The defending champions just ran into their toughest test yet.
If you've been following the "Celtics Census" segments on NBC Sports Boston's "Celtics at Home" series, you've seen our Abby Chin and ex-Celtics big man Kendrick Perkins defeat all comers. The dynamic duo won five straight matchups and appears to have its pulse on the 2019-20 Celtics as well as C's fans in the "Family Feud"-style game show.
But we saved Abby and Perk's toughest challengers for last: Celtics co-owners Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca, who know their team inside and out.
This clash of titans didn't disappoint, as the Abby/Perk and Grousbeck/Pagliuca teams went back and forth trying to guess Celtics' fans answers to questions such as, "Which current team do you enjoy seeing the Celtics beat the most?" and "Which current Celtic would you want to go on a vacation/road trip with?"
In fact, the matchup came down to the final question, where Abby and Perk put their winning streak on the line. Who emerged victorious? Check out "Celtics Census" below to find out.
Kemba Walker will have a chip on his shoulder when the 2019-20 NBA season resumes later this month.
The Boston Celtics point guard had a disappointing finish to the campaign prior to it being put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Walker dealt with a nagging knee injury and struggled to put up the consistent numbers he's capable of producing.
That's why the NBA's four-month hiatus could be a blessing in disguise for Walker and the C's when they return to action in Orlando, Fla. The time off gave Walker much-needed time to let his knee recover, and having him at full strength could be the key for Boston as it looks to make a run for Banner No. 18.
"It was super important for me," said Walker. "I really, really needed that break. It definitely helped me get back to myself and start to feel comfortable on my knee. It was a very unfortunate time but it was in my best interest for sure. So yeah, I'm pretty comfortable with the way the schedule is and I'm just going to keep on taking care of myself. That's really all I can do. So I'm just going to stay on top of things and take it day by day."
In a brand new episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast, A. Sherrod Blakely, Chris Forsberg, and Kyle Draper discussed Walker's importance to the C's going forward and how motivated the 30-year-old will be after his tough finish to the pre-pandemic part of the season.
"When you look at the roster, when you look at their core guys, there's only one guy that was on the load management train near the end of the stoppage of play, and that's Kemba Walker," Blakely said. "He's so important to this team but the thing that I like about Kemba Walker is I think he's embraced the fact that as much as he's had to carry the load this time of year in the few times he's been in the playoffs, he doesn't have to be that guy this time around.
"I think he's going to come in with an edge and an attitude. He did not finish the pre-pandemic stage of the season playing great basketball. He's pissed about that. He knows that there are going to be questions of whether he's really ready for the playoffs because he's never been in a situation like this where there are actual expectations for success. I think we're going to see the best Kemba Walker that we've seen all season."
Forsberg agreed with Blakely's assessment, stressing how imperative it will be to have a healthy Kemba operating at 100 percent when the C's begin the postseason.
"Tatum was so good for the last couple of months that it's easy to forget how bad Kemba was at the finish line there," Forsberg said. "It wasn't by the fault of his own, but he was so good through 46 games and then the knee flared, he had to get those injections, he had to take nine games off and he just wasn't the same player.
"I think we all know if the Celtics are going to have any chance Kemba's got to be at a high level. If he can get back to being anywhere near the guy he was at the start of the season, the one that was setting everybody up, who was shooting 38.8 percent from the 3-point arc. That Kemba's going to be really, really important in the playoffs."
Also in the new episode, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens shared his mindset heading into the "bubble," whether he believes the winner of this year's NBA championship should get an asterisk, and much more.
It now has been two weeks since Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert became the first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus, and the league suspended its season indefinitely.
Those two weeks have felt like months, and there's no doubt the absence of the NBA -- and sports as a whole -- has been rough. So in the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast, Chris Forsberg, Abby Chin, and A. Sherrod Blakely look at the bright side.
The crew discussed their favorite moments from C's players in quarantine, and as well as which Celtics Classic games they are looking forward to watching the most on NBC Sports Boston.
Grant Williams. I loved that because it came early on in this process when we're still kind of adjusting to being in this whole self-quarantine mode. And the fact that he was so spot-on. I mean, Gordon Hayward as grandma? Yeah, I can see that. Jayson Tatum as Lola Bunny? Absolutely. And Marcus Smart as Tazmanian Devil is spot-on.
To hear more about how the Celtics and the rest of the NBA world are holding up during these trying times, check out this week's episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast, available on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network and YouTube.