Celtics

Brad Stevens shares positive update on Danny Ainge after heart attack

Brad Stevens shares positive update on Danny Ainge after heart attack

The Boston Celtics have a big playoff game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night, but there were far more important matters to discuss at shootaround.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens offered another update Friday on president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, who suffered a mild heart attack Tuesday in Milwaukee.

And while Stevens hasn't spoken to Ainge directly, he had good news to pass along from his boss' son, Austin Ainge.

"I have not talked to him. He’s back in Boston," Stevens said. "Austin was here this morning. I didn’t want to bother Danny; the last thing he needs is me to reach out to him right now, I think.

"But Austin says he’s doing well. He slept in his own bed last night and was home and in good spirits this morning, so all signs are encouraging."

The Celtics announced the news of Ainge's heart attack Thursday, prompting an outpouring of support and well wishes from around the league.

Ainge, who turned 60 in March, also had a mild heart attack in 2009 but made a full recovery, and the C's are hoping he can do the same a decade later.

Boston takes on the Bucks in Game 3 on Friday night with their second-round series tied at 1-1.

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NBA Power Rankings: Trade winds are starting to pick up

NBA Power Rankings: Trade winds are starting to pick up

Though we often think about NBA trade rumors closer towards the February trade deadline, there a handful of teams that might be open to moving players they signed this past summer, moves that can be executed after December 15. 

Teams look to strike for a variety of reasons, whether it’s to add a talent that they think can take to another stratosphere in terms of their play, to clear salary cap space going forward, or to add what may be the missing piece for a run at the Larry O’Brien Trophy. 

Much of the talk surrounding the Boston Celtics and what they need to do to get better revolves around the center position. Multiple league sources have indicated the Celtics are open to the idea if a team wants to talk, but they are not aggressively looking to made a trade … yet. 

“You just never really know with Danny,” a league executive told NBC Sports Boston. “A ‘no’ on a deal today, could become a ‘hey, let’s do it’ tomorrow depending on if circumstances play out that make doing a deal a logical, sensible move to make."

And as deals get talked about and eventually completed, it also will impact where teams stack up in our weekly power rankings.

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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.

Marcus Smart out, Al Horford questionable for Celtics-76ers showdown

Marcus Smart out, Al Horford questionable for Celtics-76ers showdown

The Boston Celtics will be without one of their most important players Thursday night when they host the rival Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden.

Smart, who's dealing with a left eye infection, was officially ruled out by the C's early Thursday afternoon. The veteran guard has missed the last two games, including Wednesday night's road loss to the Indiana Pacers.

The encouraging injury news for Boston is that Gordon Hayward is probable. He got whacked in the face during the fourth quarter of Wednesday's game and didn't return.

Second-year center Robert Williams' absence also will be felt. The 76ers have a big frontcourt with plenty of size and length, headlined by star center Joel Embiid and power forward Al Horford. The Celtics don't have a ton of depth at center, and with Williams out, expect Enes Kanter and Daniel Theis to play the majority of the minutes against Embiid.

Speaking of Horford, he's questionable to play in his first game back in Boston since he left the Celtics to sign with the 76ers in July as a free agent.

Thursday's game is the second meeting of the season between these rivals. The Sixers beat the Celtics in Philadelphia on opening night. Boston is 10-0 at home.

Jaylen Brown says Horford's return 'should be celebrated'>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.