Celtics

Jayson Tatum gets rave reviews from Celtics teammates after practicing

Jayson Tatum gets rave reviews from Celtics teammates after practicing

For anyone still sweating whether Jayson Tatum will be able to pick up where he left off when the NBA season restarts later this month, Daniel Theis has an encouraging scouting report.

“[A lot of teammates] look great, especially JT,” said Theis. "He walked in the first day and couldn't miss a shot.”

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The Celtics started mandatory workouts Wednesday and Theis said that he’s crossed paths with most of his teammates as they shuttle through for individual work while ramping up activities in advance of relocating to Orlando next week.

"I know since the facility opened that I think everybody was around, working out,” said Theis. "I've seen the same faces every day because we have certain time slots. So I know Gordon [Hayward] is one of the first guys in the gym at 8 a.m., so I don't see him when I come in at 11. But I just know that everybody is really working and everybody looks good. Talking to players, coaches, everybody really used the time wisely to stay in shape, lifted as much as possible, and now just going back to basketball. I see guys like Kemba [Walker], JT, Enes [Kanter], I see those guys every day.”

Last month on The Enes Kanter Show podcast, Kanter pointed to Theis as the player that had most impressed him in individual drills. Theis stayed in the Boston area instead of relocating to his native Germany during the break and said the time off helped him get his body ready for what’s ahead.

"Overall, I think it was good for me, too, the break we had,” said Theis. “Just to get my body even more ready for the playoffs and for the rest of the season. Just my knees —  more lifting, more rehab because, in-season sometimes, it’s hard to get a lift in between games so I used the time really wisely. Just lifted a lot.”

Theis tore his meniscus during his first season in Boston and admitted he felt the lingering effects in recent seasons. He’s worked hard in the weight room to keep that knee strong and the shutdown could allow him to be particularly fresh entering the playoffs.

The Celtics will need a full-strength Theis, too. He’s Boston’s top option at the center position and could have to joust with the likes of Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo depending on Boston’s playoff path.

Theis said he’s eager to see what a healthy Boston team is capable of, especially on a neutral floor.

“From the basketball standpoint, I’m just excited,” said Theis. "I think it’s a great opportunity for us as a team and also every team has the same chance, because there’s no home-court advantage. It’s just about who is the better team on the court.”

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NBA Rumors: 76ers star Ben Simmons expected to miss rest of season

NBA Rumors: 76ers star Ben Simmons expected to miss rest of season

The Philadelphia 76ers' 2020 NBA title hopes have taken a major hit.

Sixers star Ben Simmons left the Orlando bubble to undergo surgery on his left knee after injuring it in Wednesday's game against the Washington Wizards. Now, it looks like his season is over.

Simmons had the surgery in Philadelphia to remove a loose body in the knee, and he'll stay there for rehab. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Simmons isn't expected to return to the bubble for the 76ers' playoff run.


Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Grizzlies, which begins Tuesday at 4 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 5 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

That's obviously a huge blow to a Philly team that currently holds the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference. Without one of their most important players for the postseason, it'll be extremely difficult for them to gain any kind of momentum.

The news directly impacts the Boston Celtics, who are locked into the No. 3 seed in the East. As of Monday, the 76ers would be their first-round opponent. But Philadelphia still has to wrap the season up with seeding games against the Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets.

Simmons averaged 16.4 points, 8.0 assists, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per game during the 2019-20 season.

NBA power rankings roundup: Where Celtics stand ahead of playoffs

NBA power rankings roundup: Where Celtics stand ahead of playoffs

The Boston Celtics recently have put the league on notice in the NBA's Orlando bubble.

Their dominant victory over the No. 2 seed Toronto Raptors turned heads and served as a reminder of what they're capable of accomplishing come playoff time. Even with star point guard Kemba Walker (knee) on a minutes restriction, the C's have gone 4-2 inside the bubble and are riding a three-game win streak into Tuesday evening's matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies.

As of Monday, Boston has the sixth-best odds of winning the 2020 NBA championship at +1600, per DraftKings Sportsbook. Those odds put them behind the Milwaukee Bucks (+250), Los Angeles Lakers (+260), Los Angeles Clippers (+310), Raptors (+1000), and Houston Rockets (+1300).

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Grizzlies, which begins Tuesday at 4 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 5 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

NBA experts are high on the C's, who have locked up the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, with the playoffs looming. Several outlets have recently published their NBA bubble power rankings, and Boston is right near the top of the list in most of them.

Take a look below:

CBS Sports: No. 2
The Athletic: No. 2
NBA.com: No. 5
theScore: No. 5
ESPN: No. 7

Live coverage of the Celtics' matchup vs. the Grizzlies will begin Tuesday at 4 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, right here on NBC Sports Boston

Celtics Talk Podcast: Banner 18 in the bubble? Celtics' title chances getting stronger as postseason nears | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube