Celtics

Celtics Talk Podcast: How worried should we be about Kemba Walker's injury?

Celtics Talk Podcast: How worried should we be about Kemba Walker's injury?

Kemba Walker has missed four straight games due to a knee injury, but should we be concerned in the long run?

The Boston Celtics are more than likely just being very cautious with Walker, especially considering they'll want him healthy for the playoffs. And with Jayson Tatum performing like a star recently, there hasn't been a need to rush Walker back into game action.

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On this week's Celtics Talk Podcast, A. Sherrod Blakely and Chris Forsberg discuss how worried we should be about Walker's injury, and what his injury means for the Celtics.

Blakely started things off by rating his worry about the injury at a 6-of-10 and said the team is being "ridiculously overly cautious with him."

Six (out of 10). Six because there's still a lot of time. With what they're saying and what I'm seeing, they're being ridiculously overly cautious with him. He's not healthy, but there's certain things they could do if it's game seven to get his ass out there if they really wanted to.

Kemba is at a point in his career where he's not just about to rush his butt out there and play some game in March when he's got a chance to do something he's never done in Charlotte -- win a few games in the playoffs. He's not going to blow that. He knows that this is about making sure he's ready to roll come playoff time.

It would be a bigger problem, I think, if his team was weaker. Because if he's on the bench watching his team get smashed by Utah and Minnesota, he'd be thinking it wouldn't be happening if he was out there.

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Forsberg echoed the same sentiment as Blakely, but he didn't sound as concerned -- ranking the injury a four on the panic meter.

I'm like a four on the panic meter. When Barstool Greenie tweeted that this is KG [Kevin Garnett] all over again, isn't it --it did make me slightly nervous. It brought back a lot of emotions, but I do think they're just being careful.

Walker is averaging 21.8 points, 5.0 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game, and will be a key piece for the Celtics down the stretch. It's no surprise that he's been held out of game action, they don't want a Kyrie Irving situation where he's ruled out for the season and can't play in the playoffs.

To put it simply, we should only worry if Walker is unable to compete come playoff time.

For more of the Celtics thoughts including thoughts about Jayson Tatum being a top five player in the NBA, check out the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast, available on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network and YouTube.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Rockets-Celtics, which begins Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.

Classic Celtics: Larry Bird lifts C's over Rockets in 1986 NBA Finals clincher

Classic Celtics: Larry Bird lifts C's over Rockets in 1986 NBA Finals clincher

Some consider the 1986 Boston Celtics one of the greatest NBA teams of all time.

Here's your chance to watch them finish off that historic season.

NBC Sports Boston's "Classic Celtics" series -- which brought you Kemba Walker's 32-point outburst against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday -- rolls on Friday with Game 6 of the 1986 NBA Finals between the Celtics and Houston Rockets.

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The Rockets took Game 5 in Houston to send the series back to Boston, but they weren't prepared for Larry Bird, whose magnificent performance in Game 6 (29 points, 11 rebounds, 12 assists) helped the C's earn a 114-97 win and clinch their 16th NBA championship.

Our re-broadcast of Celtics-Rockets airs Friday at 7 p.m. ET, and if watching Bird at the height of his powers wasn't entertaining enough, former Celtics center Bill Walton will join Brian Scalabrine throughout the night to provide color commentary.

Here's when and how to watch:

When: Friday, April 3, 7 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Boston
Streaming: NBCSportsBoston.com and in the MyTeams app

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How Kobe Bryant once used a cutout of Paul Pierce as 'motivation'

How Kobe Bryant once used a cutout of Paul Pierce as 'motivation'

Kobe Bryant will forever be remembered as one of the fiercest competitors in sports history. That unmatched competitiveness was amplified whenever his Los Angeles Lakers faced off against their archrival, the Boston Celtics.

Two months after the Lakers fell to the C's in the 2008 NBA Finals, Bryant headed to China to take part in the Summer Olympics. There, he helped the United States earn its first gold medal since 2000.

But the sting from his loss to the Celtics overshadowed the euphoria of his Olympics victory.

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WNBA star Sue Bird, who also was in China for the '08 Games, told a great story about witnessing Bryant's competitive attitude while drinking wine and playing card games with him that summer.

“He was fresh off [the Finals loss] and you could tell [he was still thinking it]” Bird told Los Angeles Sparks star and ESPN analyst Chiney Ogwuimike.“… [We were] just kicking it and he saw this newspaper — it was something about the Lakers series and blah blah blah — and there was a picture of Paul Pierce celebrating.

“And he didn’t say a word. He didn’t say anything. But we saw him take the paper. He started cutting out the Paul Pierce picture. He folded it up and put it in his pocket and was like, ‘Motivation.’ And we were like, ‘Oh, it never stops with him.’ And you can tell.”

Watch below:

There never will be another player like the "Black Mamba."

Bryant tragically passed away in a helicopter crash on January 26 along with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others. He was 41 years old.

You can listen to Pierce reminisce about the C's Finals win over the Lakers in the Celtics Talk Podcast below: