The NBA season officially kicks off tonight, starting with a 8:00 PM game in Boston that features a rematch of two young and talented teams in the Celtics and Sixers. For both teams fans you have serious cause to be excited. The Celtics look to have one of the deeper teams in recent memory, I mean for Christ Sakes their second team could compete in the NBA and probably win 35-40 games. They are truly that loaded. As released earlier today this will be the Starting lineup tonight at home.
Celtics Starting 5 AKA “The Death Lineup”
As an opposing team this has got to be one of the worst lineups to match up with in the NBA outside of what the Warriors will potentially have once Demarcus Cousins gets healthy. This Celtics team is set up to get out to big early leads and then blow you out of the water to start the 3rd quarter. A similar style to how the Warriors play. Everyone in that lineup can shoot the three well and when they get cooking there won’t be anyone in the league that can slow them down. The good news for the league is that I think it will take some time before this lineup really gels together, but the bad news, once they do it’s going to be scary.
If Hayward and Irving can stay healthy and play at the level they are accustomed to then there is no doubt in my mind we will be seeing this Celtics team in the Finals come June. They are too deep and too well coached to be anything less. If Tatum and Brown take the next step this year, and turn into legitimate NBA stars, then it’s going to completely absurd. Like 70 wins absurd, this team has that potential.
This was the goal when Trader Danny Ainge decided to trade away Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett for basically every Brooklyn Nets pick ever. It was to rebuild a contending team like this quickly. I know Ainge already gets a lot of praise but I still don’t think he gets enough credit for making literally every right move. I mean imagine if he took Markelle Fultz instead of Tatum? Seems crazy now, but Danny had the beat on it almost 18 months ago before the draft. He knew Tatum was the guy.
That Loaded Celtics bench I was talking about? Yeah just guys like Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, Marcus Morris, Daniel Theis and Aaron Baynes. If the starting lineup is the Death Squad than this lineup is the Goon Squad, they will undoubtedly play tough and be ready to get physical whenever called upon. I can foresee parts of this second unit getting big minutes even down the stretch of games to ensure a tough defensive presence is kept to hold onto a lead.
I haven’t been so excited for a Celtics season since 07-08, last year was similar but about 5 minutes in I wanted to cry myself to sleep after the Hayward injury. This season there is more of a “this is the year” type of buzz floating around, which can in itself hold a lot of pressure and expectations but with a terrific coach like Brad Stevens at the helm I don’t see a scenario where this team gets too big for its bridges. If they play the tough hard-nosed team basketball we are expecting from them, then I would start warming up the duckboats now.