I’m fairly certain the Celtics will never again be this lucky again, as they hold the top seed, the best odds at the top pick, and a plethora of young talent both overseas and with the Maine Red Claws.
The Celtics should go far in these playoffs, and as the top seed they will undoubtedly have the easiest road to the Eastern Conference Finals, where a match-up against the Cleveland Cavaliers is probable.
But I want to talk about something the Celtics should be looking forward to during the 2017 season: The chance to see a certain Egyptian scorer in a green uniform.
That’s right, I’m talking about Abdel Nader. The Egyptian forward is one of the most dominant players in the NBA Developmental League, tearing up opposing defenses due to his offensive abilities.
In fact, Nader was just named co-Rookie of the Year for the D-League’s 2016 season. Although it isn’t the sort of award that players dream of, it’s an important step for Nader. This not only gives him confidence in his abilities, it’s like a scream to the world: I’m coming, and I know I belong.
Nader is one of my favorite players when it comes to the draft-and-stash attack the Celtics currently have in place. He’s one of the most athletic players I have seen the Celtics draft in recent memory, but it’s the feel for the game I love the most. Standing at 6’8 and 225 pounds, Nader looks like a promising player with the tools needed to succeed for someone in the NBA.
The problem with this, of course, is that the Celtics currently have Jaylen Brown and Jae Crowder at the forward spot, so the chance for Nader to shine might have to wait until the Celtics make some moves. But in my opinion, he could be a fantastic sidekick to Jaylen Brown off the bench, and the Celtics could look to move Brown to the 2 spot where he more than likely should be able to contain quicker guards.
When you look at Nader’s tape, you see much potential. He possesses the ability to fight his way to the rim, and finishes strong on most occasions. Another important tool he employs is the use of his jumpshot to draw out the defense, making it tough to put bigger forwards on him due to the fact that he can take them off the dribble.
Here’s a video highlighting some of his most impressive plays of the season for the Red Claws.
Although he still has some things to work out, especially when it comes to making others around him better, Nader could have been a big part of the bench if you ask me. His confidence is definitely not lacking, which I absolutely love in a player. I believe some experience for Nader might have been beneficial not only for him but also for the team.
But it’s not just the confidence I love, as I also value production. Nader is currently averaging 23.1 ppg, 6.2 rbg, and 3.9 apg while shooting roughly 45 percent from the field and 35 percent from three-point range. How far up the totem pole he gets will depend solely on how the team views his involvement with the team in the near future, as the Celtics are looking to win very soon.
Boston fans rejoice: A new era is coming, and the Celtics will be ready.