The Boston Celtics aren’t going to be considered a favorite in the Eastern Conference this season, but should they be written off entirely?
One former NBA coach doesn’t believe so.
The now new-look Celtics indeed lost Kyrie Irving, Al Horford and Terry Rozier in free agency, but brought in Kemba Walker, Enes Kanter and Vincent Poirier. With the Indiana Pacers gutted and the Toronto Raptors possibly losing Kawhi Leonard, there’s a chance the Celtics could remain a top-four team in the Eastern Conference.
Dave Joerger, who served as the Sacramento Kings head coach for three seasons before getting fired at the end of this past campaign, explained Monday on ESPN’s “The Jump” why the Celtics shouldn’t be forgotten, even if they aren’t the favorite.
“It’s two teams (that are favorites): Philly and Milwaukee, there’s no doubt to me,” Joerger said. “We don’t know obviously with Kawhi out in Toronto. But I think the team that’s getting lost here is Boston. They still have three wings that everybody else in the league covets: Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward’s going to be better I think two years removed from his injury. You don’t want to be in a tight game against Kemba Walker, he will get you at the end. He makes big shots, makes big plays. And let’s not forget Isaiah Thomas, best two years were with Brad Stevens running it, has the ball all the time, making all the plays. This is a young team though that needs to get over holding the basketball. It’s not my turn, your turn, my turn your turn, that puts a lot of pressure on the coach. Let’s play here’s our pecking order, this guy sets the table everybody else play off him. And I think if they do that they can be successful.”
Last season, the Celtics went in with sky-high expectations and widely were considered among, if not the favorite to win the East. Of course, the season ended up being an absolute dumpster fire, so who knows, maybe this group of C’s will be far better.