Celtics

20 Under 25: Jaylen Brown enters critical 2019-20 season with Celtics

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

20 Under 25: Jaylen Brown enters critical 2019-20 season with Celtics

People often say “the sky’s the limit” to describe a young player. Is it a fair label for Jaylen Brown? 

The perception of the 22-year-old Brown is ever-changing. First he was a reach of a draft pick, then he was a steal and a star in the making. An-up-and down third season was an overall step back statistically, so what is he now and, more importantly, what will he be going forward? 

A lot depends on where one places the blame for that third season, which saw his minutes and points dip. Brown could have been a victim of the Celtics’ plethora of options or his development simply could have stalled. 

If you feel it’s the former, the bad news is that Kyrie Irving, Terry Rozier and Al Horford leaving doesn’t really solve that on paper. The Celtics still have wings with whom Brown will have to coexist — most notably, Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward. 

Brown went from averaging 14.5 points a game in his second season to averaging 13.0 last season. His postseason points went down from 18 a night to 13.9. Those numbers will have to come up, especially considering Brown is going into the last season of his rookie contract. 

In a league taken over by power-duos, the perceived pair for the Celtics is Kemba Walker and Tatum. Yet is it really outside the realm of possibility that Brown, who’s got one more season under his belt, has a better season than Tatum? 

Brown’s got All-Star talent, but trying to project if and when he reaches his ceiling is what makes him one of the more intriguing players in the NBA. 

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Al Horford out for Celtics-Sixers reunion game due to injury: 'Definitely disappointed'

Al Horford out for Celtics-Sixers reunion game due to injury: 'Definitely disappointed'

BOSTON -- Celtics fans won't be able to boo or cheer Al Horford when the Philadelphia 76ers' starting lineup is announced Thursday.

Horford won't play Thursday against the Celtics due to left knee soreness and left hamstring tightness, the Sixers forward told reporters at TD Garden before the game.

Horford, who got injured during Philly's win over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, will be on Philly's bench but won't suit up in his first trip to Boston since leaving the team in free agency over the summer.

The 33-year-old admitted he’s not too happy about the timing of his injury.

"Obviously I played here, but always during the years coming to play in the Garden, that's a big deal," Horford said.

"It's a special place to play at and I'm definitely disappointed that I won't be able to play tonight."

Some expected Horford to re-sign with Boston this past offseason before the veteran big man signed a four-year, $97 million contract with the rival Sixers.

But Horford still is very welcome at his former home.

"I've got no hard feelings," Horford said. "It's all love."

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.

Tacko Fall, Tremont Waters active for the Celtics vs. 76ers, both reportedly unlikely to play

Tacko Fall, Tremont Waters active for the Celtics vs. 76ers, both reportedly unlikely to play

The Boston Celtics are going to have two of their G League stars available to play against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.

According to multiple reports, including NBC Sports Boston's Abby Chin, 7-foot-5 center Tacko Fall and 5-foot-10 guard Tremont Waters are both expected to be active for the Celtics tonight.

Fall and Waters have starred at the G League level to start the season. Waters won the G League Player of the Month award in November and so far this season, he is averaging 20.2 points, 8.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game for the Red Claws.

As for Fall, he has been excellent as well and has provided the team with an anchor down low on both sides of the floor. He has averaged 15 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in six games, but he has missed time recently due to a knee injury.

Fall and Waters will replace fellow rookies Romeo Langford and Carsen Edwards on the bench. The two were sent down to the Red Claws to make room for Fall and Waters as depth.

That said, though Fall and Waters are listed as active, neither is likely to play in the contest, per Brian Robb of the Boston Sports Journal.

This isn't a major surprise, but it's still possible they could see time if the game ends up being a blowout or if the team gets in foul trouble at either guard or center.

Waters would likely find himself behind Brad Wanamaker and Javonte Green on the bench at guard while Fall will be the team's fourth big overall behind Daniel Theis, Enes Kanter, and Grant Williams.

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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.