Celtics gear up for training camp 2.0

Celtics gear up for training camp 2.0

BOSTON – Saturday’s loss at Cleveland was the denouement to the Boston Celtics’ preseason schedule of games.

As one preseason door closes, the Celtics find themselves ready to start another chapter on Tuesday with a game-free stretch of practice time in preparation for the season-opener against Philadelphia on Oct. 16.

Disappointing just doesn’t do justice to what we saw from the Celtics at the start of training camp.

And while some may point to the unusual start of the training camp with so many games front-loaded, players aren’t using that as an excuse for their struggles.

“It’s different but one of the things coach (Brad Stevens) always talks about, is us dealing with different situations, adversity,” said Al Horford. “That happens to be the schedule. We have to go through it.”

Indeed, there was more going on than Boston losing three of four preseason games which concluded with a 113-102 loss at Cleveland on Saturday.

The bigger concern going forward was how the losses came about.

In those four preseason games, Boston was routinely out-worked, didn’t defend anywhere close to the level expected from a unit with all its core guys back, and the offense was an inconsistent mess that lacked fluidity or any semblance of cohesiveness that’s required to be successful.

 “This week has to be completely focused on team and completely focused on we and that’s what we’re going to get to,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.

Terry Rozier, one of the more consistent Celtics thus far in the preseason, felt the team needed a couple days off to come back with the right mindset for what’s shaping up to be a critical week.

“At the same time, we gotta get out there and find our way,” Rozier said.

Like most of his Celtics teammates, Rozier has heard and seen and read all about how awesome the Celtics are supposed to be this season.

So have their opponents, which is why it’s a given that Boston’s foes will approach every matchup with a heightened level of focus, force and intensity with one goal in mind: knocking off the Celtics.

The Celtics know they’re going to get the best punch from every team on the schedule.

But knowing that and responding to it, as we saw in the preseason by the Celtics, is an entirely different matter.

Boston has established itself as a gritty club that more nights than not, found ways to claw itself to victory.

But now as a prohibitive favorite almost every time they step on the floor, recognizing the change and handling it properly remains a challenge they’re going to have to work through here in the preseason in order to have the kind of season they envision for themselves.

“We feel like we arrived or something, like we won something,” Rozier said. “Teams know that, people talking about us every time you turn on the TV. So, that’s going to motivate them to beat us, second string, third string, it don’t matter who it is. So, we have to stay grounded and go back to playing Boston Celtics basketball and who we are instead of thinking we’re above everybody.”

Stevens added, “We’ll see if we’re good enough next week or 10 days from now and then it will start,” Stevens said. “If you’re not good enough, you’re in trouble.”


A tall order for Celtics' Tacko Fall to prove he has more to offer than incredible height

A tall order for Celtics' Tacko Fall to prove he has more to offer than incredible height

FRANKLIN, Mass. -- Tacko Fall has heard the question time and time again. 

“How tall are you?”

“Five-11,” quipped Fall who has learned to have some fun with the all-too-common question that you kind of expect to be asked of someone like himself who stands well north of 7-feet tall. 

It’s easy to lock in on his 7-foot-7 frame and not think about him beyond that. 

But there’s so much more to Fall, a rookie signed to an Exhibit 10 contract earlier this summer by the Celtics. 

His Exhibit 10 contract guarantees he’ll get a small signing bonus and an invitation to training camp. 

Beyond that, the perks aren’t great. 

And yet despite an uncertain future with the Celtics, you would think he was bound for the Hall of Fame with the amount of attention he has received seemingly wherever he goes in New England. 

“Sometimes I feel like my height … obviously I am very tall,” Fall told NBC Sports Boston. “That’s gonna stick out. But a lot of times I don’t want to feel like a freak show. I feel I’m a lot more than that, I’ve shown I’m a lot more than that. Things like this, I try to show the type of person I am and keep building from there.”

The “this” Fall was referring to was the Home Makeover program sponsored by Arbella Insurance which brought him to Franklin, Mass. to participate in some basketball drills in addition to seeing the Celtics-themed room renovation. 

Being 7-7, Fall has to be careful of how he navigates his way in and out of houses.

But it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Fall understands angles so well considering his academic background. 

A native of Senegal, Fall learned at an early age how to manage both academics and athletics. 

“When I was a kid, my mom was really strict about school,” Fall said. “Growing up, that was my mentality. I approach everything the same way, whether it’s in the classroom or on the court. I try to be the best at everything I do.”

Fall is indeed a late bloomer when it comes to basketball, but has proven himself both on and off the court as being able to pick up things quickly. 

It took him about eight months to become fluent in English once he arrived in the United States. 

And his SAT scores in high school ranked among the 95th percentile, with him taking advanced math and science courses soon followed by him majoring in Computer Science at the University of Central Florida.

Now, Fall finds himself being more of a student of the game, looking to continue his unexpected basketball ascension while making the most of every opportunity that comes his way. 

Following his senior year at UCF, Fall did not get an invite to the NBA Combine. 

However, he was among the 80 players invited to the NBA G-League Elite camp, with the top players in that camp getting an invite to the NBA Pre-Draft combine. 

Fall earned a spot at the NBA combine, and made his presence felt by setting several records including tallest height in shoes (7-7), wingspan (8-2 ¼) and standing reach (10-2 ½) which allows him to dunk without jumping. 

But Fall knows regardless of the stats or the adulation he has received, he comes into training camp next month with no guarantees other than the opportunity to play his way into a guaranteed roster spot with the Celtics. 

“I know what I am fighting for,” Fall said. “That hasn’t changed since I got here. I know what I am capable of and where I want to be and where I need to be. I’m gonna fight every day to be in that position and stay there. I love the game of basketball and there’s no better place to do it than the NBA. Night-in, night out, play against the best players in the world. For me, that’s fun.”

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.

Obamas buying $14.85M Martha's Vineyard estate from Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck

File photo

Obamas buying $14.85M Martha's Vineyard estate from Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck

Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck is selling his beautiful Martha Vineyard estate to Barack and Michelle Obama, according to the Daily Mail.

The estate reportedly is on the market for $14.85 million and features a 7,000 sqft house with seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms.

Take a look at the stunning home below (photos courtesy of LandVest via coldwellbankerhomes.com):

The estate features a pool (above), a chef's kitchen, and an outdoor fireplace.

Grousbeck's former home has 29 acres of beachfront property near the edge of Edgartown Great Pond.

The mansion originally was listed for $22.5 million in August 2015.

With two fireplaces, a family kitchen and chef's kitchen, and a huge master bedroom with a sundeck, it's no wonder why the Obamas were attracted by the opportunity to purchase Grousbeck's estate.

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.