Celtics

Brian Scalabrine breaks down the difference between Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker

Brian Scalabrine breaks down the difference between Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker

NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-76ers starts at 6:30pm Wednesday with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 7:30pm.

The Boston Celtics are one of the most different-looking teams in a changed NBA landscape. And one of the biggest changes they underwent came at point guard.

The Celtics lost Kyrie Irving to free agency two seasons after acquiring him in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Irving left the team amid rumors of discord in the locker room and joined the Brooklyn Nets.

To replace Irving, the Celtics signed Kemba Walker. Walker was considered to be the best player available after Irving on the free-agent point guard market. He made the All-Star team with the Charlotte Hornets multiple times and averaged 25.6 points per game in his final season with the team.

The transition away from Irving won't be seamless, but it will be an interesting one. As NBC Sports Boston's Brian Scalabrine outlined in the network's NBA preview show, Irving and Walker play differently and while Irving may be the better player, Walker may fit the Celtics better.

Kyrie's probably a better player. He's bigger. He can get to the basket. But in Boston, they're thinking now with Kyrie gone, the rest of the guys are able to shine. So Kemba Walker, in which he doesn't say anything bad about anybody, now, he comes in and allows Jaylen Brown to do his thing. He allows Jayson Tatum to do his thing. Kemba Walker -- high volume pick and roll player in Charlotte -- Brad is using him mostly off the ball. You see plays like that coming through dribble handoffs.

It's going to be really interesting the way that coach uses Kemba Walker. It's going to be very different than the way they used Kyrie Irving.

Scalabrine and Philadelphia 76ers insider Marc Jackson would also go on to discuss the Celtics' loss of Al Horford and how his departure hurts the C's but helps the 76ers. Watch the segment in full via the video above or click here to see the whole thing.

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Kyrie Irving (shoulder) out indefinitely, could miss March 3 game in Boston

Kyrie Irving (shoulder) out indefinitely, could miss March 3 game in Boston

It looks like Boston Celtics fans may have to wait even longer to witness Kyrie Irving's return to TD Garden.

The ex-Celtics guard has been ruled out indefinitely after re-aggravating his injured right shoulder, Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said Tuesday. That likely puts Irving's status in doubt for the March 3 C's-Nets game in Boston.


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Irving didn't travel to Boston when his Nets visited the Celtics on Nov. 27. The shoulder injury has limited him to only 20 games this season, but he's been effective when healthy, averaging 27.4 points and 6.4 assists per game. 

This Friday is Jayson Tatum Day here at NBC Sports Boston. Be sure to check out our exclusive content around Tatum throughout the day, both online and on the broadcast of Celtics-Timberwolves, which begins Friday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 8 p.m. You can also stream it on the MyTeams App.

That 617 Life Podcast: What can NBA do to improve dunk and 3-point contests?

That 617 Life Podcast: What can NBA do to improve dunk and 3-point contests?

If you missed this year's NBA All-Star Game, you missed one of the most entertaining All-Star events in recent sports history.

Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis came down to the wire, with both teams battling at 100-percent effort to reach the target score of 157 under the game's new format. Defense was being played at a tremendously high level, which we've hardly ever seen in any NBA All-Star Game. Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry even took two charges.

But as great as the game was, All-Star Weekend as a whole could still use some improvement. Particularly in the dunk and 3-point contests.

On the latest edition of the "That 617 Life" podcast, hosts Leroy Irvin, Shanda Foster, and Cerrone Battle discuss what the NBA could do to make them better:

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.

Battle thought the 3-point and dunk contests were entertaining, but would like to see more participants:

Another issue I have with All-Star Weekend when it comes to the 3-point contest and the dunk contest is the amount of participants ... I remember Terry Porter and Mark Price going at it at the same time. It was like 12 guys in the contest, you know what I'm saying?

And in the dunk contest -- I mean at one point back in the 80's it was like 10 dudes trying to win it. And it's like now, as good as it is, I would love to see more participants. I want to see more people in it. I want to see a longer contest. A true tournament.

Foster agrees with Battle and wants to see some of the biggest stars in the league step up to join in on the festivities.

They need to bring that back. I got really sick and tired of seeing -- and you know, I get it, it's the vacation -- but it was irritating to see the big names just flossing all their photos on Instagram from vacation when it's like, you know, it's All-Star break -- it's called All-Star for a reason. It's not "All-Star" if the All-Stars aren't all there.

For more NBA All-Star Weekend discussion, you can click here to listen and subscribe to Thar 617 Life Podcast.