Uncle Drew Playin With The Nephews By The 7/11: Official 2017-18 Boston Celtics Season Thread

How Far Do The Celtics Go This Season?


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William F. Russell

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Notable Additions:
Kyrie Irving :KyrieStrikesAgain:
Gordon Hayward :celticsmjpls:
Jayson Tatum :GladBrad:
Marcus Morris
Semi Ojeleye
Daniel Theis
Guerschon Yabusele
Aron Baynes


Notable Departures:
Isaiah Thomas :Isaiah::Isaiah::Isaiah::mjcry:
Avery Bradley :mjcry:
Jae Crowder :CmonJae:
Amir Johnson


Projected 2017-18 Starting Lineup:
(Statistics from 2016-17 season)

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  • Kyrie Irving (with Cleveland) - 25.2 ppg, 5.8 apg, 3.2 rpg, 1.2 spg, 47.3% from the field
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  • Jaylen Brown - 6.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 45.4% from the field
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  • Gordon Hayward (with Utah) - 21.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1 spg, 47.1% from the field
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  • Marcus Morris (with Detroit) - 14 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2 apg, 1.1 bpg, 41.8% from the field

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  • Al Horford - 14 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 5 apg, 1.3 bpg, 47.3% from the field

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The Boston Celtics satisfied the loftiest of expectations last season by finishing as the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 53-29 regular season record. The Isaiah Thomas-led squad also advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, where the team pushed the Cavaliers to 5 games. Coach Brad Stevens also won his first two playoffs playoffs series in the process.

Al Horford, the max-contract free agent addition, was nothing short of excellent for the Cs. Rebounding issues aside, he was an excellent fit in Coach Stevens' motion-based offense. He was the prototypical point-forward who could facilitate the offense and space the floor with his 3-point shooting ability. His game picked up notably as the season progressed and that was reflected in his numbers for the month of March and April. He also played very well during the playoffs and was a big reason the Cs did as well as they did last year.

Isaiah Thomas was nothing short of spectacular last season. He came in 5th in the MVP race; he averaged insane numbers: 28.9 ppg, 5.9 apg, 2.7 rpg, 46.3% from the field and 37.9% from the 3. He also developed a reputation around the league as "King in the Fourth" quarter due to his penchant for hitting big shots in the 4th quarter and the number of points per game he averages in that period. He also played admirably in the playoffs despite the tragic and unfortunate loss of his younger sister on the eve of Game 1 in the first round against the Chicago Bulls. IT averaged 23 ppg, 6.7 apg and shot 33% from 3 in the playoffs before he ultimately succumbed to a recurring hip injury. The Cs managed to reach the ECF where they stole a game from the Cavs in Game 3; ironically IT didn't play that game as he was shutdown for his hip injury.

Enter Trader Danny Ainge.

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Already under pressure by certain factions of Celtics fans and NBA followers for passing on possible additions (Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins, Jimmy Butler, Nerlens Noel), Ainge understood that IT was entering his contract year as a 29-year old, 5'9" PG with a severe hip injury. Since the playoffs to this day, IT hasn't had corrective hip surgery.

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Ainge and Coach Stevens were successful in their long-known attempt to secure Gordon Hayward as the big-time free agent addition. Hair Gordon has become one of the most improved players in the past 2 or 3 years and has really carved out a reputation as a bona fide all-star IN THE WEST due to his exploits with the Utah Jazz. Stevens was able to draw upon his and Gordon's shared history (Butler University) and convinced him to be Boston's newest free-agent addition. :celticsmjpls:

But apparently, Ainge & co. weren't finished making moves....

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The Cavs lost to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals again. This time in 5 games. The Warriors were too much for them. Bron is now in the final year of his contract with the Cavs and he's basically out afterward. Picking up on Kyrie Irving's discontent of always apparently being in LeBron James' shadow in Cleveland, Ainge did the unthinkable. He traded IT, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the much-coveted 2018 Brooklyn Nets' pick for Kyrie Irving.

Of course with Ainge, nothing is ever straightforward. The new Cavs GM attempted to renege on the agreed-upon offer in an attempt to squeeze even more from the Cs. Ainge eventually threw in a 2020 2nd round pick.:Danny:

Irving's reputation speaks for itself. He's perennial all-star PG in the East and is an NBA champion. He also has an established reputation as a late-game closer. He's hit more than enough clutch shots for anybody to seriously doubt his ability. At 25 years old and with 2 years left on his current contract, all signs point upwards for Kyrie. And the fact that he is MOTIVATED to make a name for himself as the #1 on a championship team makes Kyrie's acquisition a very, very promising prospect. More so, his introductory press conference and media reports indicate that he intends to stay in Boston beyond his current deal.

