Season preview: Boston Celtics

Season preview: Boston Celtics


Season preview: Boston Celtics

STAYING: Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart.

ADDED: Kadeem Allen (Arizona), Aron Baynes (Detroit), Jabari Bird (California), Gordon Hayward (Utah), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland), Shane Larkin (Baskonia), Marcus Morris (Detroit), Abdel Nader (Maine Red Claws), Semi Ojeleye (Southern Methodist), Jayson Tatum (Duke), Daniel Theis (Brose Bamberg) and Guerschon Yabusele (Maine Red Claws).

GONE: Avery Bradley (Detroit), Jae Crowder (Cleveland), Gerald Green, Demetrius Jackson (Houston), Jonas Jerebko (Utah), Amir Johnson (Philadelphia), Jordan Mickey (Miami), Kelly Olynyk (Miami), Isaiah Thomas (Cleveland), James Young and Tyler Zeller.

STRENGTHS: They are just supremely talented … In terms of star power, few clubs can hang with Boston … Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward are both in their prime years … Irving might be the best ballhandler in the NBA … He’s also one of the best scorers … Super clutch too … Hayward adds more offensive firepower to the team, but he’s not a mere scorer … He can really fill the stat sheet … Like Hayward, Al Horford is a low-maintenance high-quality player that will always find a way to help the team … The Celtics can put together super physical and athletic lineups with players like Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown … They have very good depth on the perimeter … Scoring should come easy for them … Head coach Brad Stevens is one of the finest minds in the business.

WEAKNESSES: There’s a lot of new pieces to this puzzle … Only four members of the 2016-17 squad return this season … Chemistry may take a while to develop … Their bigs are not that big … Aron Baynes and Horford are the tallest players on the team at 6-foot-10 … Celtics could get regularly outrebounded again this year … Overall, big man rotation is not very impressive … Defensively, probably not an elite squad … There’s no great three-point shooters around the team’s stars … No pun intended, but they do have a lot of guys who are a little green … As of now, 12 of their players are 25 or younger.

PREDICTION: 1st in the Atlantic Division, 2nd in the Eastern Conference.


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