Celtics

Celtics forward Jaylen Brown 'not losing any sleep' over next contract

Celtics forward Jaylen Brown 'not losing any sleep' over next contract

Jaylen Brown is eligible for a contract extension from now until the Oct. 21 deadline, but the Boston Celtics forward isn't worried about the uncertainty surrounding his future.

"To be honest, I'm not putting too much thought into it," Brown told reporters Monday at Celtics Media Day. "I'm not losing any sleep over it. I think stuff like that ends up working itself out in the end, or however so. I'm just focused on this season and playing basketball. I think that's my No. 1 emphasis. Let the chips fall where they may." 

If the Celtics and Brown don't agree on an extension before the October deadline, he'll become a restricted free agent next summer. The Celtics, at least in recent years, rarely have signed players to extensions before their rookie contracts ended, so it wouldn't be too surprising if Brown goes into the 2019-20 season without a new deal. From the Celtics' perspective, it makes sense to spend another year evaluating Brown before deciding to commit a lot of money to retain him.

Sean Deveney of Heavy.com reported last week the chances of Brown and the Celtics reaching a long-term deal are "pretty slim."

Brown had a very good sophomore campaign in Boston, then he went through an up-and-down 2018-19 season that started out tough because of an injury but ended on a high note after a strong last few months. He averaged 13 points and 4.2 rebounds, along with 34.4 percent shooting from 3-point range over 74 games last season.

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Brad Stevens addresses whether Kemba Walker played too many minutes in All-Star Game

Brad Stevens addresses whether Kemba Walker played too many minutes in All-Star Game

Kemba Walker will miss his third straight game for the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night as he continues to recover from a left knee injury.

Walker logged 29 minutes during the NBA All-Star Game, but experienced soreness and swelling in his knee afterward that has prevented him from suiting up with the C's. That begs the question, should Walker have gotten as much playing time as he did?

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens addressed that question Tuesday on 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Zolak & Bertrand."

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"That's a good question," Stevens said. "I don't know. I think the biggest thing -- and I said this last week or whatever -- if our medical staff and/or Kemba would have thought that there was any way that he would have come back with more soreness and more swelling, he wouldn't have played. He wouldn't have chose to play. Like, he's not going to do that. So I think it was an unfortunate deal that, you know, the swelling happened. That was kind of the difference in how his knee presented versus how it presented in the past. And it was pretty significant.

"We knew he was going to be out a little bit here, but now what we've tried to do is say OK, what's the best way so we don't play the back-and-forth game? And so that we can have him feeling great and you're not in as much of a day-by-day, 'OK how's he feeling today? How's it going to present tomorrow?' So he's focused in the last three days in really strengthening."

Stevens also reiterated that he doesn't expect this to be a long-term issue with Walker.

"No, he's had regular scans on that really ever since he got back from USA Basketball just to continue to make sure. And by regular, I mean maybe once every other month or once every month-and-a-half. So no, nothing structurally."

Watch below:

Stevens hasn't ruled Walker out for Wednesday's game against the Utah Jazz, though it's more likely he'll miss his fourth straight contest.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Trail Blazers, which begins Tuesday at 9 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 10 p.m. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.

Celtics vs. Blazers odds: Best NBA picks with two All-Star guards out

Celtics vs. Blazers odds: Best NBA picks with two All-Star guards out

The Boston Celtics have had some trouble with Western Conference opponents this season. 

Will the Portland Trail Blazers continue that trend?

The Celtics enter Tuesday's game in Portland with a 14-8 record against the West, compared to a 25-9 mark against Eastern Conference foes. They've also lost three of their last five road games versus West opponents -- their latest a one-point defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday -- and will be without Kemba Walker for the third consecutive game.

The good news for Boston? The Blazers won't have star point guard Damian Lillard due to a groin injury and have lost four of their last six.

Here are our betting predictions for Celtics-Blazers, as well as our two NBA locks against the spread.

(All odds provided by WestGate Superbook.)

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.

Boston Celtics at Portland Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. ET

Moneyline: Jayson Tatum is on an absolute tear, with 30-plus points in four of his last six games. The Celtics (-310) are 8-2 over their last 10 games and should take care of business as long as Tatum shows up.

Point Spread: The Blazers are 1-4 against the spread in their last five games and failed to cover without Lillard in Sunday's win over the Detroit Pistons. The Celtics (-7.5) , meanwhile, have covered in six consecutive games as a favorite.

Point Total: Portland hasn't allowed fewer than 100 points since early January, while four of Boston's last five games have hit the over. I'll go OVER again on 223.5 point total.

Darren's record picking the Celtics' moneyline, point spread and point total: 75-44-1 (62.5% success rate)

NBA Lock of the Night

Milwaukee Bucks (-1) at Toronto RaptorsYes, the Bucks just played an overtime game in Washington on Monday night. Yes, the Raptors are one of the hottest teams in the NBA. But Milwaukee is 49-8 for a reason. I'll take the best team in the NBA in a virtual pick 'em.

New Orleans Pelicans (+7.5) at Los Angeles LakersZion Williamson and his band of Lakers cast-offs (Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart) rolling into Staples Center and pulling off the upset? I could see it. Either way, the Pelicans should keep this close.

Darren's record picking NBA locks against the spread: 38-40-1 (48.1% success rate)