Celtics

Celtics' Jayson Tatum wins Eastern Conference Player of the Month for February

Celtics' Jayson Tatum wins Eastern Conference Player of the Month for February

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum received a special birthday present Tuesday.

The NBA announced Tuesday that the 22-year-old star has won Eastern Conference Player of the Month for February.

Tatum dominated at both ends of the floor throughout February, and his offensive numbers were particularly strong. He averaged 30.7 points per game on 49.4 percent shooting, including a 48.1 percent mark from 3-point range. He scored 25-plus points in 11 of the 12 games he played in February, including six 30-point games and one 41-point performance. In addition to his scoring in February, Tatum also averaged 7.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocked shots per game.

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Tatum is the first Celtics player to win this award since Isaiah Thomas took home the honor in January of the 2016-17 season. He also snaps Milwaukee Bucks superstar and reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo's streak of five Eastern Conference Player of the Month awards in a row. Antetokounmpo has won seven of the last eight overall.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James was named Western Conference Player of the Month for February. He gave a special shoutout to Tatum on Instagram after the C's forward scored 41 points in a loss to James and the Lakers on Feb. 23.

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NBA Rumors: GMs in favor of play-in tournament when season resumes

NBA Rumors: GMs in favor of play-in tournament when season resumes

On Thursday, the NBA took another step toward figuring out the best way to return to action.

Commissioner Adam Silver held a conference call with the league's general managers to review a survey that was delivered to teams last week. In the survey, GMs voted on potential formats to resume play.

Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reports about 75 percent of GMs were in favor of a play-in tournament between bubble teams rather than a World Cup-style group stage. Front-running teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks favored the play-in tourney as it would give them a far easier path to the NBA Finals.

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More from O'Connor:

General managers were surveyed about a 'playoffs-plus' format—either a play-in tournament between the bubble teams to determine the final seeds in the playoffs, or a World Cup–style group stage, which would replace the end of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs with a round-robin format. About 75 percent of teams voted in favor of a play-in tournament, sources said, while 25 percent of teams voted in favor of the group stage.

Although many GMs are in favor of the play-in tournament, that doesn't mean the league will go in that direction.

“Adam [Silver] isn’t taking the results seriously,” a team executive told O'Connor. “Every team is obviously gonna vote for what’s best for them.”

Still, it's a noteworthy development and one that could not only impact how the NBA proceeds with its 2019-20 campaign, but also how it approaches future playoff formats.

For more details from O'Connor, check out his full article here.

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Celtics At Home: Daniel Theis recalls experience playing games without fans

Celtics At Home: Daniel Theis recalls experience playing games without fans

The Boston Celtics hosting a playoff game in an empty arena would be a bizarre experience.

Take it from the guy who's played in front of empty arenas.

Celtics big man Daniel Theis played several years of professional basketball in his native Germany before joining the C's in 2017. On the latest episode of NBC Sports Boston's "Celtics At Home," Theis explained that preseason games often didn't have fans, which created an atmosphere he didn't exactly enjoy.

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"It's definitely weird just thinking about it," Theis told host Brian Scalabrine. "Thinking back for me, playing in Germany in preseason games when you have scrimmages and no fans in there. You hear every voice, every word, every step. It's annoying."

Games without fans could be the NBA's new reality as it aims to safely resume play amid the coronavirus pandemic. Germany's top soccer league, the Bundesliga -- which Theis has been following intently -- is already playing games in empty arenas.

But while Theis wants to get back on the court, he doesn't sound thrilled about playing games without fans again -- especially if that means losing the home-crowd advantage that Boston provides.

"When I watched the soccer games this weekend, it was just -- it didn't feel right," Theis said. "Especially in Boston, when it comes to the playoffs and the fans at TD Garden are so important and so loud ... Then I can imagine now just playing a playoff game with nobody in there, it feels probably like a practice game or scrimmage."

Theis also discussed some of the Celtics' best Zoom guest speakers during Episode Three of "Celtics At Home," which includes guest appearances from C's legends Tommy Heinsohn and Bill Walton.

Check out the full episode of "Celtics At Home" below or on our YouTube page: