For years, the Celtics looked like the biggest hoarders in sports as they continued to stockpile pick after pick while waiting to pull the trigger as stars continued to change teams. After Paul George was moved for what seemed like nothing at the time, people expected Danny Ainge’s house to look like one of those homes you see cluttered with garbage he’s held onto over the years, except his wall will be covered with scouting reports on players in every draft from 2014 until 2024. You don’t realize it’s a sickness is until you see that Ainge has had a picture of Luka Doncic hanging on his wall for nearly four years.
Dear Middle of the Pack Eastern Conference Teams,
Over the past five years, we’ve seen magic in Boston. This isn’t a reference to the number of street performers you might see while strolling around Faneuil Hall or the halftime show at TD Garden. It has to do with the rabbits that Brad Stevens constantly pulls out of his hat on a yearly basis. We’ve seen him turn rebuilding teams into playoff participants, manufacture after timeout plays that become guaranteed points, and even transform a 5'9" point guard into a perennial All-Star. Yet through the first few games, we already seeing how Brad Stevens saved his best trick for this season by turning these Celtics into the best defensive unit in basketball.
For years, people have been trying to remove LeBron James as the league’s best player. Ever since he uttered the words, “not five, not six, not seven...” people have stormed the castle as they tried to find a possible suitor. The Anthony Davis believers have fallen quiet, as the extremely talented center has only carried his team to over 40 wins once in his career. Numerous stars looked like potential candidates, but simply haven’t been able to reach LeBron’s greatness. Some argue Kevin Durant did it last year, but those are just his burner accounts fighting the good fight for him.
Five minutes and 11 seconds. That's all it took to take the Celtics' dream season and set it ablaze. It takes longer to walk a block in New York City. It was a full 35 times shorter to watch Boston's season take a turn for the worse than it was to watch The Revenant once. No matter how you spin it, this dream season that has been three months in the making for Boston came crashing down in a matter of minutes after Gordon Hayward suffered a fractured fibula and a dislocated ankle in what was one of the most gruesome injuries you'll ever see.
After last season's first-place Eastern Conference regular-season finish, the Celtics somehow still gave their roster a complete and utter makeover. This team made so many moves that last year's first-round pick Jaylen Brown is the fifth-longest tenured Celtic on the team. Despite the team's new look, they're still expected to get better and possibly take down the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Conference Finals. Those high expectations may hinge on Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward both living up to the hype on their new team, but it could be Al Horford that helps Boston reach their full potential on the offensive side of the ball.