Three Eastern Conference Finals appearances in four seasons, it was time for the Boston Celtics to regroup. With no finals appearance since 2010, the question is when will it eventually happen? There future is bright for a team who is led by Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kemba Walker. Through this past offseason, the Celtics did their best to prepare for a championship run this year.
I was a bit disappointed the Celtics did not grab a rising big man in this year’s draft. But nevertheless, they were able to bring in some key pieces for their rotation.
Aaron Nesmith – Nesmith is a scorching hot shooter from the perimeter. In his sophomore season at Vanderbilt, he shot 52% from three point land and forced the defense to collapse by running off screens on the baseline. So far, Nesmith has only played four games for Boston this season. But once his number is called, he will rise to the occasion and provide a spark.
Payton Pritchard – This is a player that was overshadowed by Sabrina Ionescu last season at Oregon. Payton Pritchard understands how to play the game of basketball. Pritchard is averaging 9.3 points on 50% shooting. He shows great activity on both ends of the floor and provides great hustle and tenacity. Pritchard is a player that Brad Stevens seems to trust and always rely on him to give 100% effort. As the season progresses, Pritchard may see more opportunities given to him in the future.
Jayson Tatum re-signs – Danny Ainge was only required to take care of his star before anything. Tatum signed a five year/ $190 million extension, securing his place as a Boston Celtic. Tatum continues to emerge this season as he is averaging 27 points per game on 47% shooting. Although the team has talents like a Jaylen Brown, Tatum shows that he is the #1 guy to go to down the stretch of games. If the Celtics are going to take the next step at a championship, Tatum must lead the way.
Signing Jeff Teague – Another veteran presence on the roster. Teague is now in his 13th season in the NBA and looks to be a key player in the Celtics’ rotation. Teague is averaging 8.1 points per game in nine games played. He continues to attack the defense by penetrating and setting his teammates up for good looks. As the season winds down and the playoffs arrive, Teague will certainly be ready to play big minutes on the floor.
Signing Tristan Thompson – Although the Celtics did not draft another center, they were able to sign a board dominant big. Tristan Thompson is a championship center that brings a lot of tightness to a roster. As he plays next to guys like Tatum and Brown, he will certainly be the enforcer under the basket and not allow easy opportunities. Thompson is averaging 7.9 points and 8.8 rebounds in his nine games on the floor. The effort to crash the glass will take this Celtics team a long way in the Eastern Conference.
In conclusion, Boston has a well-rounded team to put themselves back in the Eastern Conference Finals. They had a lot of holes to fill in this offseason and they got the job done for the most part. With Tatum and Brown leading the way, let’s watch what the C’s will bring through the rest of this season.