Celtics

Celtics' talent, leadership on display with Team USA basketball

Celtics' talent, leadership on display with Team USA basketball

With four players on the Team USA roster, we all knew that the Boston Celtics would have a major influence on the squad. 

Well now it’s official with Team USA’s triumvirate of captains including a pair of Celtics — Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart. 

UPDATE (Friday, Aug. 23 at 12:34 p.m. ET by Nick Goss): It appears Team USA doesn't have official captains, but we should still expect Walker and Smart to have strong leadership roles on the squad.

--End of Update--

They along with Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, are charged with leading a team that has lost a lot of its star power with several key players opting to not play for a variety of reasons.

"We have a bunch of guys who don't mind being the underdogs,” Walker told reporters. “We are hungry, and we are going to go out there to try and win a gold medal...I take pride in being a leader and guys looking to me and I'm here to set the tempo and bring my experience and energy."

Walker is arguably the best player on the team, so it’s no surprise that he’s a captain. Mitchell being named a captain isn’t a shock either, when you consider how he came in as a rookie and showed tremendous ability as a leader with the Jazz and has continued to build off that success. 

But Smart’s selection as a captain speaks to why his brand of leadership goes beyond the box score. 

He has been nursing a calf injury, which has not allowed him to get on the floor as much as he would like. He did not play (coaches decision) in Team USA’s 102-86 exhibition win over Australia on Thursday morning.

But whether he’s on or off the court, Smart’s leadership with Team USA is steady — something the Celtics are looking forward to seeing on display this season.  

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Al Horford out for Celtics-Sixers reunion game due to injury: 'Definitely disappointed'

Al Horford out for Celtics-Sixers reunion game due to injury: 'Definitely disappointed'

BOSTON -- Celtics fans won't be able to boo or cheer Al Horford when the Philadelphia 76ers' starting lineup is announced Thursday.

Horford won't play Thursday against the Celtics due to left knee soreness and left hamstring tightness, the Sixers forward told reporters at TD Garden before the game.

Horford, who got injured during Philly's win over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, will be on Philly's bench but won't suit up in his first trip to Boston since leaving the team in free agency over the summer.

The 33-year-old admitted he’s not too happy about the timing of his injury.

"Obviously I played here, but always during the years coming to play in the Garden, that's a big deal," Horford said.

"It's a special place to play at and I'm definitely disappointed that I won't be able to play tonight."

Some expected Horford to re-sign with Boston this past offseason before the veteran big man signed a four-year, $97 million contract with the rival Sixers.

But Horford still is very welcome at his former home.

"I've got no hard feelings," Horford said. "It's all love."

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-76ers, which tips off Thursday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Tommy have the call at 8 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

Tacko Fall, Tremont Waters active for the Celtics vs. 76ers, both reportedly unlikely to play

Tacko Fall, Tremont Waters active for the Celtics vs. 76ers, both reportedly unlikely to play

The Boston Celtics are going to have two of their G League stars available to play against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.

According to multiple reports, including NBC Sports Boston's Abby Chin, 7-foot-5 center Tacko Fall and 5-foot-10 guard Tremont Waters are both expected to be active for the Celtics tonight.

Fall and Waters have starred at the G League level to start the season. Waters won the G League Player of the Month award in November and so far this season, he is averaging 20.2 points, 8.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game for the Red Claws.

As for Fall, he has been excellent as well and has provided the team with an anchor down low on both sides of the floor. He has averaged 15 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in six games, but he has missed time recently due to a knee injury.

Fall and Waters will replace fellow rookies Romeo Langford and Carsen Edwards on the bench. The two were sent down to the Red Claws to make room for Fall and Waters as depth.

That said, though Fall and Waters are listed as active, neither is likely to play in the contest, per Brian Robb of the Boston Sports Journal.

This isn't a major surprise, but it's still possible they could see time if the game ends up being a blowout or if the team gets in foul trouble at either guard or center.

Waters would likely find himself behind Brad Wanamaker and Javonte Green on the bench at guard while Fall will be the team's fourth big overall behind Daniel Theis, Enes Kanter, and Grant Williams.

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Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-76ers, which tips off Thursday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Tommy have the call at 8 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.