The Boston Celtics are looking to make a splash in the East this season. With Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward now gone, many are wondering how the Celtics will look with their new lineup.
The celtics starters is a lineup that many people overlook. The Boston Celtics have the potential to be a top contender in the East with this lineup.
There were some doubters when Brad Stevens made the transition from coach to CEO. How was Stevens going to assist this squad in terms of management since the team failed last year with him guiding the way?
Stevens immediately replaced the often injured Kemba Walker with the well-liked Al Horford. Josh Richardson was an under-the-radar addition to the bench, while Kris Dunn has the potential to be a sleeper. The icing on the cake came when he persuaded Dennis Schroder to take the mid-level exemption and play on a one-year “prove it” contract. The Celtics may have one of the most underappreciated starting lineups in the Eastern Conference with Schroder in the mix.
Dennis Schroder, point guard
What would you have responded in April if someone told you Dennis Schroder was going to play on the mid-level exception? Would you have declared your buddy insane? That it would never come to pass? Nobody is more surprised than Schroder, who allegedly rejected down a $84 million contract with the Lakers in favor of a $120 million deal.
Schroder will, however, have a year to prove himself. Last season, the runner-up for Sixth Man of the Year in 2020 was a skilled player who averaged a career-high 5.8 assists. He averaged a near-career-high 18.9 points and shot a career-high 38 percent from three-point range the year prior. Marcus Smart can now play his natural position off the bench thanks to Schroder’s rise into the lineup.
Jaylen Brown (Shooting Guard)
Who knows what might have happened if Jaylen Brown had not missed the playoffs. Brown’s departure was a big blow. Last season, Brown was named to his first All-Star team after averaging 24.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.2 steals. He made 48.4% of his shots from the field, including 39.7% from three-point range. At the small forward position, these are all top-tier numbers.
Brown and Jayson Tatum’s explosive combination is back in action now that Brown is well. Kemba Walker was an All-Star in the past, but he never seemed to fit in with this system. Brown and Tatum understand that they can’t depend on anybody else to carry this squad. We may not have seen the best of both as they reach their primes.
Josh Richardson, Small Forward
Richardson is expected to offer a “great value” version of Smart in the starting lineup for the Celtics. Richardson isn’t an All-Defensive selection, but he is regarded as one of the league’s best perimeter defenders. By relegating Smart to the bench, the team can always have at least one excellent defensive player on the court.
Richardson doesn’t shoot well from outside on offense, but he can score in the double digits. Richardson has a place in this rotation with at least three offensive scorers, and he can flourish in it. Richardson did, however, once average 16.6 points a game, indicating that he has the ability.
Jayson Tatum, Power Forward
Tatum was named to the All-NBA Third Team in 2020, but he had a stronger statistical year in 2021. Tatum was left off the list because to the team’s overall performance, which included a No. 7 seed in the playoffs. Despite this, Tatum had a fantastic season, averaging 26.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.2 steals. This includes a 45.9% field-goal percentage and a 38.6% three-point shooting percentage.
There is no question that this is Tatum’s team. The 23-year old has started to develop an impressive resume for himself. Last year was one of the worst finishes in his tenure. With a better overall supporting cast, we should expect Tatum to take another leap towards stardom.Al Horford (center)
Center – Al Horford
Horford was named to the All-Star squad during his first season with the Celtics. This time, though, that is unlikely to happen since the 35-year-old has a new position with the club. When you consider what Paul Millsap has done for the Nuggets over the past several years, Horford seems to be a better version of him.
Horford is coming off a solid season in Oklahoma City. He averaged 14.2 points and 6.7 rebounds in 28 games. Horford’s contribution to the team is his locker-room presence. He is a well-respected veteran who will lead a squad that is mostly in their mid-twenties.
Carsen Edwards, Romeo Langford, Kris Dunn, Jabari Parker, Bruno Fernando, Enes Kanter, Peyton Prichard, Marcus Smart, Aaron Nesmith, Grant Williams, Robert Williams III, Carsen Edwards, Romeo Langford, Kris Dunn, Jabari Parker, Bruno Fernando, Enes Kanter
Last season, Smart set a career best with 5.7 assists per game. If he plays with Schroder in the last minutes of the game, this might be the greatest playmaking backcourt the club has seen in the past decade. Schroder’s offensive skills are better than Smart’s, allowing him to devote more time to defensive responsibilities.
In 2019 and 2020, the 27-year-old was named to the All-Defensive First Team. With Kemba Walker out of the lineup for the most of last season, Smart was forced to play point guard. Smart will be able to play his natural game in this backcourt, which will improve the Celtics’ overall game.
Robert Williams III is another important bench player to keep an eye on. Williams III evolved into a starting-caliber center in the league over the course of 52 games. He shot 72.1 percent from the floor and averaged 8.0 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He has 1.8 blocks on defense. Horford’s presence on the squad will only aid Williams’ development. Williams III possesses Horford’s potential, and who understands how to play like Al Horford better than Al Horford himself?
Dunn’s pick-up may turn out to be a gold mine. Dunn has never had scoring success in Chicago or Atlanta, but he is a proven defensive player. Pritchard has the potential to have a breakout sophomore season. In 66 games during his first season, he hit 41.1 percent from three-point range. Enes Kanter is on the depth chart, but in 72 games last season, he averaged 11.2 points and 11.0 rebounds. He’ll have to spend some time on the floor.
What Can We Expect From The Celtics In Boston?
The Celtics were able to avoid Kemba Walker by bringing in Schroder and Horford. Together, those two veterans will bring more to the table than Walker could have purchased alone. Smart’s move to the bench benefits the whole club, not just the starting lineup. This year may be a turning point for certain guys like Pritchard, Dunn, Romeo Langford, and Williams III.
This group has the potential to be the most underappreciated in the East. Its chances of reaching the Conference Finals are limited. Everything, though, will go on how first-year head coach Ime Udoka manages this group. Udoka was regarded as one of the league’s finest assistant coaches. Last year, he was a finalist for the 76ers position before Doc Rivers was hired. If the buzz around Udoka is true, the Celtics may have improved significantly despite dealing away a previous All-Star.
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