The Boston Celtics’ current rookies are going to be a part of one of the youngest benches in the NBA.
In other news, the Celtics also formally introduced Hayward as an official member of the team, and with the addition of Baynes this should be a legitimate playoff contender come next year’s playoffs.
Yes, I mean that they are in fact poised to take down the Cavaliers, even with LeBron James leading the charge. Here is my reasoning:
- The Celtics acquired a consistent shot maker they haven’t had since Paul Pierce and Ray Allen
Isaiah Thomas is a fantastic scorer, but he stands at a diminutive 5’9 and has trouble fighting double teams, especially in the playoffs. With the addition of Hayward, the Celtics get an all-around scorer who can score in a multitude of different ways, and is known for being one of the most underrated forwards in the league defensively (which he will need to be since the departure of Avery Bradley will hurt). If he manages to put up some similar stats with the Celtics, he most definitely will be a major factor when it comes to the Celtics unevitable matchup against the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Like I also mentioned, Hayward shot an average of 40 percent from beyond the arc this past season, which will fit in with the Celtics’ spacing system. That should help improve the offense even further.
2. The Celtics have some impressive youngsters on their bench
Yes the Cavaliers have some veteran talent that will ultimately make them favorites in any matchup when the chips are down, but the Celtics can counter with two 3rd overall picks that have displayed amazing versatility in guarding a wide array of different positions, from the 2 to the 4. Jaylen Brown continues to be one of my favorite players on the roster, simply for the fact that he has the attitude and mindset of a hardened veteran and continues to flash plays where he looks like a young Michael Jordan athletically.
On that same note, Jayson Tatum has shown all Celtics fans why he has the potential to be the future of the franchise with his fantastic offensive versatility. Never before have I seen such impeccable footwork from a rookie, and the comparisons to a young Carmelo Anthony are not that far-fetched. The biggest knock on this impressive prospect is that he is still a bit skinny to play his probable position in the future, which I believe is a stretch-4 role or a scoring 3 in most lineups.
Nonetheless this combination can surely match most of the things that the Cavaliers have in their arsenal coming off the bench. The one thing they had over the Celtics, which seemed to be what every other team had over Boston as well, is rebounding.
3. The additions of Aron Baynes and Marcus Morris
Baynes is a mean, traditional 5 that can be an enforcer on a team like the Celtics. His rebounding rate took a hit during his stint with the Pistons solely for the fact that he was playing with a rebounding machine in Drummond, despite what some numbers might suggest. With his probably increased role in Boston, Baynes will flourish as the rebounding big that Boston has needed in the past. It will also help them deal with teams that play a bigger style of basketball.
And then comes the underrated move that many people seemed to take an issue with: The trade for Marcus Morris.
In my opinion, this was clearly a trade that was won by the Pistons, but this doesn’t mean that the Celtics were complete losers. Marcus Morris might not be the scorer that his brother Markieff is, but he is every bit of the get-in-your-head persona this team has also lacked since the departure of Kevin Garnett. The other aspect that I love about Marcus is the fact that he has been one of the best defenders against LeBron I can remember in recent memory. He is a combo forward who doesn’t shy away from confrontation, and he should fit in seamlessly with this gritty Celtics squad.
The Celtics were one of the biggest winners of the summer, as they picked up a stud of a rookie and a leader from a western conference playoff team. Say whatever you want about Gordon Hayward, but the guy has some impressive attributes and skills that should make it much easier for the Celtics to get points whenever they need it. The other additions should bring toughness and some much needed defense at the forward spots, which should make it easier/more manageable to contain the problem that is LeBron James.