Celtics

Celtics rookie Grant Williams wants to meet this NBA legend in 2019-20 season

Celtics rookie Grant Williams wants to meet this NBA legend in 2019-20 season

Boston Celtics rookie forward Grant Williams wasn't even alive when Vince Carter was selected by the Golden State Warriors (and later traded to the Toronto Raptors) with the No. 5 overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft.

Williams was born later that year, but like many kids of his generation, he admired Carter's exciting style of basketball that has produced an astounding amount of highlight-reel dunks.

The 20-year-old rookie wants to talk with Carter this season before the legendary guard retires. Carter has said the 2019-20 season will be his last in the NBA. 

"In 2000, I turned 2 years old (on Nov. 30). Hopefully, I get to meet him and have a conversation," Williams recently told Anthony Olivieri of ESPN. I've heard he's an amazing guy. Just to pick his brain about how he stayed in the league so long -- that's something that I want to be able to do."

The Celtics play Carter and the Atlanta Hawks twice this season.

Atlanta will come to TD Garden in Boston on Jan. 3 and Feb. 7, so Williams should have a couple of opportunities to meet Carter and extract some knowledge from the basketball legend.

Marcus Smart gives glowing review of Kemba Walker's defense>>>

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WATCH: Marcus Smart gets assist on crazy no-look, behind-the-back pass

WATCH: Marcus Smart gets assist on crazy no-look, behind-the-back pass

Marcus Smart provided the highlight of the night in the Celtics' matchup vs. the Mavericks on Monday night.

The scrappy C's guard stole the ball from Dorian Finney-Smith and passed it behind-the-back to Robert Williams for the assist all in one motion. The description doesn't quite do it justice, so just watch the highlight below:

Straight wizardry from the longest-tenured Celtic.

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Here's the timetable on Gordon Hayward's injury after undergoing surgery

Here's the timetable on Gordon Hayward's injury after undergoing surgery

BOSTON -- The good news is that Gordon Hayward’s recent left hand injury won’t hurt the Celtics anywhere close to the ankle injury he suffered a couple years ago. 

But the Celtics will still have to manage to find success without him for a spell, with successful surgery on a fourth metacarpal fracture in his left hand sidelining him for about six weeks. 

Beginning from when the injury occurred - November 9 at Dallas - that would put Hayward’s return back to the floor sometime shortly before Christmas. 

If he returns six weeks from the date of the injury, that would have him back for Boston’s Dec. 22 game against Charlotte. 

Boston has managed to win with key players down at times already this season. 

And while the timing certainly isn’t great when you consider how both Hayward and the Celtics (7-1, best record in the NBA) were playing, Stevens reiterated that this injury is dramatically different than the ankle injury Hayward suffered a couple years ago which sidelined for all but the first five minutes of the 2017-2018 season. 

This injury isn’t that severe, even with the most conservative timelines having him back on the floor at some point this season. 

But the Celtics did get some good news on the health front with Enes Kanter (knee) available to play for the first time since the team’s season-opener at Philadelphia. 

Kanter, who checked into the game late in the first quarter, comes back at a good time for Boston which will look through a multitude of bodies at Dallas’ 7-foot-2 center Kristaps Porzingis who came into tonight’s game averaging 20.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and a career-high 2.6 blocked shots per game while shooting 39.5 percent from 3-point range. 

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