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#pounditSaturday, October 1, 2022

Articles tagged: Boston Celtics

Key Celtics player to miss start of 2022-23 season with injury?

Ime Udoka looking on

Dec 25, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka looks on during the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics’ Eastern Conference title defense is already hitting a pothole.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday that Celtics big man Robert Williams will be undergoing an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee and is expected to miss four-to-six weeks. Wojnarowski adds that Williams was plagued by the knee injury in the playoffs after having meniscus surgery in March but played through it.

Sean Deveney of adds that Williams will likely now be sidelined for all of training camp and into the early weeks of the regular season.

The 24-year-old Williams is perhaps the Celtics’ most energetic young player. He served as Boston’s starting center during their Finals run last season, blossoming into a nightly double-double candidate with top-shelf rim protection plus the ability to switch out onto the perimeter and contest jumpers as well.

But Williams was badly hampered by his knee issue throughout the playoffs after returning to action less than a month after his meniscus surgery. One report even detailed just how much Williams went through to play.

Training camp begins later in September, and the regular season starts for the Celtics in exactly four weeks on Oct. 18. That means Boston may have to rely on 36-year-old Al Horford and backup bigs like Luke Kornet and Noah Vonleh to sop up the 5 minutes that Williams will vacate in the early going.

Kyrie Irving has message for his former team Celtics

Kyrie Irving looks on during a game

Mar 15, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving is putting his former NBA team on notice.

Appearing on a Twitch stream this week, the Brooklyn Nets guard Irving spoke on being swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs last year. Irving called it “a humbling experience” but cautioned Boston that they would be seeing the Nets again.

“It was meant to happen like that,” said Irving. “Motivation, bro. We needed that humbling experience, especially going against the Celtics. It was already built in to be that matchup.

“We gonna see ’em again,” Irving added. “We gonna have to. They gonna be where they gonna be. But those young-uns over there in Boston, bro, I got to see them grow up. So to see them doing what they did last year, on the Finals stage, making it that far, I’m glad they had to go through us.”

Here is the video (but beware that it has bad language).

The seven-time All-Star Irving played in Boston for two seasons from 2017 to 2019 but left for the Nets in free agency on icy terms. Last season’s playoff matchup against the Celtics was his first postseason meeting with his former team since departing. The series proved to be extremely hostile, as Irving had multiple obscene moments with the Boston crowd. The Celtics won 4-0 though and eventually advanced to their first NBA Finals in over a decade.

Irving will now be running it back with Kevin Durant in Brooklyn for at least one more year, and they will be flanked by new additions TJ Warren, Royce O’Neale, and Markieff Morris (plus hopefully Ben Simmons, who still has yet to play a game for the Nets). With that core, Irving is feeling confident about their chances of getting another stab at the Celtics next postseason.

Celtics already scouting 1 very notable phenom

Brad Stevens with his arms extended

Apr 22, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens reacts following a call during the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks in game four of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Forget Denny’s because the Boston Celtics are going for an early bird special of their own.

Celtics GM Brad Stevens was spotted in Europe this week scouting out top 2023 NBA Draft prospect Victor Wembanyama (among other players).

“We’re paying attention,” said Stevens of his visit during an interview with French journalist Lukas Nicot. “You have to always be ready for not only what’s coming your way this year but ten years from now.”

The 18-year-old Wembanyama is the most coveted jewel of the 2023 class. He stands 7-foot-4 (according to a recent listing) but possesses the footwork, mobility, and off-the-dribble scoring juice of a guard. Wembanyama is clear top overall pick material and is a possible generational talent in the making.

Here are some of Wembanyama’s defensive highlights.

Now here are some of his offensive highlights.

Wembanyama has been playing professionally in France for the last three years. He currently plays for Parisian team Metropolitans 92.

The Celtics, who are gunning for a championship after last year’s NBA Finals berth, likely won’t be anywhere near the top-of-the-lottery spot that will be needed to secure Wembanyama. But Boston has always been on top of their scouting game, and Stevens’ overseas trip this week continues on that trend.

1 notable team crossing Carmelo Anthony off their list?

Carmelo Anthony looking on

Nov 27, 2019; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers power forward Carmelo Anthony (00) warms up prior to tip off against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony may have to wait a little bit longer for his potential 20th season in the NBA.

Brian Robb of MassLive reported this week that the Boston Celtics are not expected to have interest in signing the ten-time All-Star Anthony prior to training camp. Robb adds that Anthony is not a priority for Boston, as they would like to give a chance to some of the young guys they already have.

New Celtics forward Danilo Gallinari was recently lost for the 2022-23 season due to a torn ACL suffered in a FIBA World Cup qualifying match (video here). That led to some reports that Boston could bring in the ex-scoring champion Anthony to play Gallinari’s expected role off the bench.

But Anthony is 38, does not know the system, and often has his own plans on offense. Giving an opportunity to players who are already on the roster like Noah Vonleh (27), Bruno Caboclo (26), and Sam Hauser (24) would probably be the better move for the Celtics heading into training camp.

Report: Carmelo Anthony receiving increasing interest from 1 team

Carmelo Anthony looking on

Apr 8, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony (7) warms up before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony remains unsigned into September, but that could be about to change with reported interest from one team.

Links between Anthony and the Boston Celtics are “starting to gain traction,” according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. The 38-year-old is looking to land with a championship contender, and the Celtics have a need for bench shooting after Danilo Gallinari’s season-ending injury in World Cup qualifying.

The Celtics had already been linked to Anthony last week, and the links make sense. Anthony is not as skilled a playmaker as Gallinari is, but if Boston wants scoring, they could certainly do worse. The team would likely be able to bring him in at little cost and without asking him to immediately shoulder a huge load for the team.

