Celtics

Season opener vs. Celtics 'not just another game' for Al Horford

Season opener vs. Celtics 'not just another game' for Al Horford

NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-76ers starts at 6:30pm Wednesday with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 7:30pm.

There's plenty to look forward to in the Celtics' season opener vs. the 76ers on Wednesday night. But perhaps the most notable storyline is Al Horford lining up on the opposite side after spending the three years in Boston.

Horford readily admits it won't feel quite right going up against his former C's teammates, especially given the rivalry between the two Eastern Conference foes. The 33-year-old veteran opened up about it after the Sixers' practice on Sunday.

“Yeah, you know, it's definitely going to be weird for me — different — facing my former team,” Horford said, per Paul Hudrick of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “It's probably as good of a scenario as it can be, first game of the year. It's definitely going to be different. It's not just another game. It's a big game given the rivalry between Philly and Boston.”

Now, Horford joins Joel Embiid to form a fearsome frontcourt in Philly. The 76ers already were up there with the Milwaukee Bucks as favorites in the East, but signing Horford away from the C's certainly didn't hurt their cause.

Despite opting to sign with one of Boston's biggest competitors, it's clear there are no hard feelings between Horford, his ex-teammates, and the rest of the Celtics organization.

“It's the way this business is. I've learned that throughout the years,” Horford said. “The one thing I always take from those groups [on the Celtics] is [it’s a] great group of guys — always competing, always playing hard for one another. I really felt like I made the most out of my time when I was there.”

Tip-off for the Celtics' much-anticipated season opener at the Wells Fargo Center is set for 7:30 p.m ET. on NBC Sports Boston.

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NBA Rumors: Cavaliers willing to trade Kevin Love; could Celtics be suitors?

NBA Rumors: Cavaliers willing to trade Kevin Love; could Celtics be suitors?

The rebuilding Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly are ready to listen to trade offers for Kevin Love.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said Friday on SportsCenter the Cavs are willing to trade their veteran big man, and the Boston Celtics were one of the teams he brought up when discussing the rumors.

"Look at the teams that are playing tonight that have all had interest in the recent past with [Love]," Wojnarowski said. "Boston, Portland, Denver, he's going to be a player very much in demand and I think there's going to be a lot of conversation between Cleveland and teams all over the league about Love."

Watch below:

Love would be a nice addition to a Celtics frontcourt in need of some size, but his expensive contract makes any potential trade a longshot. The 31-year-old signed a four-year, $120 million extension with Cleveland in July of 2018.

The Cavaliers entered Friday night with a 5-15 record. Love is averaging 16.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game in his 12th NBA season.

The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 7.

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Celtics' Marcus Smart signs posters for 'biggest fans' Grant Williams, Javonte Green

Celtics' Marcus Smart signs posters for 'biggest fans' Grant Williams, Javonte Green

Marcus Smart got a visit from two of his biggest fans in the Boston Celtics locker room on Friday.

Those fans were his rookie teammates Grant Williams and Javonte Green, who approached the longest-tenured Celtic with autograph requests.

Smart obliged, but he laughed off their requests to write "To Grant" or "To Javonte" on the Authentic Fan posters. Williams did, however, convince Smart to write "To Mini-Me" since Smart has referred to the 21-year-old as the younger version of himself.

Watch below:

To say the youngsters look up to Smart would be an understatement.

After missing the Celtics' win over the Heat with an illness and oblique injury, Smart will be back in action for Friday night's matchup vs. the Denver Nuggets.

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