Celtics

Celtics stay hot, beat Grizzlies 109-98

Celtics stay hot, beat Grizzlies 109-98

BOSTON – Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds in Boston’s 109-98 win over the Memphis Grizzlies which extends Boston’s winning streak to three in a row while extending Memphis' losing streak to 10 straight.

STARS

Kyrie Irving: Three-pointers, ankle-breaking drives to the basket, the mid-range jumper. Kyrie Irving had it going on all levels Monday night, finishing with 25 points on 8-for-13 shooting to go with six rebounds and five assists in just 25 minutes.

Marc Gasol: It has been a miserable season for Gasol and the Grizzlies. But to Gasol’s credit, he has remained committed to playing a selfless brand of basketball which has kept him among the top centers in the NBA. He tallied 17 points and eight rebounds along with eight assists.

STUDS

Celtics bench: Boston’s bench continues to be a strength in this post all-star break portion of their schedule. The Celtics’ second unit had 33 points scored by halftime, before finishing with 52.

Marcus Morris: Several players stepped their game up off Boston’s bench, including Morris. He had 13 points and eight rebounds.

JaMychal Green: With Gasol drawing so much attention from the Celtics defense, someone had to be free on offense, right? For long stretches that was Green who tallied a double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds.

DUDS

Third quarter Celtics: Good thing Boston built a pretty fat cushion in the first half. Otherwise, Boston’s third quarter struggles may have been an issue. In the third, Boston shot 25 percent from the field (7-for-28) which included them missing nine of their 10 shots from 3-point range. Despite the poor shooting, Boston was only outscored 28-19 in the quarter but still maintained control of the game courtesy of a 26-point halftime lead.

Jayson Tatum on overhyped talk: 'I'll stick to my job'

Jayson Tatum on overhyped talk: 'I'll stick to my job'

A story earlier this week from Bleacher Report's Grant Hughes calling burgeoning young Celtics star Jayson Tatum one of the NBA's five most overrated players has expectedly ruffled some feathers in the Boston sports stratosphere. 

But Tatum himself is taking the high road. In a conversation with ESPN's Chris Forsberg centered around his recent workouts with future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant, the 20-year-old forward, who finished third in Rookie of the Year voting this past season, said he wasn't bothered by the article:

While Hughes acknowledged that Tatum could be a franchise player, his reasoning for inclusion on the list was that he could be a victim of the stacked team for which he plays, saying, "Kyrie has never been one to take a backseat, and with him back on the floor, it'll be much harder for Tatum to build on his postseason takeover."

As for the session with Kobe? Tatum clearly absorbed a lot:

Hughes also named Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins, Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard, Bulls foward Zach LaVine and Suns forward Josh Jackson in the company of overhyped players.

It's been quite a week for Tatum, the former No. 3 overall pick out of Duke University. Earlier in the week, the St. Louis native had his jersey number permanently retired at his high school alma mater.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Anything is Podable Episode Four: Building the Roster

Anything is Podable Episode Four: Building the Roster

Even with three All-Stars in Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce, Danny Ainge and the Celtics knew that, in order to win a championship, the team needed a strong supporting cast of role players.

Episode Four of NBC Sports Boston’s “Anything is Podable” takes a look at how Ainge constructed the rest of the roster and how one word, “ubuntu,” set the tone for a memorable season.

Giving the team a shooter off the bench, as well as another veteran presence in the locker room, Eddie House was perfect for the 2008 Celtics.

“I remember going to a practice when he was a young player,” said Ainge regarding House. “Just watching him shoot, and shoot, and just amazed at what a great shooter this kid was.”

“I saw him have his 56 and 60 back-to-back point games in the Pac-10 and it was amazing.”

Long a fan of House, Ainge went out and got his guy, but he wasn’t finished yet.

James Posey, a veteran wing who had experience both starting and coming off the bench, was nearing a deal with the Nets, but one call changed everything.

“I actually told my agent, I’ll just go to New Jersey,” said Posey. “Then Eddie House called me.”

House convinced Posey to spurn the Nets in favor of the Celtics, giving Boston another veteran off the pine.

With the roster taking shape, what the team needed now was an identity.

Ubuntu.

Mentioned to Doc Rivers at a trustee meeting at Marquette University, the word that means “I am who I am because of you,” became the team’s mantra.

“I looked this word up and I spent, no exaggeration, hours and days on this word,” said Rivers. “Everything about the word epitomized what we had to be.”

Ubuntu was the rallying cry of the 2008 Celtics and it all started with a Board of Trustees meeting at Marquette.

Anything is Podable is a ten-part series diving into the story of the 2008 Celtics and their championship season, with exclusive, never-before-heard interviews with team executives, former players, and media members.

Narrated by Kyle Draper, it’s the perfect way for Celtics fans to pass time this offseason and get excited for 2018-19, a season in which the Celtics have as good a chance at raising their 18th championship banner as they’ve had since that magical 2008 season.

Fans can subscribe to the podcast through the link below and check out the other nine episodes for a look at this exclusive series.