Celtics

Here's the one stat that should thrill Celtics fans through seven games

Here's the one stat that should thrill Celtics fans through seven games

The cautions of small sample size still apply to the Boston Celtics, who at 6-1 sit alone atop the NBA's Eastern Conference.

But there are plenty of positive trends through seven games of the Celtics' 2019-20 season, including one that should get Boston fans pretty excited.

After their 108-87 rout of the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday night, the Celtics have three players averaging north of 20 points per game: Kemba Walker (24.3 points per game), Jayson Tatum (21.6 points per game) and Gordon Hayward (20.3 points per game).

Only one other NBA team can say the same: the 6-3 Los Angeles Clippers, with Kawhi Leonard, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell all averaging 20-plus points.

That kind of balanced scoring production obviously bodes well for Boston. How well, you ask? The "Boston Sports Info" Twitter account crunched the numbers and found some very promising results.

This is just the fifth time in Celtics franchise history the C's have had three 20-point scorers through seven games. Three of those other four Boston teams win on to win the NBA title, including the 2008 "Big Three" team featuring Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

The Celtics expected this level of scoring from Walker, who's averaged more than 20 points per game each of the last five seasons. But the key to Boston's early success has been the improved play of Hayward and Tatum.

After an inconsistent 2018-19 campaign plagued by the lingering effects of his ankle injury, Hayward has looked extremely comfortable, shooting at a 56.4 percent clip while effortlessly scoring in the flow of the Celtics' offense.

Tatum has taken a step forward, as well, connecting on 45.8 percent of his 3-pointers through seven games after shooting just 37.3 percent from distance last season.

The Celtics even have a fourth viable offensive weapon in Jaylen Brown, who has missed time due to illness but is averaging 16.0 points through four games played.

The C's have a lot of basketball ahead of them, so it's much too early to make the 2008 comparisons. But history has shown that a three-headed monster like the current one in Boston could be very dangerous come playoff time.

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Spurs, which tips off Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 5 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

NBA Rumors: Cavaliers willing to trade Kevin Love; could Celtics be suitors?

NBA Rumors: Cavaliers willing to trade Kevin Love; could Celtics be suitors?

The rebuilding Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly are ready to listen to trade offers for Kevin Love.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said Friday on SportsCenter the Cavs are willing to trade their veteran big man, and the Boston Celtics were one of the teams he brought up when discussing the rumors.

"Look at the teams that are playing tonight that have all had interest in the recent past with [Love]," Wojnarowski said. "Boston, Portland, Denver, he's going to be a player very much in demand and I think there's going to be a lot of conversation between Cleveland and teams all over the league about Love."

Watch below:

Love would be a nice addition to a Celtics frontcourt in need of some size, but his expensive contract makes any potential trade a longshot. The 31-year-old signed a four-year, $120 million extension with Cleveland in July of 2018.

The Cavaliers entered Friday night with a 5-15 record. Love is averaging 16.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game in his 12th NBA season.

The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 7.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Celtics' Marcus Smart signs posters for 'biggest fans' Grant Williams, Javonte Green

Celtics' Marcus Smart signs posters for 'biggest fans' Grant Williams, Javonte Green

Marcus Smart got a visit from two of his biggest fans in the Boston Celtics locker room on Friday.

Those fans were his rookie teammates Grant Williams and Javonte Green, who approached the longest-tenured Celtic with autograph requests.

Smart obliged, but he laughed off their requests to write "To Grant" or "To Javonte" on the Authentic Fan posters. Williams did, however, convince Smart to write "To Mini-Me" since Smart has referred to the 21-year-old as the younger version of himself.

Watch below:

To say the youngsters look up to Smart would be an understatement.

After missing the Celtics' win over the Heat with an illness and oblique injury, Smart will be back in action for Friday night's matchup vs. the Denver Nuggets.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.