Celtics

CELTICS TALK PODCAST: A Mike & Tommy takeover

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CELTICS TALK PODCAST: A Mike & Tommy takeover

It's a special edition of the "Celtics Talk" podcast, as legends Mike Gorman and Tommy Heinsohn take over to talk about one of the busiest summer's in team history, the re-shaped roster, what kind of a leap Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier could make, and what the ceiling is for Brad Stevens' team.

Jaylen Brown: Al Horford 'should be celebrated' in his return to Boston with 76ers

Jaylen Brown: Al Horford 'should be celebrated' in his return to Boston with 76ers

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jaylen Brown has been around the Celtics fan base long enough to know that they can be hard on former C's who return with their new teams. 

Or in the case of Kyrie Irving, whose new team (the Brooklyn Nets) showed up to the TD Garden while he stayed in Brooklyn because of a shoulder injury, Celtics fans will boo the hell out of you even if you're not in the building.

Brown has no idea how they are going to react to ex-Celtic Al Horford returning for the first time with the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night. 

Still, he has a pretty good idea of what that moment will be like for him when Horford is introduced with the Philly starters. 

“He should be celebrated,” Brown said. “Boston fans, they're gonna do what they want, right? Al came here, contributed, took this team the farthest it’s been since ‘08 [NBA champions]. Al served his time well here."

Brown added, “For me, he was a great leader, a great person… I know I’ll clap for him when they call his name. That’s just me.”

In his three seasons with the Celtics, Boston won 63.8 percent of their games with Horford on the roster in addition to advancing to the playoffs each season, which included consecutive trips (2017 and 2018) to the Eastern Conference finals. 

In 208 regular-season games with the Celtics, Horford averaged 13.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists. 

Semi Ojeleye echoed similar sentiments about Horford. 

“Just a great guy, a great man, a great leader,” Ojeleye told NBC Sports Boston earlier. “All of us young guys who are still here, we learned a lot from our time around Al.”

Still, Brown added, don’t get it twisted. 

He and his teammates from last season have lots of love for Al, before and after the game. 

But when the ball goes up and the game starts? That’s another matter entirely. 

“Every time I see Al, that’s my guy,” Brown said. “I’m looking forward to it, say hello before the game. But while we on the court… don’t talk to me.”

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-76ers, which tips off Thursday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Tommy have the call at 8 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

The latest health concern for Celtics' Gordon Hayward is...

The latest health concern for Celtics' Gordon Hayward is...

INDIANAPOLIS -- The good news is the blow Gordon Hayward took to the face in the third quarter did not produce a broken nose as initially feared when replays showed the impact of Doug McDermott’s palm crashing into Hayward’s nose. 

But Hayward isn't totally in the clear, either. 

Hayward said he felt pretty dizzy shortly after the shot to the face, which, in part, is why he did not return to the floor in the Celtics 122-117 loss to the Pacers on Wednesday night. 

“Because of that, I came back here and went through a concussion thing to make sure everything is OK,” said Hayward who had nine points on 4-for-8 shooting in 25 minutes. 

While Hayward is not in the NBA's concussion protocol, he said he will have additional testing when the Celtics return to Boston, which creates a level of uncertainty about his status for the game Thursday night against Philadelphia.

“I still have a pretty good headache now, but hopefully by tomorrow I should be good,” Hayward said. 

If Hayward is put into concussion protocol, it will be yet another setback to his quest to regain his All-Star form prior to arriving in Boston. 

The 6-foot-8 Hayward missed 13 games this season after suffering a fourth metacarpal fracture in his left hand, an injury that saw Hayward return to the floor ahead of schedule. 

But if he’s in the concussion protocol, there’s no telling how long he will be out. 

And he would be the latest Celtic to be out for what appears to be an indefinite period of time. 

Marcus Smart (eye infection) missed his second game in a row on Wednesday, with no clear sense of when he’ll be back on the floor. 

Ditto for Robert Williams III whose hip injury also kept him out of the lineup for the second game in a row. 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-76ers, which tips off Thursday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Tommy have the call at 8 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.