Celtics

Grant Williams calls Celtics and 'underestimated, underrated team'

Grant Williams calls Celtics and 'underestimated, underrated team'

Last season, the Boston Celtics were considered to be one of the NBA title favorites. After an offseason of change, they are no longer considered to be as strong. But that may actually be a good thing for the C's.

While the public and media aren't as bullish on the Celtics, the young players on the team are buying into the squad. And in a recent interview, first-round pick Grant Williams expressed his thoughts on the team and called the Celtics "underrated."

"I feel like we're (an) underestimated, underrated team because we have a lot of veteran guys who may be young," Williams said on Sirius XM NBA Radio. "You have Enes Kanter who's probably 28, 27 years old. Kemba Walker. You have guys that have high talent in Jayson (Tatum) and Jaylen (Brown) who have proven themselves over the last couple of years. There's a lot of talent on this team that I feel is undervalued."

Williams would go on to explain some of the undervalued talent, including Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker.

"A guy like Jayson who has two or three years and has competed as a star in the league still is one of those guys -- he may have had a quote down year, but if you look at the team, he had to be a little bit more passive and a little bit less shot selection," Williams said. "And adding a guy like Kemba who is a superstar already but may not have been considered a superstar because he was in Charlotte, because he wasn't necessarily winning as much.

"So, hopefully, we can add not only to their portfolios but add it to the team, and get back to what Boston is known as. A team that has championship-caliber players every year and is fighting for that next banner that will (put) us even further away from the competition."

This is likely to excite Celtics fans, who quickly grew tired of watching last season's lackadaisical squad fail to live up to expectations. It seems that the Celtics rookies and new talent are really buying into the system in place and are forging a chip-on-the-shoulder attitude that could spark the team as an underdog. And that mentality was a huge part of the team's success during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.

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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.