The Boston Celtics had a big offseason this year. They lost their longtime President of Basketball Operations in Danny Ainge, and replaced him with the head coach, Brad Stevens. There is a new head coach in Boston, as they hired former player, Ime Udoka.
Furthermore, there were some roster moves. They flipped Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder to bring back Al Horford. Also, they were able to steal Dennis Schroder in free agency.
The Celtics have tried over the past decade to be a contender. For the most part, they succeeded. Since Brad Stevens arrived in 2014, the Celtics made it to the Eastern Conference Finals three times.
Despite the success, they are not looked at as contenders; at least legitimate ones. Can this season be the one where they prove doubters wrong? If so, there has to be a few things that need to happen.
Prove You can Beat the Best
As of today, the Celtics are sitting at the fifth best odds to win the Eastern Conference at +2100. The Miami Heat are in fourth at +950. Nobody believes in this Celtics team.
The Celtics have been the most consistent team over the past several years in the East. However, they are looked at as just another playoff team. Last season was a rough year for them.
That could have been an anomaly. In order to prove they belong, they must get out to a hot start. Whenever the best teams in the East matchup with them, the Celtics must show up to play.
The current mood for the Celtics is not exciting throughout the basketball world. All of that can change if they prove that they are a team to be reckoned with early on in the season.
The Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, and Miami Heat will all be formidable opponents. However, the Celtics must be able to battle back.
Is There Another Leap for Tatum and Brown?
Last season was the best statistical year for both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Brown made it to his first All-Star team, while Tatum made it to his second straight All-Star team. The dynamic duo were great up until Brown’s wrist injury.
However, their great play did not translate into a lot of wins. Obviously, the new roster has to step up, but the two stars need to take another leap. Is it possible?
Brown might be at the best possible position. He bumped his averages to 24.7 points per game after only averaging 20.3 the previous year. The shooting splits increased a little bit, including 39.7% from three.
Brown can get better on the defensive end perhaps, as he has the potential to be elite at that skill. However, a bigger jump might not be in the cards.
Tatum is a different story. He keeps getting better every season. The outlook on Tatum is that he can be a superstar in this league. His defense has improved drastically, but his scoring is what will make him great.
Tatum averaged 26.4 points per game. Some think he can raise that average a little bit more. He has the tools to be a top guy in the NBA.
In order for the Celtics to be a legitimate title contender this season, there must be another leap inside both Tatum and Brown.