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Season Record: 49-33, 4th in the Eastern Conference
Head Coach: Brad Stevens
Most Frequent Starting Five (33 Games): (G) Kyrie Irving – (G) Marcus Smart – (F) Jayson Tatum – (F) Marcus Morris – (C) Al Horford
The Boston Celtics made no major transactions during the 2018-2019 NBA season.
The Celtics are Safe with Ainge
“Brad just keeps getting better,” says Danny Ainge. “He’s a young coach, he works harder than anybody, he’s bright … He’s the least of our worries.” pic.twitter.com/vRzULL9Hzq
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 5, 2019
The Celtics had an awful season by their own standards. However the steps they took to get to success were all correct, it was just player error that failed them.
Danny Ainge drafted two incredibly young wings (Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown), signed two max-level players (Gordon Hayward, Al Horford), and traded for an All-NBA superstar (Kyrie Irving).
While they flamed out in the second round of the playoffs, Ainge still had three first-round draft picks to build on. If that is failure to perform by a General Manager, the rest of the leagues’ front offices should be stepping up.
Discord in the Clubhouse
The Boston Celtics’ are a storied franchise built on the history of success of its former squads. Unfortunately, the 18-19 Celtics will be known for underachievement, due to internal issues regarding players.
A full season of questioning Irving’s motives, arguments amongst players and coaches, to full recognition of their teams’ lack of desire to play for each other, the Boston Celtics were a talented yet toxic team.
That poison has hopefully been removed, as near-half, the roster has been overhauled going into the 2019-2020 season.
Gordon “What If?” Hayward
GORDON. HAYWARD. pic.twitter.com/5tKtd4wK9R
— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) October 11, 2019
It isn’t Gordon Hayward’s fault that he suffered a horrific injury to open the 2017-2018 season. It also isn’t his fault that previous to that he had the best season of his career, was an all-star, and signed a four-year $128 million contract to play under his college coach.
Unfortunately, Hayward is going into the third year of that contract and it is yet to be justified. Joining Boston to be the star but then being relegated to bench role player hasn’t encouraged his production.
He still has the opportunity to turn it around. With less ball dominance on the roster with Irving gone, he may receive an expanded role. Whether he can capitalize on that is the question.
The Cream of the Lesser Crop
Going into the 2018-2019 season, Boston was projected as one of the league’s top teams. Almost certain to challenge for the NBA Championship come spring.
The more that the Celtics played, the more human they seemed. Philly had a beast in Embiid, Milwaukee had a god in Giannis, and Toronto had a terminator in Leonard. Meanwhile, the Celtics had a dysfunctional team of motivated yet unaccomplished players led by a science-denying point guard who went back on his preseason loyalty to the franchise.
As time went on the Celtics won games, but were clearly on the outside looking in at their Eastern Conference compatriots. A team with no star, no leader, and no togetherness closed the season significantly more average than they opened it.
The Celtics had four selections in the 2019 NBA Draft.
With the loss of Irving and the impending decision around Brown and Tatum, the Celtics chose to shore up their wing and backcourt.
ROMEO LANGFORD! ?? pic.twitter.com/6JeIagJ1Vh
— Celtas Brasil (@BrasilCeltas) October 12, 2019
The addition of Langford was an excellent choice by the Boston Celtics. Already plagued with scoring options, Langford can come in and be the energy piece they need to support their stars.
His athleticism leaves much to be desired, but he is a decent scorer and slasher with room to improve as a shooter.
Grant Williams is good. pic.twitter.com/V1OBsSWNFn
— Celtics SZN (@celtsSZN) October 15, 2019
Grant Williams is a high-impact, team-first, energy player. He doesn’t project to be a transcendent scorer, but he will likely be a player with a long NBA career.
Already with an NBA body, Williams will need to work on his shooting in order to make a mark with his career.
Oh my God Tremont Waters pic.twitter.com/JuupkMvu3j
— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) October 16, 2019
A balanced scorer and passer, Tremont Waters is very reminiscent of Fred Vanvleet. Despite his size, he is an adept finisher inside.
Due to LSU’s lack of depth, he struggled to take care of the ball as he averaged 3.5 turnovers per game in college. He will certainly need to improve.
Celtics rookie Carsen Edwards dropped 26 points… in the 3rd quarter ?
