Celtics basketball is BACK… sort of. Tonight, the team kicks off their first preseason game against the Charlotte Hornets in Boston. So while the season technically isn’t underway yet, this is the first look we’re going to get at the new-look Celtics. Head coach Brad Stevens’ starting lineup tonight will consist of Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford, and Aron Baynes. My guess would be that he rolls out with this starting five a lot this year.
The Hornets have some new guys to show off as well, one of them being former all-star center Dwight Howard. They acquired Howard from the Hawks during the off-season for practically nothing. He’s nowhere near the player he used to be, but he still can give the Celtics problems on the glass when healthy. Last season Howard averaged 9.3 rebounds to go along with 12.3 points in three games against the Celtics.
New addition Aron Baynes should help the C’s on the glass a lot, who finished 27th in team rebounding last year. Baynes isn’t a flashy player that is going to put up big numbers every night, but his presence down low will be helpful for the C’s right away. I expect to see a lot of him in the starting lineup.
Tonight’s game really isn’t going to show us too much, you know with it being preseason and all. The main things I’m looking to take away from this game are seeing the new guys get on the court for the first time together, and how Brad Stevens manages the minutes. Main guys like Kyrie, Hayward, Horford, etc. probably won’t play a ton, but it will be interesting to see how he handles the rotation and who the first guys off the bench are going to be.
The regular season is slowly approaching us, and I couldn’t be more excited. The NBA as a whole this season is going to be fun to watch, even though we all know Golden State is going to win the Finals anyway.
Written By: Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)