Anthony spent last season in a reserve role for the Los Angeles Lakers. He averaged 13.3 points in 26 minutes a game and shot 37.5 percent from three-point range.

Carmelo Anthony is backup plan for 1 top contender?

Carmelo Anthony looking on

Apr 8, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony (7) warms up before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

One top NBA contender could have a 38-year-old insurance plan.

Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports reports that Carmelo Anthony has been considered a potential signee in recent days by the Boston Celtics. The ten-time All-Star forward remains an unsigned free agent.

The Celtics’ reported interest in Anthony comes after new addition Danilo Gallinari suffered a non-contact injury at a World Cup qualifying game in Europe last week (video here). While Gallinari was able to avoid the worst-case scenario, he did suffer a meniscus tear, which could shelve him for at least the first several weeks of the NBA season.

Anthony and Gallinari have slightly similar skillsets as one-way forwards who can get buckets off the bench (though Gallinari runs circles around Anthony as a playmaker and is a full four years younger).

The 19-year NBA veteran Anthony is still looking for his first ring. But even if the Celtics will give him a better shot at glory, there may be another team in the division that Anthony wants to go to instead.

1 rival team could pry Jaylen Brown away from Celtics?

Jaylen Brown in his Celtics uniform

May 19, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) brings the ball up court during the first half of game two of the 2022 eastern conference finals against the Miami Heat at FTX Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Jaylen Brown has been a lifelong Boston Celtic, but one opposing team is hoping to change that.

Heavy’s Sean Deveney spoke this week to an Eastern Conference executive who believes that the Atlanta Hawks will be a major threat to sign Brown away from the Celtics down the road.

“They’ve been after more two-way players in recent years, because signing up a few big names around Trae Young has not worked out,” the executive was quoted as saying of the Hawks. “We’ll have to see what they do with [forwards De’Andre] Hunter and [Onyeka] Okongwu because they’ll need extensions. But if they can clear out the room, that’s probably the biggest team to worry the Celtics.”

Brown, 25, has two years left on his contract with Boston before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2024. He is a native of Atlanta and attended Wheeler High School in nearby Marietta, Ga. Brown has also had a big impact on the local Atlanta community over the last few years.

Despite the Celtics’ NBA Finals appearance last season, there is growing uncertainty over Brown’s long-term future with the team. He was reportedly included in Boston’s trade offers for Kevin Durant and has shown discontent with Celtics fans during recent months. A homecoming opportunity with a rising Hawks team would probably have some serious intrigue for Brown.

New Celtics acquisition feared to have suffered serious injury

Ime Udoka looking on

Dec 25, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka looks on during the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics are holding their breath with one of the crown jewels of their offseason class.

In the fourth quarter of Italy’s World Cup qualifying match against Georgia on Saturday, forward Danilo Gallinari exited the game with a left knee issue. Head coach Gianmarco Pozzecco of the Italian side told reporters afterwards that he feared Gallinari had suffered a serious injury (though there was no official word yet at the time).

The 34-year-old Gallinari came up hobbled on a non-contact play while trying to score during a fast break. Here is the video.

Gallinari already tore his left ACL in similar fashion in 2013 when he was with the Denver Nuggets. He missed the entire 2013-14 season as a result.

Shams Charania of The Athletic does report that Gallinari’s ACL is stable this time around. The veteran will undergo an MRI on Sunday though to determine the full extent of his injury.

After averaging 11.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game last season for the Atlanta Hawks, Gallinari was traded to the San Antonio Spurs this summer as part of the Dejounte Murray deal. He was then waived by the Spurs and signed with the Celtics, who need another scorer and shooter off the bench after their Finals run last year. Boston also made another major move this summer besides acquiring Gallinari.

Celtics bringing in former lottery pick

Ime Udoka looking on

Dec 25, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka looks on during the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics are not done loading the boat for their Eastern Conference title defense.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Monday that the Celtics have agreed to an Exhibit 10 training camp deal with veteran forward Denzel Valentine. Charania adds that Valentine will compete for one of Boston’s open roster spots in camp.

Valentine, 28, was a No. 14 overall draft pick in 2016 after being named AP Player of the Year at Michigan State University. He averaged 2.9 points and 1.8 rebounds in just over nine minutes per game last season between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Utah Jazz.

Boston already brought in one trigger-happy, defense-minimal forward in Danilo Gallinari earlier this summer. But after also landing guard Malcolm Brogdon in a five-for-one player swap with the Indiana Pacers, the Celtics still have multiple open roster spots to fiddle around with. Valentine (and his, shall we say, audacious offensive game) will be looking to win one of those spots.

Duncan Robinson has 1 big complaint about Celtics

Duncan Robinson in his Heat uniform

Aug 22, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Miami Heat guard Duncan Robinson (55) reacts before being fouled by Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo (4) during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Duncan Robinson and the Miami Heat played seven games against the Boston Celtics last postseason … which was more than enough for him.

The Heat veteran Robinson had an episode of his “The Long Shot” podcast this week where Milwaukee Bucks counterpart Pat Connaughton was on as a guest. During their discussion of last season’s playoffs, Connaughton, whose team also faced the Celtics, said Boston has “the worst visiting team locker room in the entire NBA.”

Robinson agreed and took the criticism up another notch.

“If you walked in and you said, ‘This is a high school locker room,’ I would say, ‘That’s a really s–t high school locker room,'” said Robinson.

Nobody expects Ritz Carlton-like conditions from an away locker room. But playing in Boston, especially during the postseason, has historically been a real challenge, in part due to the conditions in the visitors’ dressing area.

Robinson himself only saw limited minutes in the Eastern Conference Finals series against Boston, having been booted from Miami’s regular rotation in the playoffs. But Lady Fortune may be back in Robinson’s corner starting next season after a notable change that he made this summer.