Celtics

Masked Theis earns double-double in C's win over Bulls

Masked Theis earns double-double in C's win over Bulls

BOSTON – Daniel Theis isn’t all that different than most players who have to wear a protective mask due to a facial injury – he hates it. 

But considering how he played on Saturday, his first game with a fitted mask, he might want to rock it a little while longer. 

Theis was among the key players off the Boston Celtics bench that helped them pull away and eventually throttle the Chicago Bulls, 117-92. 

Several Celtics had good games, including Theis who had a double-double of 10 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to go with two steals.

In an interview with NBC Sports Boston prior to the game, Theis talked about how the fitted mask would help with his court vision. 

“Maybe I can grab a few more rebounds,” he quipped. 

Did he ever. 

While his court vision has improved with the fitted mask compared to the general one he was wearing previously, that doesn’t make it feel any better on his face.

“It’s uncomfortable, but what can you do?” he told NBC Sports Boston. “The biggest thing is with the new one, I have better vision, can see more of the court now.”

And in doing so, see his way to a whole lot of rebounds; on Saturday at least. 

The good news, or bad news depending on how you look at it, is Theis has been told he will need to wear the mask for another 3-5 weeks. 

“I’m trying to get (it off in) three weeks,” Theis said.

But the main benefit to being the latest masked man for the Celtics – Kyrie Irving wore a fitted mask earlier this season – is the improved sight lines he has when he’s on the floor.

“The vision is better, but I still hate it, I hate it on my face,” Theis said. “I hate it. I’ll be happy when it’s gone.”

Not if he keeps rebounding the ball the way he did on Saturday. 

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Greg Monroe, the newest member of the Celtics: 'I know I belong in this league'

Greg Monroe, the newest member of the Celtics: 'I know I belong in this league'

BOSTON -- One of the first faces Brad Stevens saw when he arrived at the TD Garden for tonight’s game against San Antonio Spurs, was Greg Monroe. 

The veteran center has signed a 10-day contract with Boston, and will be available to play tonight. 

“He wasn’t here that long but it was a fun run while he was here,” said Stevens, referring to the 26 games Monroe appeared in for Boston last season.

But the feel-good vibes that come with any kind of reunion, are put to the side when you look at the main reason he’s here - injuries to Boston’s frontcourt. 

Al Horford is out for tonight’s game with a left knee soreness. 

And while Aron Baynes (foot) will be available to play tonight, he has had a series of injuries all season that will result in him playing the least amount of games since his rookie season. 

Also, rookie Robert Williams III has also had a injury-riddled season with the latest setback coming on Saturday night when he suffered a low back injury during his first NBA start.

“With our injuries we need bodies, and we need bodies at that position,” Stevens said. “So, the timing is good.”

Monroe, who was traded from Toronto to Brooklyn and then waived by the Nets, said talks with the Celtics and his camp began shortly after the trade deadline. 

“But things didn’t get serious until like last week,” Monroe said. “It happened really fast; really quickly.”

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And by signing a 10-day contract, Monroe understands that he’ll be counted on to contribute quickly whenever he gets a chance to play which Stevens said before the game, could come as early as tonight - just hours after signing his 10-day contract. 

And while Monroe learned a new playbook in Toronto, his familiarity with the Celtics and their system from having played here last season should help him re-acclimate himself to what Stevens and the Celtics will need from him whenever he gets an opportunity to play. 

“It came back quickly,” said Monroe who added, “I definitely feel comfortable with the stuff they try to put in quickly for me. I remember, and still understand the plays and things like that.”

After being waived by the Nets, Monroe said he went home and stayed in the gym, confident an opportunity to play again would come at some point.

“That’s all you can do,” he said before adding, “Things always turn around quickly in this league. All it takes is one play and you’re back in it; you never know what can happen.”

During his time in Boston, Monroe averaged 10.2 points and 6.3 rebounds along with 2.3 assists while shooting 53 percent from the field.

With the Raptors this season, he averaged 4.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. 

And while the numbers are modest, Monroe’s production is a reminder of just how effective and efficient he can be in a limited capacity. 

Monroe hopes those skills translate to a productive second tour of duty with Boston after a period of time in which he did not have a team to play for. 

“It’s really tough,” Monroe said. “It’s the first time that (I) hadn’t been on a basketball team since I was like 5 years old. It’s definitely tough. But it’s part of the game. I’m not the first guy it has happened to. You have to be mentally tough and stay focused. I know I belong in this league. I feel that way and I’ll always feel that way and I will continue to believe in my work.” 

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Jayson Tatum (back) out; Gordon Hayward, Aron Baynes available to play vs Spurs

Jayson Tatum (back) out; Gordon Hayward, Aron Baynes available to play vs Spurs

BOSTON -- Jayson Tatum, one of the Boston Celtics’ most durable players, is the latest addition to the team’s growing out-with-an-injury list.

The 6-foot-8 second-year forward suffered a low back injury in the latter stages of Boston’s 124-117 loss at Charlotte on Saturday.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said it’s unclear if Tatum, who missed his first game (Los Angeles Clippers, March 11) as a pro earlier this month due to injury, will travel with the Celtics for their next game on Tuesday at Cleveland.

Tatum is Boston’s No. 2 scorer this season, averaging 15.9 points per game along with 6.2 rebounds while shooting 45 percent from the field and 35.9 percent on 3’s.

In addition to Tatum, the Celtics will be without centers Al Horford (left knee soreness) and Robert Williams III (low back injury).

The news was far more encouraging for Aron Baynes (foot) and Gordon Hayward (concussion protocol) who will both be available to play tonight.

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