Enes Kanter

Injury updates on Daniel Theis and Robert Williams as Celtics head west

Injury updates on Daniel Theis and Robert Williams as Celtics head west

BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics may not have to dig as deep into their big man well for their game Friday night against the Golden State Warriors. 

Daniel Theis and Robert Williams III, both unable to play in the 140-133 win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, are listed as questionable for the game Friday vs. Golden State in San Francisco, the opener of the C's five-game trip west. 

Theis was unable to play due to a sprained little finger in his right hand.

Following Boston’s win over the Dallas Mavericks, Theis told NBC Sports Boston that he dislocated his finger twice and popped it back in place both times. 

“I just try to help the team any way I can,” Theis said. 

Williams missed the Wizards game due to a sore right ankle that has progressed, but it remains to be seen if it has healed to the point where the 6-foot-10 big man can play Friday.

Boston has won nine in a row and the one bright spot with all the Celtics injuries at center is it has allowed others an opportunity to play a more significant role. 

Enes Kanter got his second start of the season against Washington and will likely be in the starting lineup on Friday night if Theis can’t play. 

Against Washington, Kanter had a near double-double of 13 points and nine rebounds. 

Boston also got nice contributions from rookie center Vincent Poirier, who had three points, four rebounds and three assists in nine minutes. 

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Warriors, which tips off Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 10:30 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.

A. Sherrod Blakely's Takeaways: Jayson Tatum, Carsen Edwards part of Celtics big scoring night to offset 44 from Wizards' Bradley Beal

A. Sherrod Blakely's Takeaways: Jayson Tatum, Carsen Edwards part of Celtics big scoring night to offset 44 from Wizards' Bradley Beal

BOSTON -- The bond that exists between Jayson Tatum and Bradley Beal is Teflon-tough.

The two grew up in the same St. Louis neighborhood, with the older Beal often playing the role of Big Bro to Tatum. 

So, Beal had a pretty good idea what to expect from Tatum, who had missed 17 of 18 shots on Monday against the Dallas Mavericks. 

“He’s coming out gunning,” Beal said before the game Wednesday night. “I know it. He forgot about that game and looking forward to this one.”

No truer words have been spoken about Tatum, who put in some extra time at the practice facility on Monday night, just hours removed from the worst shooting game of his still-young NBA career. 

And in his first chance to redeem himself, Tatum did not disappoint in helping Boston hold on for a 140-133 win. 

Tatum finished with 23 points on 9-for-20 shooting to go with four assists and three rebounds. 

Beal did his part for the Wizards (2-7), leading all scorers with 44 points on 17-for-27 shooting to go with five rebounds and six assists. 

Former Celtic Isaiah Thomas, making his first start against his former team since being traded in 2017, had 18 points for the Wizards on 7-for-14 shooting in addition to seven assists. 

Here are four other takeaways from the Celtics' ninth win in a row that puts them at 9-1 heading on their five-game Western trip.


KEMBA WALKER

It was yet another night where Kemba Walker got buckets in a critical surge by the Celtics that ultimately led to a victory. And what we’re seeing lately is Walker not only scoring, but doing so in a more efficient manner. Against the Wizards, Walker finished with 25 points on 8-for-17 shooting from the field. He also managed to grab five rebounds to go with five assists. 
 

BENCH PLAY

The Celtics’ second unit had been a first-rate problem most of this season in both scoring and, more significantly, having a major impact on games. That was not the case on Wednesday with the C's getting strong contributions from a number of their backups. Boston’s bench outscored their Washington brethren 40-29 with rookie Carsen Edwards leading the way with a career-high 18 points. Second-year guard Brad Wanamaker had a strong night for the Celtics as well, with 10 points and five assists. The Celtics used six players off the bench, all of whom scored at least two points.  

CARSEN EDWARDS

There was no way to ignore the impact made by Edwards. Arguably one of the best shooters on the team, Edwards has looked nothing like that for most of this season. He came into the game shooting just 25 percent from 3-point range and 31.3 percent from the field. Against the Wizards, Edwards scored a career-high 18 points on 7-for-12 shooting which included going 4-for-5 from 3-point range. He also grabbed four rebounds and handed out three assists. 

ENES KANTER

There were a number of Celtics players who had better numbers and overall a bigger impact on Wednesday. Still, to see Kanter on the floor was a major plus for Boston, even if it was due to both Daniel Theis (finger) and Robert Williams III (ankle) being out. The Celtics are going to need Kanter to step up in a big way at some point this season. The sooner he shows he’s capable of doing Kanter-like things (score around the basket and rebound the basketball), the better off both he and the C's will be. In a limited capacity, we saw Kanter do just that against the Wizards. He was a major presence in the paint - particularly on the offensive boards - before finishing with a near double-double of 13 points on just 4-for-5 shooting, and nine rebounds. 

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Warriors, which tips off Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 10:30 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.

The Enes Kanter Show: What makes Tacko Fall so popular and likeable?

The Enes Kanter Show: What makes Tacko Fall so popular and likeable?

Tacko Fall has become a very popular player in Boston and throughout the NBA since he made his Celtics debut in the 2019 Summer League, and that love doesn't just involve fans.

His Celtics teammates really enjoy being around him, too. Celtics center Enes Kanter, who signed with Boston as a free agent in July, has developed a friendship with Fall, and he explained on the debut episode of NBC Sports Boston's weekly "The Enes Kanter Show" podcast why the 7-foot-5 center is a "rock star."

"He's not just a fan favorite, he's a player favorite, too," Kanter said. "It's just so nice to be around that guy -- because obviously he's an amazing basketball player, and I watched him in summer league and I was like, 'This dude is gonna be a rock star.' Not a superstar, a rock star.

"Obviously, he works hard and he's always playing basketball and everything, but what makes him a rock star is his personality and his character. He's one of the most kind players you will see, and the players want to be around him because he always brings positive energy and he is that glue guy. That's why I think the fans love him. That's what's going to make him a rock star. I'm excited about him. He's going to be special in this league."

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Fall has played in one regular season game -- Oct. 26 versus the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Knicks fans were chanting "Tacko!" in the fourth quarter, and when he entered the game, the 23-year-old center scored four points with three rebounds in four minutes of action. Each of Fall's baskets created as much excitement and cheering as MSG has seen all season (sorry, Knicks), which really shows you how much of a fan favorite he has become.

The Celtics have a deep roster, so Fall will play plenty of games with the G-League's Maine Red Claws throughout the 2019-20 season to continue developing his skills. Still, Tacko Fall is going to be a fan favorite regardless of where he plays. He has the type of game and charisma fans really enjoy.

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Wizards, which tips off Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Tommy have the call of the game at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.