The Celtics Are Back!

Yes, it’s finally time. Tonight, the Boston Celtics return to basketball. This will be their first of two preseason games. Tonight they go up against the Philadelphia 76ers. This will be a new look team, and fans should be excited about this team. With a short training camp and preseason, it will be interesting to see what this team will look like, especially against a team like the 76ers who are one of the favorites to possibly represent the East in the NBA Finals this season. Now, keep in mind this is just preseason so expectations shouldn’t be high. But, be happy, because the boys in green are back!

A somewhat new look

There he is! Tristan Thompson is one of the new guys in town this season. Right away this has to be addressed. Celtics fans should not have to worry about the Kardashian curse. For those of you who don’t know what the Kardashian curse is, it’s that any player that has dated a Kardashian or Jenner does horrible or the team does horrible. Considering that the Celtics played last season without a true starter at center, they should be used to this if Thompson does terrible. But he won’t. Thompson will fit into the system once he returns from his injured hamstring.

With Kemba out with a knee injury, expect to see a lot of this guy, Jeff Teague. Early in his career, he was a leader of the Atlanta Hawks. So he knows what it takes to be a leader. However, with Tatum being the heart and soul of this team how much of a leader will Teague be? Only time will tell on that one. What kind of player will Teague be? Well once Kemba comes back, he’ll be coming off the bench. For now, expect him to shoot and pass a lot. He doesn’t rebound often but he knows how to set up a play and take command at the top of the key.

The rookies

Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard are two names Celtics fans should get used to. Nesmith was the 14th pick in the draft this season and some are saying that the Celtics got a steal. Nesmith is one of the best or maybe even the best shooter in this draft. This kid loves to shoot and he’s good at it. What he needs to work on is passing the ball and his defense. It’s great he can shoot and all, but if he wants to succeed, he needs to improve in other areas on the court.

Then there’s Payton Pritchard. At first, Celtics fans collectively went, “Who?” when Adam Silver announced his name at the 26th pick in the draft. Guess what, the Celtics might have gotten another steal. In his senior year, he was awarded the Bob Cousy award (best point guard award), and was named the Pac-12 player of the year. He’s another scoring machine but unlike Nesmith, he shares the ball more. He averaged nearly five assists per game his senior year with five rebounds and 20 points. Expect to see deep threes from Pritchard as he can hit the three and deep three.

So long, farewell, until we meet again

Just like every offseason, teams lose players. This offseason, the Celtics said goodbye to Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter, Brad Wanamaker and Vincent Poirier. Obviously the big one is Gordon Hayward leaving Boston for Charlotte. Time will tell to see if the Celtics will be missing his presence or not.

He’s here to stay

The biggest worry for Celtics fans was the future of Jayson Tatum. Well, his future is in Boston. Tatum agreed to a five-year $195 million extension with the Celtics this offseason. The forever 19 year old will be continuing his career here in Boston and will be here during the prime years of his career. He also somehow grew two inches this offseason and is now listed at 6’10. Look for Tatum to keep on improving his game.

Final Thoughts

This Celtics team is going to be fun to watch. They will be right back in the thick of things this season and will compete in the East. Expect a lot of offense this year and hopefully more defense from what they had a season ago. Otherwise, Celtics fans will be thoroughly entertained all throughout this season.

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-Matt Burnett (@mattthew_jordan on Twitter) 

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