Celtics

Marcus Smart makes Celtics history in surprising fashion

Marcus Smart makes Celtics history in surprising fashion

During Wednesday night's game vs the Bulls, Marcus Smart worked his way into the all-time top 10 of a category Celtics fans likely wouldn't expect to find him in.

With his three-pointer in the third quarter, Smart surpassed Eddie House to become No. 10 on the C's all-time three-point field goal list. Yes, you read that correctly. . .

Smart, not usually known for his prowess beyond the arc, now will look to pass Danny Ainge (348) for ninth on the list. Paul Pierce holds the No. 1 spot with 1,823 three-point field goals with the Celtics.

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Celtics' Enes Kanter ropes Kemba Walker, Steven Adams into FaceApp fun

Celtics' Enes Kanter ropes Kemba Walker, Steven Adams into FaceApp fun

The Boston Celtics don't have a player over 30 on their current roster. But looks can be deceiving.

If you've been on social media at all over the last few days, you've probably seen some disturbing results of "FaceApp," a photo doctoring app that includes an "old age" feature capable of making us all look like our grandparents.*

The Celtics' social media team used the app on young stars like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. But how about the team's elder statesmen?

New Celtics forward Enes Kanter obliged Tuesday night, giving himself and fellow free-agent acquisition Kemba Walker the FaceApp treatment.

The 27-year-old Kanter honestly doesn't look that much different, while the 29-year-old Walker still looks younger than former Boston point guard Kyrie Irving (aka Uncle Drew).

Kanter also put the FaceApp filter on an old photo of him and former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Steven Adams ... that's considerably more frightening. (Is that Steven Adams or post-retirement David Letterman?)

For those interested in seeing non-wrinkly versions of the newest Celtics, point guard Kemba Walker will be introduced to Boston in a press conference Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET the Auerbach Center.

*(If you want to join the FaceApp craze, make sure you check out their terms of service first.)

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Celtics need Tatum to become a no-questions-asked superstar in Year 3

Celtics need Tatum to become a no-questions-asked superstar in Year 3

A couple of things happened this week that made me think of Jayson Tatum. 

First, the Sixers signed Ben Simmons to a five-year max extension ahead of the final year of his rookie contract. Then, Bleacher Report put out its list of five breakout stars for the coming season, defined as players who had yet to become All-Stars but could in 2019-20. A command + F of "Tatum" yielded zero results. 

Both things should jump out at you with regard to Tatum. If he plays his cards (basketball) right, he's getting a contract like Simmons', either next summer or at the conclusion of his deal. 

But that list tells you at least some NBA observers don't see that happening, because that contract doesn't come unless Tatum ascends to the upper-echelon of NBA stars. We've assumed he would since his promising rookie season and subsequent playoff run, but Year 3 is the time for Tatum to actually start reaching for that ceiling. 

What if it doesn't happen? 

For starters, I'll cry myself to sleep every night, but this isn't about me. It's about the Celtics, who had one of the best players in the league and saw him mess up the team while he was here and the cap situation when he left. 

The Celtics more or less need Tatum to become that level of star, minus the headache. They need a peer for Kemba Walker, one who could even surpass the UConn product in the prime years of his career. 

That it didn't happen in Year 2 was frustrating. Tatum's points went up from 13.9 to 15.7 and his rebounds went from exactly five a game to six. Yet his player efficiency rating went down from 15.29 as a rookie to 15.13 in his second season, the latter of which ranked 138th in the league. The eye test didn't do major favors relative to expectations either, as his propensity for long 2s left everyone quick to angrily point to his offseason workouts with Kobe Bryant. 

In the end, Tatum's second year looked more like Jaylen Brown's second year than most probably anticipated. He scored more, but Tatum's .450 field goal percentage and .373 clip on 3s were lower than Brown's marks (.465, .393, respectively) in his second year. 

So, now the Celtics, having experienced a net loss of one star (Kyrie, Horford out; Kemba in), need another star. Ruling out Brown would be shortsighted, and I'm still not sure why so many have jumped ship completely on Gordon Hayward. 

Yet, Tatum is the one that seems like the sure thing, and it hasn't happened all the way yet. If he doesn't become an All-Star-caliber player this season, what was once considered the luxury of Brown and/or Hayward becoming great will become a necessity if the Celtics want to make any sort of noise this season. 

I think Tatum makes that step and becomes a fringe All-Star. Between his pedigree and his talent, it's seemingly within his grasp, but if he doesn't make that leap, it will hurt a hell of a lot more than it would had the Celtics been able to secure a multi-year commitment from Anthony Davis and/or Irving. 

That longterm plan took a big hit this summer. Tatum's the guy who can put it back on track. If he does and the Celtics find any frontcourt help, the Celtics can set themselves up to be one of the top teams in the East for years. If his development stalls, the C's could be looking at either continued roster shakeup or years in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. 

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