?: @celtics pic.twitter.com/T5jQiZLtB3
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) October 16, 2019
Carsen Edwards is without a doubt, an absolute flamethrower. Small in stature but large in offensive output, Edwards’ amazing Elite 8 run with Purdue proved enough for the Celtics to snatch him up.
Already looking in the mould of lead guard Kemba Walker, Edwards will have to show his decision making and defending can meet his offensive standards.
The Boston Celtics are absolutely loaded with rookies, a far cry from their veteran yet dysfunctional roster from last year.
Boston is still searching for their definitive backup point guard, so expect both Edwards and Waters to get a fair look.
Langford and Williams will be fighting for the same position, but will both likely spend some time with Boston’s G-League affiliate for seasoning.
Enes Kanter : Spin move + dunk. ?pic.twitter.com/Zrtf1wvWX1
— Jordanowski (@Jorda_NBA) November 19, 2018
While Kanter’s stay in Boston has gotten off to a rocky start, the charismatic big man will add a new depth to the Celtics’ team.
In Kanter, the Celtics acquired a capable center who can score with his back to the basket as well as facing it. The loss of Aron Baynes is also softened due to Kanter’s rebounding ability.
Coach Stevens gives some insight on the Celtics 2-way guard Max Strus (presented by https://t.co/Av8GdCAzPA) pic.twitter.com/e1edlKxP3f
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) October 13, 2019
Max Strus is a passably athletic swingman with a justified propensity to shoot the ball. He shot 36.3% from three in college on nearly nine attempts per game.
Strus looks to factor into Brad Steven’s ball movement-oriented offense quickly but will take seasoning in the G-League to shore up his defensive and athletic shortcomings.
Javonte Green took off from here and dunked very comfortably. pic.twitter.com/Z4Nt1Lse9o
— Tom Westerholm (@Tom_NBA) October 13, 2019
Javonte Green is an exciting prospect for the Boston Celtics. He fits their defensive identity, while also maintaining an offensive efficiency that draws coaches’ praise.
While he excels in doing the little things, he is not spectacular in any offensive category. He will have to prove that he can be a reliable option during the attack, in order to balance with his defence.
Add this poster to your collection, @XavierMBB‘s Kaiser Gates pic.twitter.com/lKd0cezR0u
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) March 8, 2018
Gates joins the Celtics off the back of a solid G-League season with the Westchester Knicks.
Gates is a good shooter but is reserved in his shot volume. He’s proven an adequate playmaker and rebounder, showing his versatility.
I just wanna see Tacko Fall ball out this season ??pic.twitter.com/c5KUG0Xo5p
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) October 13, 2019
A literal walking giant on earth, Tacko Fall finds himself on the Boston Celtics with the opportunity to prove there’s more to his game than just size.
At 7’6, Fall’s most valuable asset will be his length finishing at and defending the rim. He will have to expand his range and develop a post-game, but he’s already the most physically intriguing prospect in his draft class – next to Zion Williamson.
|Point Guard||Shooting Guard||Small Forward||Power Forward||Center|
|Kemba Walker||Marcus Smart||Jayson Tatum||Gordon Hayward||Enes Kanter|
|Carsen Edwards||Romeo Langford||Jaylen Brown||Daniel Theis||Robert Williams|
|Brad Wanamaker||Javonte Green||Max Strus||Grant Williams||Vincent Poirer|
|Tremont Waters||Yante Maten||Semi Ojeleye||Kaiser Gates||Tacko Fall|
Nothing really jumps out at you with this Boston Celtics roster. They currently field a team lead by three-time All-Star Kemba Walker whose next most accomplished running mate is Gordon Hayward.
They will be relying on the continual development of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to lead them into the future.
Losing Irving and Horford is immense, but coach Brad Stevens has shown flexibility in his coaching that encourages even fringe players to contribute impressively.
Betting odds expect the Boston Celtics to finish with a similar record to last year.
With an over/under of 48.5 for regular season wins, the sports book is being quite generous to an overhauled roster.
While the Milwaukee Bucks are the runaway favorites to win the Eastern Conference, future odds have the Boston Celtics as fourth most likely to win the East.
While their team needs time to gel, players are betting on the improved core of the Celtics to key their success.
The Boston Celtics are on the outside looking in at the future odds’ teams to win the NBA Championship.
Opening as the ninth most likely team to win the Larry O’Brien trophy, the Celtics will need to perform well in order to improve their odds.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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