Tatum feeds off Paul Pierce the fan's 'energy' in Celtics' comeback win

Tatum feeds off Paul Pierce the fan's 'energy' in Celtics' comeback win

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BOSTON -- Jayson Tatum is used to seeing a wide swath of fans cheering on the Celtics at the TD Garden. 

But that fandom is on another level when the cheering comes from Celtics legend Paul Pierce. 

Pierce, who said he was in attendance doing some work for ESPN, has been a big fan of Tatum ever since the Celtics selected the forward on draft night in 2017.

And as the Celtics rallied for a 116-105 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, Tatum's strong third-quarter performance was instrumental in the win, the C's third in a row after they dropped their season-opener.

The 6-foot-9 forward finished with 25 points, 11 of which came in the third quarter as the Celtics outscored the Bucks, 38-18.

It was also Tatum’s most efficient game of the season in terms of shooting, as he went 10-for-22 from the field.

And Pierce loved every moment of it, even going so far as to high-five Tatum following a Tatum 3-pointer that clearly shifted the momentum in favor of the Celtics.

"It was crazy,” said Tatum who added, “Anytime he comes to the game, he gives us energy.”

Since becoming a Celtic, the two have talked from time to time while establishing a relationship that, like Tatum's game, is still growing.

"I talked to him before [Wednesday’s] game," Said Tatum who added, "Just seeing somebody like him, standing up, cheering."

And being demanding; at least when it came to getting a high-five from Tatum. 

“It was a great moment," Tatum said.

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NBA Rumors: GMs in favor of play-in tournament when season resumes

NBA Rumors: GMs in favor of play-in tournament when season resumes

On Thursday, the NBA took another step toward figuring out the best way to return to action.

Commissioner Adam Silver held a conference call with the league's general managers to review a survey that was delivered to teams last week. In the survey, GMs voted on potential formats to resume play.

Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reports about 75 percent of GMs were in favor of a play-in tournament between bubble teams rather than a World Cup-style group stage. Front-running teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks favored the play-in tourney as it would give them a far easier path to the NBA Finals.

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More from O'Connor:

General managers were surveyed about a 'playoffs-plus' format—either a play-in tournament between the bubble teams to determine the final seeds in the playoffs, or a World Cup–style group stage, which would replace the end of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs with a round-robin format. About 75 percent of teams voted in favor of a play-in tournament, sources said, while 25 percent of teams voted in favor of the group stage.

Although many GMs are in favor of the play-in tournament, that doesn't mean the league will go in that direction.

“Adam [Silver] isn’t taking the results seriously,” a team executive told O'Connor. “Every team is obviously gonna vote for what’s best for them.”

Still, it's a noteworthy development and one that could not only impact how the NBA proceeds with its 2019-20 campaign, but also how it approaches future playoff formats.

For more details from O'Connor, check out his full article here.

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Celtics At Home: Daniel Theis recalls experience playing games without fans

Celtics At Home: Daniel Theis recalls experience playing games without fans

The Boston Celtics hosting a playoff game in an empty arena would be a bizarre experience.

Take it from the guy who's played in front of empty arenas.

Celtics big man Daniel Theis played several years of professional basketball in his native Germany before joining the C's in 2017. On the latest episode of NBC Sports Boston's "Celtics At Home," Theis explained that preseason games often didn't have fans, which created an atmosphere he didn't exactly enjoy.

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"It's definitely weird just thinking about it," Theis told host Brian Scalabrine. "Thinking back for me, playing in Germany in preseason games when you have scrimmages and no fans in there. You hear every voice, every word, every step. It's annoying."

Games without fans could be the NBA's new reality as it aims to safely resume play amid the coronavirus pandemic. Germany's top soccer league, the Bundesliga -- which Theis has been following intently -- is already playing games in empty arenas.

But while Theis wants to get back on the court, he doesn't sound thrilled about playing games without fans again -- especially if that means losing the home-crowd advantage that Boston provides.

"When I watched the soccer games this weekend, it was just -- it didn't feel right," Theis said. "Especially in Boston, when it comes to the playoffs and the fans at TD Garden are so important and so loud ... Then I can imagine now just playing a playoff game with nobody in there, it feels probably like a practice game or scrimmage."

Theis also discussed some of the Celtics' best Zoom guest speakers during Episode Three of "Celtics At Home," which includes guest appearances from C's legends Tommy Heinsohn and Bill Walton.

Check out the full episode of "Celtics At Home" below or on our YouTube page: