Celtics

Cavaliers-Celtics Instant Overreactions: Do the C's have three All-Stars?

Cavaliers-Celtics Instant Overreactions: Do the C's have three All-Stars?

The Boston Celtics dominated the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday afternoon 129-117 to extend their win streak to five games.

Here are three instant overreactions from the C's victory, which brings them to 22-7 on the season:

1. The Celtics have three All-Stars.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

Jaylen Brown dropped a career-high 34 points (13-for-20 shooting) on Friday while Jayson Tatum added 30 of his own (11-for-20). It was just the latest example of the huge step these two young guns have taken in their development this season.

At this point, it isn't outlandish to say the Celtics have three players worthy of participating in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game. Brown, Tatum, and Kemba Walker each are averaging over 20 points per game and are deserving of All-Star recognition. In fact, Walker and Brown probably are shoo-ins, and Tatum is right on the cusp.


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2. C's are an elite rebounding team.

Verdict: Overreaction

What the Celtics have been able to do on the boards despite lacking a legitimate big man has been nothing short of spectacular. They entered Friday's game as the No. 9 team in the league in rebounds per game, and much of that has to do with both Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter stepping up in the absence of Robert Williams, Vincent Poirier, and Marcus Smart.

Boston also out-rebounded Cleveland (No. 21 in rebounds per game) in their win, 43-38. While it was another impressive showing, this undersized unit is bound to regress to the mean unless they work out a trade for a center before the deadline.

3. Boston is the hottest team in the league.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

The C's now own the longest active win streak in the NBA with their fifth consecutive victory on Friday. They haven't been close games, either, outside of their six-point win over the Dallas Mavericks.

Over their last five, Boston's margins of victory have been 6, 21, 26, 16, and 12. The Celtics will look to continue their dominance on Saturday night when they host the Toronto Raptors, who they beat 118-102 on Christmas.


Blakely's Eastern Conference All-Stars: Post-Christmas edition

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Raptors-Celtics, which tips off Saturday at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike and Tommy have the call at 7 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

Classic Celtics: Watch Larry Bird's heroics vs. Pacers in 1991 playoffs

Classic Celtics: Watch Larry Bird's heroics vs. Pacers in 1991 playoffs

Larry Bird was one of the most talented players in NBA history.

But he was also tough as nails.

Exhibit A: Game 5 of the Boston Celtics' first-round playoff series with the Indiana Pacers on May, 5, 1991, which NBC Sports Boston will re-air Wednesday night as part of our "Classic Celtics" series.

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Bird suffered a nasty head injury late in the second half of the winner-take-all Game 5, and Celtics fans feared he was done for the game.

The 34-year-old C's legend triumphantly returned in the second half, though -- much to the delight of the raucous Boston Garden crowd -- and incredibly finished with a team-high 32 points to help the Celtics defeat a talented Pacers team 124-121 and win the series, 3-2.

Our re-broadcast of Celtics-Pacers Game 5 begins at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday and will feature additional commentary from Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, an Indiana native who grew up rooting for the Pacers.

Here's how to watch:

When: Wednesday, April 8, 7 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Boston
Streaming: NBCSportsBoston.com and in the MyTeams app

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Who are the best small forwards in Celtics history? Ranking the Top 10

Who are the best small forwards in Celtics history? Ranking the Top 10

The crazy thing about the small forward position for the Boston Celtics is that the team has enjoyed such sustained longevity at the position that it’s actually a bit challenging to make a Top 10 list.

Larry Bird, John Havlicek, and Paul Pierce combined for 44 seasons (and 12 titles) in green, which makes it a tough for anyone else who played in the 60s, 70s, 80s, or 2000s to state a case for inclusion alongside some of the biggest names in franchise history.

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While those three clearly occupy the top spots on our list, the current iteration of the C's are also well represented, led by a pair of young stars on the rise who could continue to ascend on this list in the coming years.

Here’s what we came up with for Boston’s top 10 small forwards in franchise history.

Click here for the gallery.