Celtics

Celtics Talk Podcast: Season preview; breaking down the opener vs. 76ers

Celtics Talk Podcast: Season preview; breaking down the opener vs. 76ers

Our crew that covers the Celtics has you covered as we preview the season and look ahead to Wednesday's opener in Philly against the Sixers.

2:00 - Kyle Draper, Chris Forsberg, A. Sherrod Blakely, and Brian Scalabrine give their expectations for the Boston Celtics this season. 

6:00 - How big of a year is this for Jaylen Brown? What do we see happening with his contract? 

9:00 - What expectations do we have for Jayson Tatum?

12:00 - What level can we expect Gordon Hayward to return to?

14:00 - Abby Chin hosts ‘Rookie Watch’. Where our crew debates which rookie will have the biggest impact for the Celtics this season. 

19:30 - Paul Hudrick covers the Sixers for NBC Sports Philadelphia. He joins the crew to preview the Celtics-76ers opening night matchup. (21:00) How does Al Horford fit into the mix with the 76ers? (22:00) How much pressure is on Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid? (27:00) How do people in Philadelphia feel about the Boston Celtics this season?

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Enes Kanter Show Podcast: Witnessing Jayson Tatum's emergence into an NBA force

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Enes Kanter Show Podcast: Witnessing Jayson Tatum's emergence into an NBA force

Like the rest of the NBA, Enes Kanter continues to marvel at the metamorphosis of Jayson Tatum from elite NBA player to full-blown superstar.

When NBC Sports Boston Celtics Insider Chris Forsberg remarked on the latest edition of The Enes Kanter Show podcast that he's never seen a player improve within a season as much as Tatum has, Kanter replied:

"Yes! You just stole my line."

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It's not just in season, it's been the past month, really the past five games in which the third-year Celtics forward has averaged 35.4 points a game. 

I'll say this, JT is a man on a mission," Kanter said. "Have you seen what happened to him after the All-Star break? Something got into him.

Was there one thing that has prompted the scoring binge?

"I feel like with Kemba [Walker] being out for four or five games, I think he's just like, 'Hey I've got to put this on my shoulders'  and he's just taken responsibility. He's feeling confident and feeling comfortable out there. And that's what a superstar does."

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

It contributed mightily to Boston's 3-1 trip with only a two-point loss to the Lakers keeping the C's from sweeping their Western swing. 

That success also has Kanter amazed at something else in his first season as a Celtic.

"We don't have any drama [on this team]," he told Forsberg. "Every team I've been on...there's been big drama. The players are getting mad, the media getting on us. With us it's like, you don't play enough? Come in the next day and work harder."

Earlier in the pod, Kanter reflected on the essay he wrote for Time magazine on the WNBA, and women in sports in general, striving for equality. He also talked about WWE superstar Lacey Evans giving him some wrestling tips and looked back at visiting his former NBA workplaces in Portland and Utah on the just-completed C's trip. It's all on the latest Enes Kanter Show podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network.

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.

Celtics remain cautious with timetable for Kemba Walker's return

Celtics remain cautious with timetable for Kemba Walker's return

BOSTON -- Kemba Watch will continue for at least one more game with the four-time All-Star ruled out for the fifth consecutive game because of left knee soreness when the Celtics host the Houston Rockets on Saturday night. 

For years, Walker has been one of the most durable players in the NBA.

So to see him sidelined for multiple games is a bit jarring. 

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

And while Celtics coach Brad Stevens offered a scenario that could have Walker back on the floor next week in Cleveland on Tuesday, the need for Boston to proceed cautiously when it comes to Walker’s health and return can not be overstated. 

The last thing the Celtics want or need is Walker hobbling into the playoffs at less than full strength; or even worse, unable to play, akin to what happened with Kevin Garnett in 2009 when he missed the final 25 games of the regular season and all of the playoffs, which ended for the Celtics with a second-round loss to Orlando. 

Being out with injury for an extended period of time is foreign terrain for Walker, who in his nine NBA seasons has had only one where he missed as many games as this season. 

That was in 2014-15 when he missed 20 games and had surgery to repair a torn meniscus to his left knee — the same knee that has him out now. 

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The Celtics have run a battery of tests of the injury to try and make sure that when he does return, this won’t be something that lingers.

Boston has played well without Walker (9-3), but don’t get it twisted. 

The Celtics know for them to have the kind of playoff run that they are hoping, Walker has to be at or close to full strength. 

For Walker, being part of a team that’s built beyond just his play, to fight for a second or third seed in the East and not just a spot in the playoffs, makes missing games a little easier to handle.

“I still don’t like it; no competitor would like missing games,” Walker told NBC Sports Boston. “I want to be out there with my brothers. But it’s good to know that if I can’t go, they can still play well, they can still win games.”

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.