australia is that it gives him a chance to join our D-League team. Great for him from an extended minutes standpoint, and also for us for him to join our system up in Maine."

The Celtics currently have an extra roster spot available, but there haven't been any discussion about using it on Thornton, Stevens said on Wednesday.

It doesn't sound like Thornton is at the point yet where he can contribute at the NBA level, but that's what the D-League is for.

"He’s a guy, like many of our young players who have things to work on to play at this level, but he has ultimate burst with the ball, he's got the ability to score the ball off pick and rolls and screening actions. It’s just a matter of finding more rhythm doing that at the professional level."

Classic Celtics: Watch C's outlast Suns in epic 1976 NBA Finals Game 5

Classic Celtics: Watch C's outlast Suns in epic 1976 NBA Finals Game 5

When it's referred to as "the greatest game ever played," it's probably worth re-watching.

NBC Sports Boston's "Classic Celtics" series -- which featured Larry Bird's dominant performance in Game 6 of the 1986 NBA Finals on Friday -- is back this Sunday with a gem from the archives: Game 5 of the 1976 NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns.

With the series knotted at 2-2, the Celtics and Suns battled through three overtimes that featured several controversial calls before C's emerged with a thrilling 128-126 win at the Boston Garden.

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Buoyed that victory, the Celtics went on to win Game 6 and secure what would be the last NBA championship for the iconic core of John Havlicek, Dave Cowens, Jo Jo White, Paul Silas and head coach Tommy Heinsohn.

Our re-broadcast of Celtics-Suns airs Sunday at 7 p.m. ET, and Heinsohn will join Brian Scalabrine to provide color commentary throughout the game. 

Here's how to watch:

When: Sunday, April 5, 7 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Boston
Streaming: NBCSportsBoston.com and in the MyTeams app

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Enes Kanter wants to finish season, thinks Celtics have a chance to win title

Enes Kanter wants to finish season, thinks Celtics have a chance to win title

It has now been 25 days since the Boston Celtics last played and 24 days since the NBA suspended its season over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. And right now, it's unclear when -- or if -- the season will resume.

And even if the games do return, there is going to be an adjustment period for players as they look to get back into game shape. In a Zoom conference on Friday, Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter outlined why the league can't just jump right back into the playoffs without any sort of tune-up.

"I think we’ll need two to three weeks just to get back on the court because people are in their apartments and not moving at all," Kanter said, as transcribed by Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. "We have to make sure everyone is doing their stuff and in great shape, so they can go out and compete. If you jump straight to playoffs, playoffs are like a war, where you have to give it everything you have. Make sure everyone is 100 percent healthy, in game shape, and then we can compete."

This completely makes sense, as the last thing the league wants is to put the players in danger of suffering long-term injuries by bringing them back too quickly. Additionally, the league probably would also want their players in peak physical shape in order to avoid fielding a subpar product in the playoffs.

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Even with the uncertainty surrounding a potential NBA return, Kanter is holding out hope that the season will return. And he's pretty confident in the C's chances of going all the way if it does happen.

"We are competitors man, so we want to go out there and finish the season,'' he said. "Especially, like, it’s crazy — we actually have a really good chance to go out there and win a championship.''

Kanter has a point. The Celtics were the No. 3 seed in the East at the time of the league's suspension, but with time to get healthy, they may have a chance to have their full roster available, something they've rarely had this season. And their relative youth could allow them to get into shape quicker than some other more veteran-laden teams.

Still, until the league actually does return, it'll be more waiting and wondering what could've been for the Celtics had the season continued.

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