A. Sherrod Blakely

Celtics Talk Podcast: Is the NBA pushing for a renewed rivalry between Celtics & 76ers? Exclusive 1-on-1’s with Baynes and Theis

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Celtics Talk Podcast: Is the NBA pushing for a renewed rivalry between Celtics & 76ers? Exclusive 1-on-1’s with Baynes and Theis

A. Sherrod Blakely and Kyle Draper discuss the latest surrounding the Celtics including…

(3:00) How badly does the NBA want to revive the Celtics-76ers rivalry? How much better can the 76ers be?

(8:00) Reacting to the NBA Schedule release, why not have the Celtics play the Lakers on Christmas?

(11:00) Will Kawhi Leonard hold the Raptors hostage like he did the Spurs?

(17:00) A. Sherrod Blakely talks with Aron Baynes about coming back to the Celtics, and the ‘unfinished business’ he feels he still has.

(21:00) A. Sherrod Blakely talks with Daniel Theis about rehabbing from his injury and when he is hoping to be 100% ready to play. 

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Daniel Theis happy to be back on court as recovery continues

Daniel Theis happy to be back on court as recovery continues

BRIGHTON – For Daniel Theis, every day brings about a new adventure … and a new wrinkle to his recovery from a torn meniscus injury in March.

The 6-foot-9 forward is back in town, working his way towards one goal which is to be ready to participate in training camp with the Boston Celtics.

“I’m getting there,” Theis told NBC Sports Boston. “I’ve been back two weeks. I’ve been doing new stuff every day.”

Theis recently began doing full-court sprints.

On Wednesday, Theis said he had been working on changing direction and cutting at a higher speed.

“I’m just happy to be back on the basketball court,” Theis said. “I’ve been working out the whole summer, lifting in the weight room when I wasn’t back home.”

Theis added, “A little bit of running outside. Since I’m back (in Boston) … being on the basketball court doing basketball player stuff; it’s fun. I’m happy now.”

If you’re around Theis for more than five minutes, you’ll realize that he’s in a jovial mood most if not all of the time.

Which is why the torn meniscus injury he suffered was so difficult to deal with.

It did more than just sideline him for an extended period of time.

The injury took away the one joy – basketball – that has been a significant part of his life.

And to be on the bench, watching the team play on without him was a bittersweet time for the 26-year-old Theis.

“First of all, I learned how to be patient,” Theis said. “I wanted to go back on the court so fast. They told me to be patient, you can’t rush the process of healing. I learned that a lot. It was hard watching games on sideline or TV because I wanted to be there. At the end it was so much fun to see those guys, how they played. Every night they give 100 percent whole team, fans, the Celtics organization. Now, I just want to be a big part of this too. I want to be on the court and do the same they did last part of the season and hopefully I can be part of this.”

Theis said he is looking forward to doing some 1-on-1, 2-on-2 and 5-on-5 work later this month and be ready to play once training camp starts.

“I’m still a little bit away,” Theis said. “Every day they put in new stuff. It’s the day after that’s important to see how my knee reacts. (Wednesday), with more speed. (Thursday) we’ll see how my knee reacts. For now, my knee never reacted bad. My main goal is to be ready for training camp.”

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Celtics, Sixers set to renew rivalry on opening night and Christmas Day

Celtics, Sixers set to renew rivalry on opening night and Christmas Day

BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics will go into this season as one of the NBA's must-see teams.

Celtics fans won't have to wait long to see them in action as Boston will face the Philadelphia 76ers in the first game of the NBA's 2018-19 season at the TD Garden on Oct. 16 at 8 p.m.

That game will be followed by a Western Conference tilt between the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Boston's opening night matchup with Philadelphia will be the first of what's shaping up to be a highly-anticipated series of games between these two Eastern Conference heavyweights, who met in the second round of the playoffs last season.

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Being the first game of the regular season is certainly a big deal for any team, a clear indication of how a franchise is perceived not only in their respective market but also throughout the NBA landscape.

But an even more telling measuring stick lies in the opportunity to play in front of a national audience on Christmas Day, something the Celtics will once again do this year.

And the opponent?

Those same opening-night Sixers, who are considered by many as the biggest threat to Boston and its pursuit of Eastern Conference supremacy.

Boston won three of the four regular-season matchups last season against the Sixers and only needed five games to finish off Philly in the playoffs.

But as that playoff series wore on, it was clear that these two franchises, once bitter rivals in the East, were trending towards that bad blood returning.

Go back to their regular season matchup in London in January, a 114-103 Celtics comeback victory after falling behind by as many as 22 points.

One of the more memorable moments in that game came in the fourth quarter when Ben Simmons set a hard screen on Marcus Morris that sent the Celtics small forward falling to the ground.

Morris immediately jumped to his feet and began charging towards Simmons, resulting in players from both teams standing in between the two, to prevent the incidence from escalating into something bigger.

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And during their playoff series, Simmons was once again at the center of attention.

After struggling in Boston's Game 1 win, Simmons said afterwards that he needed to be "more aggressive" in the next game.

But the Celtics had other plans, limiting him to just one point in 31 minutes of court time which was more than enough for Boston to win and take a commanding 2-0 series lead and for the social media trolls out there, resulting in one of the more memorable memes of the NBA season.

Joel Embiid is coming off an All-Star season and has talked both publicly and privately about believing he'll be in the league MVP conversation this season.

But the Celtics' defense against Embiid was a multi-pronged approach last season, and the two key pieces in that attack -- Al Horford and Aron Baynes -- are both back in the fold.

Other games of note on Christmas Day include the LeBron James-led Los Angleles Lakers taking on the Warriors; the Milwaukee Bucks and their MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo facing the New York Knicks and Kristaps Porzingis at Madison Square Garden; also, the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers will play, and the Oklahoma City Thunder will square off against the Houston Rockets who now include former Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony.

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