Celtics-Knicks preview: Theis looks for back-to-back big games

Celtics-Knicks preview: Theis looks for back-to-back big games

For Daniel Theis, the plan for All-Star break was to spend some time with his family at Disneyland.

“Can’t wait, get out of the cold a little,” a grinning Theis told NBC Sports Boston shortly before the break. “It’ll be fun.”

Well, it looked like he was enjoying himself in his first game back from the break, scoring a career-high 19 points in Boston’s 110-98 win in Detroit.

It was a strong performance, the kind that both Theis and the Celtics wouldn’t mind an encore of tonight when Boston takes on the New York Knicks.

New York (24-36) and Boston (41-19) split the first two meetings, with the home team emerging with the victory. But tonight’s game has lost a little bit of its luster for several reasons. First and foremost, Kristaps Porzingis being lost for the season with an ACL injury weakens a Knicks team that wasn’t all that good to begin with. 

Since his injury, the Knicks are 1-4, which includes a 120-113 win over the Orlando Magic on Thursday night.

That victory raised New York’s record without Porzingis this season to 2-11. The other victory without Porzingis came on Dec. 16 when they knocked off the Oklahoma City Thunder and ex-Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, 111-96.

In that game, New York’s Michael Beasley went off for 30 points, which isn’t all that surprising.

Most people know Beasley is a feast-or-famine scorer who can dominate some nights, disappear others.

And there’s Theis, who all season has played at a steady pace, both in his impact and just his overall demeanor.

When he has struggled to get time on the floor, there have been no complaints publicly. The times that he has played exceptionally well, like last night, his reaction has been of humility in the form of thanking his teammates and what they did that helped him be successful.

Even if he didn’t score a career-high in points and doesn’t grab rebounds at an insane DeAndre Jordan-like rate, Theis’ contributions to the Celtics this season have not gone unnoticed.

“He’s been a big part of our team all year,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “He’s a really reliable guy.”

And quick to adapt to change, even when it may not necessarily be to his benefit.

“Obviously with adding Greg [Monroe], you get a few less reps,” Stevens said. “But a guy like Theis is always ready, and always does what he does.”

While Theis’ play on Friday may have been par for the course in Stevens’ eyes, that didn’t stop the larger-than-usual crowds of media from gathering to talk with the 25-year-old German after the game.

“I’m just happy, it was a good day for me,” Theis said. “Germany beat Canada in hockey; we won here, so I’m happy.”



Get to know the newest Celtic, Walt Lemon Jr.

Get to know the newest Celtic, Walt Lemon Jr.

BOSTON – Walter Lemon Jr. has agreed to a two-way contract with the Boston Celtics, becoming the third player ever with such a designation for the Celtics.

He played four years at Bradley before taking his game overseas to play in Hungary, Istanbul, Greece, Germany and later returning to the United States to play for the Ft. Wayne Mad Ants of the Gatorade League.

But what do we really know about the newest member of the Celtics family?

Here’s a look at five facts about Lemon who, as a player with a two-way contract, will spend up to 45 days with the Celtics while the rest of his time will be spent with Boston’s G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws:

*Despite being 6-foot-3, Lemon Jr. is comfortable playing above the rim. That’s evident by him competing in Slam Dunk contests both in college (2014 and 2015) and in the G-League (2016).

*Finished his career at Bradley ranked among the school’s top-10 in scoring, assists, and steals.

*Best scoring game in the G-League last season was a 40-point outburst against the Maine Red Claws, the team he will be playing with most of this upcoming season.

*Became the first player in school history to be named the Missouri Valley Conference Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2014.

*On July 26 he will turn 26 years old.


Boston Celtics to play Charlotte Hornets in preseason game at Chapel Hill

Boston Celtics to play Charlotte Hornets in preseason game at Chapel Hill

The Celtics' preseason schedule has not yet been released, but the Charlotte Hornets announced a matchup with Boston in late September. 

The game will be held on The University of North Carolina's campus in the Dean E. Smith Center on September 28th. 

Boston played Charlotte twice in last year's preseason, where the Celtics won both games. 

It is not clear whether this game will be Boston's first chance to play with a fully healthy roster for the first time in nearly a year, but we are at least 74 days away from Celtics basketball again.