New-Look Celtics Set to Kickoff NBA Season Against Cavs - NECN

New-Look Celtics Set to Kickoff NBA Season Against Cavs

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Raul's Celtics 2017-2018 Season Preview

    As the Boston Celtics get ready to play their season-opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers, NBC Boston's Raul Martinez gives his take on the team's roster.

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017)

    I have to admit, this was an incredible offseason for the NBA. So many moves, and the Boston Celtics were very active.

    Think about who’s no longer on this Boston roster: Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk and Amir Johnson, just to name a few. And this is coming off a season where the Celtics were the top seed in the east.

    But when you get blown out in the Eastern Conference Finals, Danny Ainge wanted to get better. Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward... come on down.

    Is this year’s team better than last? And are they better than the Cavs? I think so.

    Maybe not better than Cleveland yet, but I like the direction they are heading.

    Look, the East is for the taking, top to bottom. It doesn’t even come close to the West.

    And while the Cavs do have LeBron, they also have Dwyane Wade... old. And Derek Rose... broken.

    Thomas is interesting, but injured.

    Here’s what we need to see from the Celtics:

    1. Irving needs to prove he can be a star without LeBron on his roster.
    2. Can Hayward be a star in a big market? This isn’t Salt Lake City anymore.
    3. Can the young guys, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, be big contributors and show star potential this year?
    4. The biggest for me is Brad Stevens. He’s got studs now. How quickly can they gel, because you have a feeling there might be some bumps and bruises. But it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.

    Washington will be a contender and so will Milwaukee and Toronto. But really, we all know it will come down to Cleveland and Boston.

    I wish it was May already, but I am looking forward to the opener.

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