Aron Baynes is the Boston Celtics’ floor spacer
The Boston Celtics are a group with immense expectations heading into the 2018-19 season. What potential challenges could the team face next year, and do they have a realistic chance at adding another banner to the rafters?
This Celtics team is going to be very special next season. With Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward returning to a unit that took LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games, it seems as if the sky is the limit. Also, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are expected to improve and become even better all around players, as they are only 21 and 20 years old. Boston has the talent and coaching to be arguably the best team in basketball, but there are a few obstacles in the way.
A major roadblock that the Celtics likely will have to go through is the Golden State Warriors. They are the two-time defending world champions who lucked out this offseason when they signed superstar center DeMarcus Cousins to a contract far below his market value. If Boston reaches the NBA Finals, it is very likely that the Warriors will be waiting for them. Golden State is a tremendously talented team that would surely be favored in a seven game series against the Celtics.
Also, adding two star players to a team that was well-adjusted to playing with each other may be a cause for concern during the early stages. Players like Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris will likely have reduced roles next season, and this could lead to internal conflict. Boston’s players seem fine with the idea of a reduced role if it means it will lead to winning, but it is hard to predict if they will still feel that way by the end of next season.
Lastly, do not rule out the possibility of the Boston Celtics not making the NBA Finals. Teams like the Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors, and Philadelphia 76ers could potentially upset the green in a playoff series. The Celtics are the heavy favorites to come out of the East, but Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors along with the back court of the Wiz and the Sixers young duo have the potential to be great competition.
Overall, it would be wise to let the early part of the season play out before placing any expectations on this team. Obviously they are very talented, but it is unknown how all of the pieces will mesh together. The Boston Celtics can realistically win a championship next season, but expecting one at this point may be presumptuous. It will be interesting to see how Boston handles the pressure and challenge of being considered one of the leagues best teams.