Boston Celtics Season Preview


New Celtics Head Coach Ime Udoka looks to lead the team to a championship. Photo courtesy of the Associated Press.

This offseason, the Boston Celtics have made some major changes, something that is making many fans very excited for the start of the season. One of the key changes was Danny Ainge announcing his retirement after eighteen years as general manager. On top of that, the Celtics announced that coach Brad Stevens would be his replacement. With many fans speculating that Stevens’ was at fault for some of the team’s problems last season, this came with some welcome. To replace Stevens as head coach, the Celtics selected Ime Udoka, former assistant coach for the Spurs, Seventy-Sixers, and Nets. Udoka has also been an assistant coach to the US mens’ national team, so he is already known to have a good relationship with the Celtics’ All-stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. But possibly the greatest news out of all of this was Udoka’s emphasis on playing team basketball and forming a good team environment.

The Celtics also built upon their roster by acquiring Dennis Schroeder and Josh Richardson, as well as welcoming back Al Horford and Enes Kanter. Hopefully, the Celtics’ young big man Robert Williams will be able to improve under the leadership of the older centers. An additionally exciting piece has been the development of Aaron Nesmith, Payton Pritchard, and Romeo Langford, who all put up great numbers in the Summer League, leading the Celtics to the Summer League finals.

At this point, some reading this might be confused by my lack of interest in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, even though they are all-stars, and the team has been built around them. The reason for this is because in many cases last season, these two players surprisingly became weaknesses for the Celtics. Throughout last season, both stars had multiple phenomenal performances, but also multiple awful performances. This brings me to my point. The Celtics’ lack of depth forced them to over-rely on these two players, both of whom are still improving, which means they will not always play well. I think that this year, the depth of the team will allow the bench to cover for the Celtics’ stars in these cases, and that is what I am the most excited about.

But even with all these improvements in the off-season, the Celtics face an extremely competitive Eastern Conference. The champion Milwaukee Bucks led by Giannis Antetokounmpo and the fan-favorite Brooklyn Nets are the obvious contenders to take the east this year. However, it should be noted that the Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, and even Charlotte Hornets seem to be heading into promising seasons. In the end, if the Celtics want to do well in the east, and possibly make a deep playoff run, it will come down to teamwork and chemistry. This year, the team has a lot of depth and has many pieces that when put together, could make a really great team, so it will be up to Coach Udoka to get all the players in line, and it will be up to the players to play as a team.