Celtics

That 617 Life Podcast: Are the Celtics contenders or pretenders?

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

That 617 Life Podcast: Are the Celtics contenders or pretenders?

The Boston Celtics are coming off a disappointing back-to-back which saw them drop games to the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers. While these two teams are among the best in the Eastern Conference, the losses have sparked some debate about this Celtics club.

Are they contenders or pretenders?

While the team has a 17-7 record, there has been chatter that because the team hasn't beaten the best teams in the East, they may not be able to make a lot of noise in the playoffs. But is that chatter being fueled by recency bias and the team's two latest losses?

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Shanda, Cerrone, and a special guest from NBC Sports Boston, Kyle Draper, debated the issue on this week's episode of "That 617 Life Podcast".

Draper defended the Celtics right out of the gate and pointed to the available personnel and level of competition the team has faced as reasons for the mini losing streak.

They played two very good teams. Can we at least say that? I'm not gonna be down on this team or concerned about this team. Let's go back to that Indiana game. If Gordon Hayward doesn't leave that game, if Jaylen Brown doesn't foul out, maybe you win that game. And you played without Marcus Smart. Same thing against Philly. That was a high-level game. I thought both teams played well.

Cerrone agreed with Draper and called the Celtics "one of the tougher outs in the NBA" ... when everyone's healthy. But getting everyone healthy is the big key for the team.

I think they'll get into a groove and they've gotta get into a rhythm as a team the more these guys stay healthy. That is the key to the whole thing, it's health.

The Celtics have seen a number of starters miss significant time with injuries and illnesses including Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart. So Cerrone's point is well taken, and the C's will be better off competing in close games against top-tier teams once they have their full complement of players available.

Hear more of the group's thoughts on the Celtics and other major Boston sports stories on the latest episode of the "That 617 Life Podcast", which drops every Friday as part of the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

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Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Mavericks, which tips off Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call at 9:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens joins elite company with win No. 300

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USA TODAY Sports photo

Celtics coach Brad Stevens joins elite company with win No. 300

BOSTON -- For most of Brad Stevens’ time as Boston Celtics coach, he tends to get more out of his teams than most expect. 

So, it was only fitting that on the night he came up with a historic win No. 300 with the Celtics, it would come in a game where his team was at far from full strength. 

No Jaylen Brown (ankle). 

No Jayson Tatum (groin).

No Enes Kanter (hip bruise).

No problem for the Celtics, who rallied from a 16-point deficit before pulling away for a 109-98 win.

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And with the victory, Brad Stevens became just the fifth coach in Celtics history reach the 300-win milestone, a group that includes Red Auerbach (795 wins), Tommy Heinsohn (427), Doc Rivers (416), K.C. Jones (308) and now, Stevens. 

It is an impressive mark when you consider the company he now finds himself in, a fitting accomplishment that speaks to how Stevens has immersed himself into being an NBA head coach after arriving from the college ranks. 

In Stevens’ first couple of seasons in the NBA, when the Celtics weren’t nearly as successful as the Stevens-coached teams at Butler, there were steadily rumblings that Stevens would get tired of the NBA coaching lifestyle and losing, and eventually return to college coaching. 

Despite such speculation, Stevens has consistently maintained that he wants to be in the NBA coaching this team. 

Stevens downplayed the milestone and deflected credit when asked about the milestone after the game:

And games like the comeback win over Orlando on Friday night remind us that Stevens is not only all-in on this Celtics team, but he’s all-in on being one of the winningest coaches in franchise history. He got it done with an undermanned, injury-riddled bunch and it was similar to a number of wins he has amassed that have led him to where he is now. 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Pelicans, which begins Sunday at 5:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, followed by tip-off at 6 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

How Tremont Waters, Romeo Langford fared for Red Claws on Friday

How Tremont Waters, Romeo Langford fared for Red Claws on Friday

Tacko Fall was recalled by the Boston Celtics on Friday, leaving Tremont Waters and Romeo Langford as the center of attention for the Maine Red Claws vs. the Long Island Nets.

It came down to the wire, but the Red Claws were able to squeak out a 118-114 win.

Here are some of Waters and Langford's highlights from the game, along with their stats:

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

TREMONT WATERS

Waters nearly messed around and got a triple-double as he notched 23 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds on the night. He continues to dominate the NBA G League and make a solid case to become a regular with the Celtics sooner rather than later.


ROMEO LANGFORD

Langford finished with 11 points on 4-for-11 shooting. The Celtics' No. 14 overall draft pick also tallied four rebounds and three assists.

Other standout performers included Trey Davis (29 points, seven rebounds) and Yante Maten (17 points, eight rebounds).

The Red Claws return to action Saturday at 5 p.m. ET vs. the Westchester Knicks.

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Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Pelicans, which begins Sunday at 5:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, followed by tip-off at 6 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.