Celtics

Celtics unsure if Romeo Langford (thumb) will be ready for NBA Summer League

Celtics unsure if Romeo Langford (thumb) will be ready for NBA Summer League

The Celtics will open up summer league play in 12 days. But whether first-round pick Romeo Langford suits up for the C's in Las Vegas remains to be seen.

Langford, who tore a ligament in his thumb in late November, played through the injury while at Indiana and didn't miss a single game, but the Celtics haven't cleared him for action just yet.

"We'll evaluate him, and have our doctors take a look at him and talk to Romeo, but we haven't had that discussion yet," said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge at the introductory press conference for the four Celtics rookies Monday morning. "We'll figure that out over the next couple of days, what the best plan for him is and his long-term health." 

Langford, who didn't work out for teams during the pre-draft process due to surgery on his thumb, only started dribbling and shooting about a week and a half ago on advice from his doctor.

"She wants me to shoot, and get used to touching it, just don't get too overboard with it to where my thumb starts hurting again, so if it starts hurting, that's when I need to stop and take a break," Langford said.

Langford only shot 27.2 percent on three-pointers last season, and he admitted that the injury definitely affected his shot.

"I mean, nobody plays basketball with a cast on their thumb... It took a lot to get used to, so I feel like it was harder to shoot because it was a whole different feeling of the ball without using your thumb, but I felt like towards the end of the season, that's when I started getting more used to it," said Langford. "I felt like I had to switch my shot up a little bit to make it go in, instead of feeling it as normal, so now that's one of my big focuses. I want to get back on the court and get my mechanics back to my shot to get it back to where it used to be." 

The Celtics' slate of summer league action in Las Vegas includes four games, and you'll be able to watch several of them on NBC Sports Boston. It all starts a week from Saturday against Philadelphia.

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NBA picks: Celtics vs. Clippers betting predictions, plays against the spread

NBA picks: Celtics vs. Clippers betting predictions, plays against the spread

We've got a marquee matchup at Staples Center on Wednesday night.

The 11-2 Boston Celtics will take on Paul George, (possibly) Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers in a matchup of two teams that look like serious NBA title contenders.

Our betting track record has been nearly as strong as the team in green, as we moved to 18-11-1 picking Celtics games following Boston's win over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.

Leonard's uncertain status due to a knee injury makes Celtics-Clippers a tricky one to predict, but there are some notable trends worth considering as you head to the sportsbook.

Here are our moneyline, point spread and point total betting predictions for C's-Clippers, followed by two NBA locks against the spread.

(All odds provided by WestGate Superbook.)

Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Clippers, 10 p.m. ET

Moneyline: Wednesday night will be Boston's toughest test of the season, even if Leonard misses another game due to a left knee contusion. The Clippers are one of the few teams that can match the Celtics' depth and secondary scoring, while Paul George has been brilliant through his first three games (29.3 points per game). I'm riding with the Clippers (-250) at home.

Point Spread: The Celtics are 11-2 for a reason. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been excellent lately, and Kemba Walker have displayed his playmaking chops with 14 assists in his last two games. A lot hinges on Leonard's availability, but I think the Celtics (+6) keep this close and cover.

Point Total: Did the Celtics leave their offense back in Boston? The C's are averaging a paltry 101 points per game to begin their west coast trip, and the UNDER has hit in seven of L.A.'s nine home games this season. Boston may pull a fast one here, but I don't see this reaching the 218 point total.

Darren's record picking the Celtics' moneyline, point spread and point total: 18-11-1

NBA Locks of the Night

Orlando Magic at Toronto Raptors (-3): The Magic are riding a three-game winning streak, but two of those wins came against the Spurs and Wizards. The Raptors are undefeated at home this season, so they should be able to cover this tiny spread.

Utah Jazz (-3.5) at Minnesota Timberwolves: The Wolves have been weirdly bad at home this season (3-4), and Utah is 5-2 against the spread in its last seven games against Minnesota. I like the Jazz snapping their mini-losing streak with a quality road win.

Darren's record picking NBA locks against the spread: 10-9-1

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Clippers, which tips off Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 10 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.

Kemba Walker's addition has made Boston Celtics less turnover-prone

Kemba Walker's addition has made Boston Celtics less turnover-prone

The Boston Celtics are protecting the basketball better than any team early in the 2019-20 NBA season.

In the latest "Haberstat", NBC Sports national NBA insider Tom Haberstroh explains how the addition of Kemba Walker has been instrumental in Boston's turnover rate being the lowest in the league.

Walker, who signed with the C's as a free agent over the summer, is one of the premier point guards in the NBA. His teams have finished first or second in the league in turnover rate over the last eight seasons, and Boston appears to be the latest beneficiary of his ability to run the offense without turning the ball over.

For more on how The Kemba Effect is helping the Celtics, check out the video below:

Walker and the Celtics resume their five-game road trip Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. The 29-year-old veteran leads the C's in scoring with 23.4 points per game.

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Clippers, which tips off Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 10 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.