Celtics

Kemba Walker rated 17th overall in NBA 2K20, trails 11th-ranked Kyrie Irving

Kemba Walker rated 17th overall in NBA 2K20, trails 11th-ranked Kyrie Irving

Kemba Walker is likely going to be compared to Kyrie Irving during his tenure with the Boston Celtics. Walker will be replacing the mercurial point guard who left the Celtics for greener pastures to team up with Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets in free agency this offseason. And while Boston fans may not exactly be sad to see Irving go, there's no denying that Irving is a talented player.

In fact, Irving is so talented that he almost cracked the top 10 in this year's "NBA 2K20" ratings. The popular video game recently released some of the ratings ahead of the game's launch, and Irving placed 11th overall in the league with a 91 overall rating.

Meanwhile, Walker isn't far behind Irving, as he ranks 17th in overall rating for the game's initial release. He is the Celtics' highest-rated player with a mark of 88 overall.

This isn't much of a surprise, as the league has seemingly viewed Irving as the superior player to Walker throughout their respective careers. And their stat lines from last year would seemingly indicate that as well.

In 2018-19, 23.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 6.9 assists last season while shooting 48.7 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Walker scored more points per game (25.6) but had worse rebound (4.4) and assist (5.9) numbers and shot just 43.4 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from 3-point range. So, that's likely why Irving was given a slight advantage in the video game.

Of course, NBA 2K ratings don't take chemistry into account with their overall player ratings, and that seems to be an area that most would give Walker the advantage in. And playing with a better supporting cast could also improve Walker's numbers and demonstrate that he is truly on par with Irving as a player.

But either way, Celtics fans won't care much about which player has the higher 2K rating, especially if Walker can help iron out some of the issues that percolated last season in the Celtics' locker room.

Walker will be holding his introductory Celtics press conference this Wednesday, July 17 at 1:00 p.m. ET. The press conference can be seen on NBC Sports Boston or streamed via the MyTeams App.

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Celtics vs. Blazers odds: Best NBA picks with two All-Star guards out

Celtics vs. Blazers odds: Best NBA picks with two All-Star guards out

The Boston Celtics have had some trouble with Western Conference opponents this season. 

Will the Portland Trail Blazers continue that trend?

The Celtics enter Tuesday's game in Portland with a 14-8 record against the West, compared to a 25-9 mark against Eastern Conference foes. They've also lost three of their last five road games versus West opponents -- their latest a one-point defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday -- and will be without Kemba Walker for the third consecutive game.

The good news for Boston? The Blazers won't have star point guard Damian Lillard due to a groin injury and have lost four of their last six.

Here are our betting predictions for Celtics-Blazers, as well as our two NBA locks against the spread.

(All odds provided by WestGate Superbook.)

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.

Boston Celtics at Portland Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. ET

Moneyline: Jayson Tatum is on an absolute tear, with 30-plus points in four of his last six games. The Celtics (-310) are 8-2 over their last 10 games and should take care of business as long as Tatum shows up.

Point Spread: The Blazers are 1-4 against the spread in their last five games and failed to cover without Lillard in Sunday's win over the Detroit Pistons. The Celtics (-7.5) , meanwhile, have covered in six consecutive games as a favorite.

Point Total: Portland hasn't allowed fewer than 100 points since early January, while four of Boston's last five games have hit the over. I'll go OVER again on 223.5 point total.

Darren's record picking the Celtics' moneyline, point spread and point total: 75-44-1 (62.5% success rate)

NBA Lock of the Night

Milwaukee Bucks (-1) at Toronto RaptorsYes, the Bucks just played an overtime game in Washington on Monday night. Yes, the Raptors are one of the hottest teams in the NBA. But Milwaukee is 49-8 for a reason. I'll take the best team in the NBA in a virtual pick 'em.

New Orleans Pelicans (+7.5) at Los Angeles LakersZion Williamson and his band of Lakers cast-offs (Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart) rolling into Staples Center and pulling off the upset? I could see it. Either way, the Pelicans should keep this close.

Darren's record picking NBA locks against the spread: 38-40-1 (48.1% success rate)

How Tacko Fall, Tremont Waters fared for Red Claws vs. Capital City Go Go

How Tacko Fall, Tremont Waters fared for Red Claws vs. Capital City Go Go

Basketball fans in the nation's capital got an up-close look at Tacko Fall on Tuesday, and the 7-foot-5 standout delivered in a big way on Tacko Tuesday.

Fall racked up a double-double before the Red Claws and Capital City Go Go even headed into the locker rooms at halftime, helping Maine to a 125-93 victory.

Here's how Fall and Tremont Waters performed:

TACKO FALL

Fall filled up the stat sheet with 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting to go along with a career-high 20 rebounds (seven offensive boards) and five blocks.

It's his 15th double-double of the season and fifth this month.

TREMONT WATERS

Waters chipped in 16 points and four assists, the 20th time in his last 21 games he's reached double figures in scoring

Jaysean Page led Maine with 27 points, while Bryce Brown added 24 in the 32-point victory

The Red Claws return to action with a home game against the Lakeland Magic at 7 p.m. Thursday night at the Portland Expo Center.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Trail Blazers, which begins Tuesday at 9 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 10 p.m. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.