The 2016-17 NBA season is still young, and although the Boston Celtics have only played three games thus far, they’ve still sent the message that they’re a solid team to start out the year.
One of the issues that Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics have had over the past few seasons was not being able to adequately include all of his big men.
Though the abundance of height was a good thing, mostly for defense, there was never enough offensive upside to make up for it. Of course, injuries also hindered a lot of the potential of the power forwards and centers that the Celtics had on call.
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With Al Horford in the mix, now, the Celtics don’t have much to fear. They lost Sullinger to free agency, and gained a stud of a center in the process. Amir Johnson, too, is now able to step in and be a rim-protector alongside Horford. Though Johnson has significantly less offensive talent, his pairing with Horford should still prove efficient for the Celtics.
Gerald Green returning to the Celtics is a nice addition for the guard rotation. Evan Turner‘s departure was a bit of a huge hit on the depth at the shooting guard/small forward positions, as he was a decent facilitator and scorer as a swing-man.
Green’s veteran presence is a big plus for the Celtics’ younger sharpshooters, as they’ll need some guidance in order to develop further.
Likewise, after an explosive 2015-16 season, Isaiah Thomas has now made two trips to the playoffs and is coming into the season a one-time All-Star, a huge feat for “Mr. Irrelevant.” He may be young, but his ability to score and facilitate has been instrumental to the Celtics’ success over the past couple of years.
Though the bench unit is not filled with big names, the starters are more than capable of dealing with the heavier burdens of the season.
What to expect
The Boston Celtics, like most teams, are far from perfect. Yet, they’re seemingly headed in the right direction.
Signing Horford this past offseason was a huge move in order to fill the void at center. Thomas is emerging as one of the most elite point-guards in the Eastern Conference. Jae Crowder is proving to be one of the more effective 3-and-D style players, which has contributed to a lot of great outings for Boston.
It’s early, and they might not look like the deepest roster in the league, but the Boston Celtics are definitely as good as they seem.