Celtics

Celtics-Timberwolves Overreactions: Time to worry about C's bench?

Celtics-Timberwolves Overreactions: Time to worry about C's bench?

It didn't come easy, but the Boston Celtics took down the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night in their return from the All-Star break, 127-117.

All five Boston starters were in double figures as Gordon Hayward led the charge with a game-high 29 points.

Here are three instant overreactions to the C's win, which brings them to 39-16 on the season.

1. Celtics bench is a serious concern.

Verdict: Slight overreaction

Yet again, the Celtics were able to overcome an abysmal performance from their bench. Boston's second unit went a putrid 2-for-16 from the floor, furthering the narrative that the C's are doomed with their lack of bench depth.

We called the concern over the bench issues an overreaction before the All-Star break, but we've downgraded to "slight overreaction" after this latest poor showing. There clearly needs to be significant improvement from the bench going forward, but it isn't time to panic as long as the C's can continue adding tallies in the win column.

If it starts to cost them games, then we'll do a complete 180 and start saying the concern isn't an overreaction. Until then, take a deep breath. It isn't time to worry about the bench just yet.

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2. Rust overshadowed the C's win.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

It's difficult to get excited about a Celtics win over a 16-37 Timberwolves team that was without its star player Karl-Anthony Towns. Not to mention, Minnesota entered Friday night's game having lost 14 of its last 15 games.

The C's came dangerously close to losing in this one as they were noticeably rusty on defense. A win is a win, but allowing the lowly Timberwolves to make this a competitive game up until the final minute certainly overshadows it.

3. Daniel Theis deserves more love.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

What Theis has done for the C's all season long cannot be overstated. He has stepped up to quiet the "Celtics need a big man" critics, and he took it to a new level with a career game on Friday night.

The 6-foot-8 German set career highs in both points (25) and rebounds (16) in just 28 minutes. His effort is just the latest reminder that he deserves far more credit than he gets as an unsung hero on this Celtics squad.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Lakers, which begins Sunday at 2:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 3:30 p.m. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.

NBA Rumors: Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant won't play for Nets when season resumes

NBA Rumors: Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant won't play for Nets when season resumes

Since the NBA's suspended season has given Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant months to recover from their respective injuries, some believed they could return and make the Brooklyn Nets title contenders.

That theory was put to rest on Friday.

Durant confirmed to ESPN's Marc J. Spears he will not be returning to play when the NBA season resumes in Orlando, Fla. next month. As for Irving, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski says the former Boston Celtics guard suggested on Friday's NBPA conference call it's possible he could join the team... as an inactive player.


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Durant missed the entire 2019-20 campaign after rupturing his Achilles tendon in last year's NBA Finals. Irving underwent surgery in March to repair an impingement in his right shoulder that ended his first season with the Nets after only 20 games.

Brooklyn currently holds the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 30-34 record on the season.

Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck offers thoughts on NBA's 22-team return plan

Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck offers thoughts on NBA's 22-team return plan

On Thursday, the NBA announced a 22-team plan to resume the 2019-20 season in Orlando, Fla.

The plan passed by an overwhelming 29-1 vote among teams, with the Portland Trail Blazers as the only organization to vote against it. Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck, obviously, was one of the many in favor of the plan and discussed why Friday on Felger & Mazz.

"The point that seemed the most fair is not to give a team that was lagging farther behind in the East, and that was for example [the Charlotte Hornets] who are seven games back," Grousbeck said. "In the history of the NBA, no one has ever come from seven games back at this point in the season. And so, it's more fair to say no, we can only take so many teams because of safety.

"We don't want to have 500 more people with all 30 teams. We'd just have more of a chance of getting shut down because of the virus. So there was a line to be drawn, and we all decided 29-1 that this was the most fair line."

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With safety as the No. 1 concern going forward, it's a no-brainer to limit the teams heading down to Walt Disney World to only the ones that can fight for a playoff spot.

Grousbeck also suggested that the Eastern Conference No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks could be the C's first opponent when the league returns to action. The Celtics were preparing for a matchup in Milwaukee when the season was suspended in mid-March.

"I think our first game is going to be Milwaukee, which that would be interesting," Grousbeck said. "Because that's what the schedule looks like just from the current schedule. We don't have the new schedule yet. But we'll probably start right off with Milwaukee."

The C's currently have the No. 3 seed in the East as they prepare to return to the court.

You can hear the rest of what Grousbeck had to say in the video above.