An injury-riddled Boston Celtics team was one game away from reaching the NBA Finals last season, so with two stars coming back to the fold, one only can imagine what their ceiling will be this campaign.
Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward both are expected back at full strength for the start of training camp later this month. With Hayward out almost the entire season in 2017-18 and Irving missing the back end, the Celtics have an idea, but little lived experience, with all their top players available at full strength.
And aside from getting Hayward and Irving back this season, C’s big man Aron Baynes has an interesting reason why Boston could be even better this time around.
Baynes indicated during a charity appearance Wednesday that the lack of roster turnover this summer could play an important role for the Celtics.
“Last year at this time we were learning peoples’ names; this year we can get into the finer points of the systems that we’re learning,” Baynes said, via Celtics.com. “We’ve still got a bit to learn and a way to go in incorporating the healthy guys back into it, but it’s definitely exciting that we’re starting at this base level compared to where we were last season.”
Indeed, last summer was a busy one for president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. Just four players (Al Horford, Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart) remained from the previous campaign, with 11 new faces, Baynes included, getting brought into the fold. This season, however, the C’s only had to deal with the losses of Abdel Nader and Shane Larkin, while welcoming in Brad Wanamaker and rookie Robert Williams.
As such, there’s plenty of reason for excitement in Boston regarding the Celtics. And taking Baynes’ remarks into account, it’s for more reasons than one.
Thumbnail photo via Nelson Chenault/USA TODAY Sports
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