Celtics

Joel Embiid embracing challenge of playing Celtics in Boston, loves 'crazy' C's fans

Joel Embiid embracing challenge of playing Celtics in Boston, loves 'crazy' C's fans

Be careful what you wish for, Joel Embiid. 

The Philadelphia 76ers big man is excited to take on the Celtics at TD Garden Thursday, and he isn't shying away from the competition knowing that Boston is 10-0 on its home court. Aside from the competition, though, Embiid had some interesting things to say about C's fans ahead of the second matchup of the season between the two rivals. 

“They’re a great team. They’re third in the East. So it’s going to be a great matchup and I’m sure the fans are going to let us know it,” Embiid said Thursday. “I’m excited to come back here. I love this place. I love playing here. The fans are crazy and I love the way they support the team and how crazy they are. So I’m excited.”

While the 76ers are fourth in the Eastern Conference, TD Garden hasn't been nice to them over the years. In their last 10 meetings in Boston, not including playoffs, the C's hold a 9-1 record against Philly dating back to 2015. Looking at that record, quite frankly, it's hard to imagine that Embiid geniuinely enjoys taking the floor in Boston -- especially considering he and his teammates will be greeted by boos from C's fans. 

However, Embiid did have a solid performance the last time he came into TD Garden, scoring 34 points with 16 rebounds, two assists and two blocks through 40 minutes of action in a 121-114 overtime loss on Christmas in 2018.

If he can string together a similar performance, the 76ers may stand a chance in the fortress that the Garden has become. 

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.

Celtics rookie Tacko Fall gets seven player votes for NBA All-Star Game

Celtics rookie Tacko Fall gets seven player votes for NBA All-Star Game

Tacko-mania isn't just for fans. Apparently, some NBA players are in on the craze too.

Tacko Fall has been among fan voting leaders for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, and he managed to snag a few votes from his NBA peers despite appearing in only four games with the Boston Celtics this season. He's spent most of his time in the NBA G League with the Maine Red Claws.

The 7-foot-5 phenom received seven player votes, topping teammates Gordon Hayward (six) and Enes Kanter (four). Fellow C's rookie Grant Williams earned two votes from players.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Considering the amount of attention Tacko has received throughout his rookie campaign, it's really no surprise he's faring well in the popularity contest that is NBA All-Star voting. While it's all fun and games for some, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens made it known he isn't a fan of Tacko-mania extending into the voting process.

Celtics star Kemba Walker was named a starter for the All-Star Game on Thursday. Reserves will be announced on Jan. 30.

Forsberg: This is no passing fancy with Smart

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Magic, which begins Friday at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, followed by tip-off at 7 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

Enes Kanter, Marcus Smart congratulate Kemba Walker on All-Star starter nod

Enes Kanter, Marcus Smart congratulate Kemba Walker on All-Star starter nod

For a while during the NBA All-Star voting process, it seemed likely that Kemba Walker was going to have a tough time earning a starting job in the 2020 All-Star Game. He was ranked third in fan voting behind Trae Young and Kyrie Irving, and he could never really make up ground on the former Celtic.

However, Walker finished first among Eastern Conference guards in voting by both the player and the media votes. That was enough to put him over the top, edge out Irving, and earn him a spot as a starter.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

After the news broke, a couple of Walker's Celtics teammates took time to congratulate him for the achievement.

First, Enes Kanter weighed in on Walker's "well deserved" achievement.

And later on, Marcus Smart gave a shout-out to Walker for qualifying.

It's nice to see the Celtics continuing to bond and be happy for one another. Their excellent chemistry has been one of the big stories of the season and Smart and Kanter have played a big role as supportive glue guys for the team's bench.

And their support of Walker is surely noted and appreciated by the veteran point guard.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Magic, which begins Friday at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, followed by tip-off at 7 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.