Preview of the NBA 2021-22 season over the Boston Celtics. Data, results from the previous season, a look at their squad and future free agents, the objectives of the course, the player to watch and a forecast on the franchise.
- Market movements: Enes Kanter and Dennis Schröder signings; Kemba Walker’s departure and Juancho Hernangómez’s transfer (here all movements).
- Backcourt: Jaylen Brown, Romeo Langford, Aaron Nesmith, Payton Pritchard, Josh Richardson, Dennis Schröder, Marcus Smart.
- Frontcourt: Bruno Fernando, Al Horford, Juancho Hernangómez, Enes Kanter, Luke Kornet, Juwan Morgan, Jabari Parker, Jayson Tatum, Grant Williams, Robert Williams III.
This is how they face the season
The Celtics said goodbye to the playoffs on the fast track by falling 4-1 to the Brooklyn Nets. This situation would have consequences that few imagined, as Danny Ainge was leaving his position as president of operations after 18 years in the offices.
To replace Ainge’s departure, the higher echelons of the Celtics chose to give some continuity to the project, and until now head coach Brad Stevens took over the franchise’s basketball operations with the aim of revolutionizing the squad.
And his movements did not take long to wait. Before the 2021 Draft ceremony Stevens sent Kemba Walker to the Thunder in a trade for veteran Al Horford, who already wore the Boston colors between 2016 and 2019.
Kemba’s departure was very noticeable due to the length of his contract and his performance / physical problems. The first blow came on the table for a team that seemed to have peaked. And his next step was on finding his next head coach and the opportunity went to rookie Ime Udoka.
Udoka, Gregg Popovich’s pupil at the San Antonio Spurs, impressed the direct in the round of interviews. In addition, he had the support of the bulk of the squad (Tatum, Brown and Smart) thanks to the excellent relationship they had with him during his time at Team USA.
Since then Stevens’ maneuvers have been varied and with the odd risk along the way. Center Enes Kanter returned from the Portland Trail Blazers; point guard Dennis Schröder has reached a bargain price after a discreet season in Los Angeles; has added defense and outside pitch with Josh Richardson (later renewed); and finally he obtained for the second unit a Juancho Hernangómez who had had problems with the Minnesota board of directors.
In this market, the new leader has also closed the important renovations of Marcus Smart for 77 million dollars; and that of Robert Williams III for 54 million dollars. Ownership is knocking on the doors of the young interior with such a gamble.
And we said that Boston needed a hit, but more importantly, consistency and scoring for the bench. And that’s where they have achieved an outstanding: Schröder, Kanter, Juancho and Horford, and those who already were like Jabari Parker, Peyton Pritchard, Aaron Nesmith, and Grant Williams. Annotation, size and bounce. The Celtics are spoiled for choice to build a very powerful rotation.
As the starting five, we would bet on Marcus Smart, Josh Richardson and Jaylen Brown on the wings. Jayson Tatum as ‘four’ and Robert Williams to protect the paint, although perhaps they can bet on the veteran of Al Horford in different parts of the season.
Tatum will once again be the most important man on offense; his teammate Jaylen Brown was injured and is expected to be fully recovered after undergoing surgery; and Marcus Smart is Marcus Smart. The voice of the dressing room and all character and personality, and the best defender of the squad.
I do not forget to mention the important work ahead of Ime Udoka. It will not be an easy debut for him taking the reins of a historically winning bench that will demand short-term results. The new manager has amassed quite a bit of experience alongside Popovich, Brett Brown at Philly and Steve Nash and Mike D’Antoni on his last stint in Brooklyn.
The player to watch
Dennis Schröder. We all know that the Celtics begin and end with their particular Big Three with Tatum, Brown and Smart. However, the German guard will have a lot to say on his arrival in Boston. His role would be destined for Sixth Man of the squad with large minutes and enough offensive weight.
He comes after a rather gray season in the Lakers where he has been criticized a lot; however, you want to show that you deserve to get a good pinch on your next contract. His signing can be a real bargain, since he has barely agreed to a course for 5.9 million dollars. If Stevens and Udoka manage to find the key, they will share many minutes with the Smart-Brown duo.
NBA preview 2021-22 Boston Celtics, prediction
Elio Martínez, director of Trends Wide, leaves a personal and subjective forecast on what he thinks each franchise will do during the season in the NBA 2021-22 preview.
For me one of the easiest teams to place in the forecast. With the top four in the East ruled out – waiting for the 76ers not to suffer a slump by trading Simmons – I think Boston is in for a fight for fifth place in its conference. Can they improve on Atlanta or New York? I think they have enough weapons for it and that is my optimistic bet in a year that is still transitional. to something else: fifths.
Previous team analyzed: Los Angeles Lakers. Next team: Portland Trail Blazers.
(Cover photo: Maddie Malhotra / Getty Images)