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NBA Hall of Famers Kobe Bryant, Charles Barkley Praise Team and More

The Boston Celtics looked great in their season-opening win vs. the Philadelphia 76ers and the NBA took notice. Now, the Celtics will face a tougher test Friday at the Toronto Raptors.

After a season-opening bullying of the Philadelphia 76ers, the excitement surrounding the Boston Celtics is palpable. For us die hard fans, the Celtics are always headline news. But now, Boston basketball is becoming one of the biggest storylines nationally, as well.

With established stars like Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford, rising stars such as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and a bench full of brawlers, the Celtics have something for everybody.

The Boston Celtics underwhelmed in the preseason, but one look at the boys in Boston’s home opener showed us how tough the Celtics will be to match up with this season. With the NBA moving toward away from traditional two-big lineups, the overall skill level on the court is at an all-time high–and the Boston Celtics are one of the best examples in the NBA.

Basically every player in Boston’s rotation can shoot, dribble, pass, and defend at a high level. Even Aron Baynes looks to have added the three-point shot to his tool kit.

Though it was great to see the Celtics blow out the 76ers in the return of Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, a much bigger test will come Friday night on the road against the Toronto Raptors.

Even without Hayward and Irving, Boston dominated Philly in the playoffs last season; Philadelphia simply doesn’t have the versatility, depth, or defense to compete with Boston over the long haul-yet.  76ers center Joel Embiid even admitted its “not a rivalry..they always kick our ass.”

On the other hand, the Raptors have held the upper hand over the Celtics the last few years and finished first in the Eastern Conference last season before upgrading from DeMar DeRozan to Kawhi Leonard in the offseason.

So, as good as Boston looked in its first game at the TD Garden, we will get a much better feel for where they stand in the NBA hierarchy at this early point in the season following Friday’s game.

Boston Celtics News and Notes From FanSided

Previewing a Toronto Raptors vs Boston Celtics series that could decide the Eastern Conference [Mike Bosetti – Raptors Rapture]

Over at our FanSided Family Raptors blog, Bosetti not only previews the game Friday, but also breaks down how these two teams match up when looking at a potential playoff series.

5 Biggest NBA Storylines on Opening Week of 2018-2019 Season [Alan Mena — Sir Charles in Charge]

Mena writes that he’s excited to see how the Boston Celtics chemistry will look in the opening week as they have a healthy roster for the first time in a long time.

3 Takeaways from Boston Celtics Season Opener [Andrew Neururer — Hoops Habit]

The author ponders whether or not the Celtics are the favorites in the East.

Boston Celtics News From Around the Internet

Brad Stevens says the Raptors are the top team he’s seen on tape [Michael Bohlin –247 Sports]

Charles Barkley says the Celtics have more talent than the Warriors [Moke Hamilton — Celtics Wire]

Charles Barkley: bold as ever. If we’re talking depth? Probably. If we’re talking talent? Not so sure.

Boston Celtics ‘City Edition’ Jerseys Leak on Twitter [DJ Bean — NBC Sports Boston]

What do y’all think?

Kobe Bryant tweets some love to Jayson Tatum after season debut [A.J. Mason — Celtics Wire]

Next: Who Would Win: 2008 Champs or Kyrie’s Celtics?

It’s only been one game so far, but the league is already looking out for the Boston Celtics. The talent is there, the coaching is there, and the Celtics appear ready to contend for a long time.

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