Celtics Season Overview

Reza Eshghi ‘20

The last time that the Boston Celtics won an NBA Championship was 10 years ago. However, heading into the 2018-19 NBA season, Boston is one of the favorites to win it all. At the beginning of last year, the team seemed prepared to make a serious run for the title. Boston had added all-stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward and maintained a lot of talented young players.

Unfortunately, as many Celtics fans vividly recall, Hayward went down with a broken leg five minutes into the season opener, which was arguably one of the most gruesome injuries in NBA history.  Even without Hayward, their regular season record miraculously turned out to be the best in the East. Right before the playoffs began, news surfaced that Irving would miss all of the postseasons with knee issues. This news was a tragedy for Celtics fans, but once again the team shocked the basketball world. Without their two best players,  the Celtics fought all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, eventually losing to Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Regardless of the defeat, basketball critics viewed the undermanned Celtics’ playoff run as a huge success.

Heading into this season, the Celtics are viewed as one of the top contenders to win the championship. Almost all of the players from the Celtics team that came close to winning the Eastern Conference finals are returning. Most importantly, Irving and Hayward are making their returns from their injuries. Adding such firepower to an already proven team has the league on notice. Elite basketball analyst Stephen A. Smith even picked the Celtics as his prediction for winning this years title.

Throughout the first six games of this season, the Celtics have won four games and lost two. Although this record is not that impressive, Boston fans should not be concerned. Adding two new players into the rotation requires time to adjust. The Celtics players are still used to the roles they had to fulfill from last year’s playoffs, so with Irving and Hayward back as the primary offensive options, other players will have a smaller role on the team. Some players appear to be ready to step up, which is good news for the team. Jayson Tatum, coming off his rookie season, is leading the Celtics in scoring so far. Depending on how the rest of the season progresses, he could become the team’s first option on offense. Backup point guard Terry Rozier also seems to have improved in his shooting efficiency. If Rozier can maintain his flow offensively and defensively, the combination of him and Irving could be one of the best point guard duos in the NBA. Leading the charge of the Celtics is coach Brad Stevens, who has proven himself countless times to be one of the most brilliant coaches of Basketball today.

It is fair to say that once the Celtics find their inevitable rhythm, they will be a team to reckon with come playoffs time.