June 26, 2018
Why I Am Already So Excited for the Celtics to be Playing Again
Wanna talk about “All Things Good?” How about all things great? The Boston Celtics are gonna be so freaking good next season. The more Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward highlights I watch, the more goosebumps I get. The Boston Celtics will be good enough and well equipped enough to beat Golden State next season. If you’re in your twenties, this will be the most exciting season of Celtics basketball you have seen. Yes, more exciting than 2007-08. Here’s why…
The Return of Kyrie and Hayward.
This one’s obvious, but so true. Kyrie Irving is the best ball-handler and under-the-rim finisher in the history of basketball. He shot nearly 40 percent from deep and 50 percent from the field this season. At 26, he’s only getting better as he approaches his prime, and there is no limit to his potential. The Celtics will be his team again next season as they look for banner 18.
A lot of people seem to forget how good Gordon Hayward is. The man can get his buckets from anywhere on the court. He’s posterized people, hit game-winners, and defends three positions well. He shot 40 percent from three last season and averaged over 20 points per game. This guy is going to make this Boston team so much better. How do you defend the two of these guys plus Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown? Someone is going to get open pretty easily. Speaking of the young guys…
A Summer of Development from Tatum and Brown
I’ll say it right now, both of these players could make the All Star team next season. Jaylen Brown showed exactly what a summer of hard work looks like last year. His development from his first to second season was immaculate. He shot over six percent better from three and raised his scoring average by over eight points. Throw in his freakishly good defense and ripe age of 21 and you have a pretty exciting player. There is no reason to believe he will not make similar improvements this summer. He’s a worker and loves the game. Next year could be the complete breakout of Jaylen Brown.
I think it’s safe to say Jayson Tatum kind of already broke out. He lead the Celtics in scoring in the postseason and went shot for shot with the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. At 19 years old, Jayson Tatum has absolutely limitless potential. The man shot over 43 percent from deep last season and had one of the deadliest mid-range shots in the game. He posterized Karl-Anthony Towns and LeBron James. His legacy is only just starting to bloom. Tatum will take this summer to bulk up 10-15 pounds and continue to improve his footwork and handling. In two years, he very well could be the best player on the Celtics.
Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart
Terry Rozier is a dog. He proved time after time that he can be a starting point guard in this league. Once Irving went down for the season, Rozier barely missed a beat. He played well in every facet of the game and at only 24 years old showed he will only get better. He has improved every summer, but this one could be his greatest. If Rozier can continue to chip away and improve his all-around game he will be the x-factor for the Celtics next season. Having a good backup point guard is absolutely essential in chasing a title.
All signs point to Marcus Smart re-signing with the Celtics. He has said he believes he’ll be in Boston next season and Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens have only said great things about Smart. His hustle and integrity is unmatched. He would take a bullet for any player/coach on the team. He’s great in the locker room and is an all-world defender. He might get a better offer elsewhere, but it just makes too much sense for him to be a Celtics next year.
The Other Guys
Marcus Morris will be back with the Celtics next year. His shot making and defense was critical for the Celtics all season long, and he should perform similarly next season. Daniel Theis will return from his knee surgery. He was great on the offensive boards last season and had a soft jump shot. He defended well and was an alley-oop specialist. The Celtics missed him in the postseason, as he would have been the perfect remedy to Tristan Thompson. Rookie Robert Williams will be a great addition to this team. With a 7’5 wingspan, he plays well above the rim. He’ll block shots and get his posters in. He might not play a ton next season, but imagining him with Kyrie in the pick and roll is making us fans salivate.
These are just a couple of reasons we need to be pumped about the Celtics next season. They are the closest it gets to beating the Warriors right now, and a little extra work could make these guys champs. October, please hurry up.
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Hunter Perkins - ATG Sports Writer
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