Uncle Drew and Hair Gordon now headline a Celtics team that is widely expected to dethrone the Cavs as the best team in the East. If they can finish as the #1 seed with at least 53 games won, an appearance in the NBA Finals will be more than feasible.

Of course nothing is guaranteed. Stevens will virtually be coaching a whole new team. The Cs will have to cope with losing IT, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, and Amir Johnson.

Bradley was one of the league's best defensive guards and was an All-NBA Defensive Player. We had to move Bradley to free up money for Hayward. And Bradley was entering a contract year and looking for max-money. For all the good that Bradley does, he's not a max-contract player (just a very good player). Bradley was traded to the Detroit Pistons for Marcus Morris. Morris is a tough-styled big man who's improved offensively each season. He'll be filling the Jae Crowder role as the team's hard-nosed glue guy that can stretch the floor.

The Cs have still not addressed their glaring rebounding and rim protection issues. While Horford and Morris are a good offensive pairing, their defense will leave much to be desired. Both aren't known for their rebounding and defense. Perhaps Aron Baynes will help as a big man off the bench. Or maybe Ainge has a few more moves he's planning down the line.

Despite the team's flaws, the Cs have announced themselves as a top NBA team and a genuine threat to reach the NBA Finals.

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The Cs have also added the highly-reviewed rookie Jayson Tatum. Tatum was drafted #3 overall in this year's draft (the Cs traded the #1 overall pick to the Philadelphia 76ers to draft #3; Cs also got the 2018 Lakers pick if it falls #2-5). He played one year at Duke University, where he shined on the national stage. Tatum's game looks real promising and he had a fantastic summer league performance. In 32 minutes per game in the Summer League, he averaged 18 ppg, 8 rpg and shot 42% from the field. He can score inside or outside. He has post moves and counters for those post moves. He can shoot over the top of smaller defenders or burst by slower ones. All signs and reports indicate that his game should--and will--translate very well at the pro level. He's the real deal. He and Jaylen Brown (who was also drafted #3 in the 2016 draft) are going to form a nice combo for the future as the Cs are setting themselves up to have a stranglehold on the Eastern Conference.

We're a new-look franchise that's trending upwards. Kyrie Irving is the face of our franchise. :KyrieStrikesAgain:

Gordon Hayward is a hell of an upgrade over Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley. :NasWinsAgain:

It's our time now, brehs. Buckle-up for the ride as it unfolds this season. :ahh:

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#celtsgang :larrylegendtowel:
@Jutt @Ill @R.E.N. Spells Ren @VMR @vbamz @Raquinotj @KevJ @SchoolboyC @Bernie Madoff @JBone4eva @Stress Welker @Sub Kr4zy @unit321 @UpAndComing @Suiken @JLR Steez @craigsagersuit @insidious @Listen @fact @Codeine Fiend Dream Team @JarrodG @William Heavy @yamomzb @YeLovesBoston @Shamrock32 @coose @GrindtooFilthy @jimihendrixheadband @34TheTruth @JJ_ALL_DAY @patscorpio @chief_keef_stan @The Situation @Grano-Grano @Chef Mello @TyThePoet @KevCo @GOAT

And, as always, it's STILL Brad Stevens for Coach of the Year! :GladBrad:

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fact

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Really hated to see IT go, but Danny has been waiting his whole GM career to make callus to prove he would have pulled the trigger on the Bird trade that the GOD Red wouldn't pull the trigger on (PP & KG was a mutually discussed trade, so doesn't count). I never doubt Dannis, so I'm good.
Would really like AD, at whatever the cost. I expect this year to play out like last year, but am looking forward to see what Kylie can do in this situation, and of course want to see the #3's shine like the sun.
 

William F. Russell

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Really hated to see IT go, but Danny has been waiting his whole GM career to make callus to prove he would have pulled the trigger on the Bird trade that the GOD Red wouldn't pull the trigger on (PP & KG was a mutually discussed trade, so doesn't count). I never doubt Dannis, so I'm good.
Would really like AD, at whatever the cost. I expect this year to play out like last year, but am looking forward to see what Kylie can do in this situation, and of course want to see the #3's shine like the sun.

I wish Ainge would add one more big man that can rebound. I'd be happy with a stop-gap option at this point. I know AD is the bigger target but I feel that a competent rebounder/rim protector could raise our ceiling significantly.

Hell, I'm looking to see what's happening with Thomas Robinson...
 

JBone4eva

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My body is ready for the season. I'm really curious about Semi and Tatum. I think they'll both have a relatively immediate impact.

:blessed:

Its a shame I'm gonna root for Cleveland's success when they're not playing us due to my love for IT and Jae :francis:
 
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