2018 Boston Celtics Highs and Lows

2018 Boston Celtics Highs and Lows

Russ Kule

The way last season ended for the Celtics left a bad taste in our mouths. During the 2018 media day, we got to see a lineup of Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, JaysonTtatum, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford posing as the starting five. It was a team that looked like they would have an easy trip to the finals. Everybody, including the fans and the media made us believe that the Celtics were the next biggest dynasty.

However, that is not how it went…not at all. As the season went by, Celtics fans’ frustration grew, and after a long regular season, the playoffs came. The Celtics swept the Pacers in the first round, which had the fans thinking that the team finally found their groove. All that excitement, only to lose 4-1 in the second round of the playoffs to the bucks. A gentleman’s sweep.

It was all over. We had a team that we believed would make a finals appearance. Instead, we fell short. As the disappointment of the failed season began to fade away, it was time for the NBA draft, where the Celtics drafted young studs like Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards, and Tremont Waters. 

When free agency came, key players like Kyrie Irving and Al Horford departed from the Celtics on the first day. However, it was known days before FA started that Kyrie Irving was on his way to Brooklyn. Something else that was known a few days before free agency started was that the Celtics were going to have themselves a new point guard to replace Kyrie.

His name is Kemba Walker.

The Celtics then proceeded to make more moves in free agency, signing Enes Kanter, an offensive minded center that could make up for Al Horford in certain ways. The team added a few more players, but those two are the most significant. We lost players as well, such as Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris, and Aron Baynes. As fans, most of us will miss those guys, but we now have something new to look forward to. It’s a new era of Celtics basketball.

Kemba Walker is great, but he’s no Kyrie. Although he could be the closest player to Kyrie you will find in the NBA. Think of it as Kyrie being an A tier player, and Kemba Walker being a B+ tier player. They are really not that far apart. They have similarities, but every player comes with differences. When I asked Rey to state what ways he thinks Kemba Walker tops Kyrie Irving in, he brought up “leadership.” As did Wilfredo, although Wilfredo stated the obvious by also saying that Kemba Walker isn’t as skilled as Kyrie Irving. When it came down to leadership, it was clear that it wasn’t Kyrie’s best attribute. It was something he actually lacked. When things got rough throughout the season, Kyrie crumbled. You can’t say the same for Kemba Walker, as he is known to be one of the NBAs best leaders and the type of person that leads by example.

When I asked Rey about what his expectations are for our new team, he stated that we would be between the 3rd and 6th seed in the east. Wilfredo’s opinion was similar, as he thinks that we will finish 3rd or 4th. I couldn’t agree more with those two. While the Celtics have built a solid playoff team over the summer, it isn’t certain to say that we have the tools to be true contenders. There are teams in the east like the Sixers and the Bucks that would be a gauntlet to get past by in seeding. For us to be the top seed, everything that could go right, needs to go right. 

Two years ago, Celtics forward Gordon Hayward went up for an alley-oop and came down the wrong way, snapping his ankle. After missing the full 2017-2018 season because of the injury, we got to see him play again last season, not knowing what type of player he will be after the gruesome break. The season was rocky for him, and the rest of the team as well. This coming season will be his second year back from the injury. He spent all summer getting his body how it used to be and his athleticism back. Gordon Hayward was an All-Star before the injury, and that is why we are all looking forward to how he will play. Rey believes that Hayward will be back to his All-Star form this season, and will be continuously progressing to become the player he once was. We know what we will be getting from Kemba Walker this season. We know what we will be getting from Enes Kanter this season. What we don’t know is what form of Gordon Hayward we’ll be getting. This season relies a lot on how Hayward will perform.

The Infamous 2018-2019 Celtics season is now in the books. That season will not be forgotten by Celtics fans, instead, it will be used as fuel for a better 2019-2020 season. Celtics fans have so much to look forward to. We have a new team, with new leaders, and a new young core. What happens this season depends on how the team works together. It is safe to say that we are off to a great start by putting together a team of high character guys, who will put the team before themselves. We have the right formula to succeed, so let’s take it a step at a time, while still having our eyes on the prize.