Celtics

Robert Williams explains what he learned from Al Horford, Aron Baynes

Robert Williams explains what he learned from Al Horford, Aron Baynes

The Boston Celtics have undergone some significant roster transition this offseason. But arguably, their most unsettled position is center.

This offseason, the Celtics traded Aron Baynes to open up cap space to get Kemba Walker while Al Horford joined the Philadelphia 76ers in free agency. Though those two key bigs are no longer on the roster, they could still have an impact on the team.

In a recent interview, second-year center Robert Williams spoke about learning from Horford and Baynes as a rookie, and he feels that he picked up some skills from them.

"Al isn’t the fastest person, but one thing that always amazed me about him was any time he got the ball, even if you knew what he was doing, it’s effective as hell," Williams said per Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. "I kind of took to that. He taught me how to really put an emphasis on my moves.

“And watching Baynes showed me the importance of just going straight up on defense instead of swiping down. Honestly, I don’t even always have to block it. Making them alter it is a great solution too.”

Williams clearly carried over some of these tips into the 2019 summer league, where he averaged 9.0 points and 9.8 rebounds in just under 20 minutes per game in four outings. Williams particularly emulated Baynes' defensive prowess, as he averaged 1.8 blocks per game and showed an affinity for making players uncomfortable near the rim.

With the Celtics' uncertainty at center, it's possible that Williams could emerge as a contributor if he can be the interior defender and scorer that he was during summer league. He will battle Enes Kanter, Daniel Theis, and Vincent Poirier for playing time and could be a perfect defensive-minded counterpart to the projected starter Kanter.

And if Williams can step up and offer some of the skills that Baynes and Horford offered, that could help to lessen the blow of losing the duo.

BLAKELY: Stars, studs, and duds from C's summer league loss>>>

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Why Channing Frye believes Kyrie Irving 'mood swings' report is unfair

Why Channing Frye believes Kyrie Irving 'mood swings' report is unfair

Kyrie Irving has gained plenty of critics recently, and a recent report that his "mood swings" are making the Brooklyn Nets uneasy isn't helping his cause.

But the former Boston Celtics point guard still has plenty of people in his corner -- among them former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Channing Frye.

The retired NBA forward, who spent three seasons with Irving in Cleveland that included an NBA title in 2016, joined NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh on the latest episode of the "Habershow" podcast to discuss why Irving doesn't get a fair shake.

  

"I don't know what the word 'moody' means," Frye told Haberstroh. "Like, if some days he doesn't feel like talking to somebody, he is a grown man. You don't know what's going on in his life.

"I think every teammate I've ever had has bad days, so sometimes I think we try to make stories where there's no stories or we don't really think about what we're reporting."

Irving occasionally took heat during his Boston tenure for being distant or even uncooperative with teammates and the media alike. But Frye doesn't hold that against his former point guard.

"It's like, 'Oh, sorry, he didn't want to do something one time?' That doesn't mean he's moody," Frye said. "It just means he's having a bad day, which happens, because you see somebody every single day.

" ... Like, life happens outside of sports. So, to say someone's moody, like, that's just him. He's not happy-go-lucky all the time. That's no big deal."

Frye also made sure to note Irving -- who's the fifth-best scorer in the NBA at 28.5 points per game -- can still bring it on the court.

"And as good as he's playing this year, s---, I'll take moody," Frye said. "I'll take moody all day."

Check out the full Habershow episode here or in the player above.

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of the Maine Red Claws vs. the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, which tips off Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET , followed by Celtics Pregame Live before the C's face the Warriors. You can also stream both games through the MyTeams App.

NBC Sports Boston to televise all 2019-20 Maine Red Claws home games

tacko_fall_red_claws_photo_shoot.jpg
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NBC Sports Boston to televise all 2019-20 Maine Red Claws home games

Tacko Time is must-see TV for basketball fans, and there's about to be many more chances to see the 7-foot-7 Celtics rookie.

For the first time in the 11-year history of the Maine Red Claws, their full home schedule will be televised on NBC Sports Boston.

“This partnership gives both Red Claws and Celtics fans an opportunity to closely follow their G League team throughout the season, while providing an up-close view of the development of next-generation Celtics players,” Celtics Team President Rich Gotham said.

That next generation includes Tacko Fall and Tremont Waters, who are both signed to two-way contracts this season. The TV slate kicks off Friday, November 15 with live coverage of the Red Claws' home opener against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

Here is the full list of dates, times, and opponents for Red Claws games that will be aired on NBC Sports Boston.

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Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of the Maine Red Claws vs. the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, which tips off Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET , followed by Celtics Pregame Live before the C's face the Warriors. You can also stream both games through the MyTeams App.