Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Spurs, which tips off Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 5 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.
Enes Kanter will miss his seventh straight game on Saturday when the Boston Celtics visit the San Antonio Spurs.
The C's newly-acquired big man, who has been dealing with a knee injury suffered in the season opener, was officially ruled out by the team on Friday.
The Celtics have gotten off to a strong 6-1 start without Kanter's presence in the frontcourt, but they certainly could use his help down the stretch. The 27-year-old was upgraded to questionable prior to Thursday's game vs. the Hornets, so there's at least some optimism he will return sooner rather than later.
Tip-off for Saturday's matchup is set for 5:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Boston.
The Celtics started mandatory workouts Wednesday and Theis said that he’s crossed paths with most of his teammates as they shuttle through for individual work while ramping up activities in advance of relocating to Orlando next week.
"I know since the facility opened that I think everybody was around, working out,” said Theis. "I've seen the same faces every day because we have certain time slots. So I know Gordon [Hayward] is one of the first guys in the gym at 8 a.m., so I don't see him when I come in at 11. But I just know that everybody is really working and everybody looks good. Talking to players, coaches, everybody really used the time wisely to stay in shape, lifted as much as possible, and now just going back to basketball. I see guys like Kemba [Walker], JT, Enes [Kanter], I see those guys every day.”
"Overall, I think it was good for me, too, the break we had,” said Theis. “Just to get my body even more ready for the playoffs and for the rest of the season. Just my knees — more lifting, more rehab because, in-season sometimes, it’s hard to get a lift in between games so I used the time really wisely. Just lifted a lot.”
Theis tore his meniscus during his first season in Boston and admitted he felt the lingering effects in recent seasons. He’s worked hard in the weight room to keep that knee strong and the shutdown could allow him to be particularly fresh entering the playoffs.
The Celtics will need a full-strength Theis, too. He’s Boston’s top option at the center position and could have to joust with the likes of Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo depending on Boston’s playoff path.
Theis said he’s eager to see what a healthy Boston team is capable of, especially on a neutral floor.
“From the basketball standpoint, I’m just excited,” said Theis. "I think it’s a great opportunity for us as a team and also every team has the same chance, because there’s no home-court advantage. It’s just about who is the better team on the court.”
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Many Celtics players have already made their way back to Boston to visit the Auerbach Center, where the team practices. Players have been going through workouts and getting up plenty of shots to fine tune their skills before traveling to Florida.
One of the players back in the gym is star point guard Kemba Walker. Check out footage from one of Walker's recent workouts in the video below:
Walker will be among the Celtics' most important players when the 2019-20 season resumes. He's the team's second-leading scorer and a player who head coach Brad Stevens can go to late in games when the team badly needs a bucket.
His last trip to the playoffs was with the Charlotte Hornets in 2016, when the Miami Heat eliminated them in an exciting seven-game series. Walker had most of the Hornets' scoring burden on his shoulders given the lack of talent around him. He doesn't have that problem in Boston. If Walker struggles, his teammates including Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward will be ready to pick up the slack on offense.