Celtics

Kendrick Perkins chimes in on Tacko Fall: The Celtics 'better keep my boy'

Kendrick Perkins chimes in on Tacko Fall: The Celtics 'better keep my boy'

Kendrick Perkins got a glimpse of TackoMania Sunday night and is all-in on the Celtics keeping the rookie big man by any means necessary. 

Tacko Fall got eight minutes of playing time in Boston's preseason opener even though the crowd was demanding him to sub in as soon as the second quarter. Fall finished with five points, three rebounds and two blocks to go along with a few highlight plays as well.

If Perkins knows anything, it's a good big man. Fall may have a long way to go, but he at least has the endorsement of a fan favorite.

And Perkins has a very good point about Fall becoming one of the most popular players in the league. The TD Garden erupted when Brad Stevens inserted Fall into the lineup during the second half, and every time he touched the ball you could feel the anticipation from the crowd even if you weren't at the game. 

Fall's path to a roster spot isn't clear-cut. The Celtics have 14 guaranteed contracts on the team already, both two-way contracts occupied by Tremont Waters and Max Strus, and Javonte Green seems like the likely choice for the last spot because of his contract and strong performance Sunday night. 

If Boston wants to keep Fall, one course of action could be to waive Strus, sign Green to the 15th spot and give Fall the second two-way contract. This gives the Celtics a chance to let the big man develop in Maine while not risking another team poaching him after the preseason. 

The situation will become clearer as the last three preseason games wrap up, so in the meantime, enjoy the spectacle. 

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Marcus Smart looking 'to figure out a solution' after taking another shot to the groin

Marcus Smart looking 'to figure out a solution' after taking another shot to the groin

So far this season, Marcus Smart has been playing some of the toughest defense in the NBA. But it has come at a cost.

Smart has been taking some shots where it hurts, and Monday night was no exception. Against the Dallas Mavericks, Smart got kicked in the groin and went down in pain.

After the game, Smart had a lighthearted press conference where he said he needs to find a solution to that rather specific problem (via the Celtics on NBC Sports Boston Twitter account).

"[Taking a beating is] nothing new for me," Smart said. "I've been taking a beating my whole life. But I don't know what it is. I keep getting kicked in the groin. I don't know what it is about that. We've got to figure out a solution to stop that. I'm used to it. It's what I do, and I pride myself on that."

Part of the reason that Smart has taken so many shots is that he's guarding players much bigger than him. Against the Mavericks, Smart (6-foot-4) played a critical role in guarding the 7-foot-2 Kristaps Porzingis and was part of the reason the team held him to just four points on 1-of-11 shooting. 

Smart is one of the toughest guys in the league, so he won't complain much about taking some shots. But if he does keep guarding big-men amid the Celtics' shortage of effective bigs, he'll have to find a way to avoid getting hit down there too much.

A. Sherrod Blakely's takeaways from Celtics' win over Mavericks>>>

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Celtics vs. Mavericks Instant Overreactions: Welcome to the Kemba Walker show

Celtics vs. Mavericks Instant Overreactions: Welcome to the Kemba Walker show

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Wizards, which tips off Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Tommy have the call of the game at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.

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It was a close call, but the Boston Celtics won their eighth straight game on Monday night vs. the Dallas Mavericks by a score of 116-106 to improve to 8-1 on the season.

Here are three instant overreactions from the win:

1. Kemba Walker's takeover was the first of many with Celtics.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

Walker let Jaylen Brown take center stage in the first half, but he took over when it mattered most.

The Celtics' new star point guard went off for 24 second-half points (29 total) to propel Boston to victory in crunch time. Walker went 9-of-17 from the field and 8-of-14 from 3-point range in the statement win.

Get ready to see plenty more of this, C's fans.

2. Jayson Tatum's shooting is a concern.

Verdict: Overreaction

Unlike Walker, it simply was not Tatum's night. The 21-year-old was a woeful 1-for-18 from the field vs. Dallas, totaling only five points.

But outside of this one dreadful performance, Tatum has been one of the more consistent offensive players for the Celtics to begin the year. Boston needs him to step up with Hayward out of commission for the next six weeks, and there's no reason to believe he won't. He'll be just fine.

3. Luka Doncic is a legitimate MVP candidate.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

Doncic dropped 34 points with nine assists and six rebounds to continue the exceptional start to his sophomore campaign.

When you think "MVP candidate," guys like Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, LeBron James or Anthony Davis probably are the first to come to mind. But if the 2019 NBA Rookie of the Year can keep up this pace, he'll undoubtedly work his way into the MVP conversation. The 20-year-old Doncic is a joy to watch.

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