The Celtics were quite a revelation during the playoffs.
Before the start of the post season, a lot of teams are trying to position themselves in order to have them as their first round opponent, especially when it was confirmed that Kyrie Irving would miss the entire post-season. Add the fact that Gordon Hayward was done for the year.
The Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers must be wishing they faced another team instead!
Whatever playoff experience these Celtics are missing, they made it up with gritty defense and brilliant playmaking upon their coach’s guidance to become one-win away from making it to the finals with two games left.
If not for Lebron James’ superb performance to lift the Cavs from elimination, they would have made it to the final dance.
Boston was one gleaming story on their quest to stay relevant once their aging superstar core in the early 2010s finally exhaust their championship window. Their transition from the Big Three to what they are today was one for the books.
When thinking of the time it took this team to find the right pieces for them to become a championship contending team from the Larry Bird era, the disengagement from the aging core of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen took them just a few years.
We hardly missed a beat as Pierce became Tatum, Allen became Jaylen Brown, Garnett became Al Horford, Rajon Rondo became Irving. Throw in Hayward in the mix and you got a very young core that can contend for the championship for a long, long time.
In fact, they are now facing problems regarding their line-up. Good problems, I may add.
Defensive demon Marcus Smart is up for a new contract and he wants a ton of money. He has been quoted to be asking far north of 12 million dollars a year as his salary. Ditto with Aaron Baynes. Marcus Morris and Rozier are up next before the 2019 season.
Will the Celtics pay these to retain them or go another route? Irving and Horford have player options after the 2019 season, which most likely to be exercised.
As it sits today, their line-up is paint protector who is a good rebounder away from becoming a serious threat for taking the NBA crown away from the Warriors.
Regardless of whatever roster moves the Celtics top brass are going to make, their core is here to stay for at least two more seasons. I’m quite certain majority of their soon-to-be free agents are going to be resigned. And they still have some tasty draft pick positions left in their sleeve.
There is now way these Celtics are going away for quite a long, long while.