2017-2018 Boston Celtics--What Are You Most Excited to See?

Rook05

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I thought this could be a fun topic. Your 2016-17 Eastern Conference Finalists are one roster spot away from as complete a rebuild as you'll see. Using my arbitrary list of options, what are you most excited to see in action this season?

What Kyrie can do out of LeBron's shadow
The upgrade from [the contract of] Jae Crowder to Hayward
A slimmed down Marcus Smart
Jayson Tatum, Summer League Superstar
Can Jaylen Brown make the leap?
How Brad Stevens sets and manages the rotation
What the crunch time line up looks like
How much of a chance the Lakers pick has of hitting 2-5
How many less hip injuries the team has with the replacement of Bryan Doo
Other

Edit: Goddamit. Thread title fail.
 
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tbrown_01923

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Basketball (I cut the sox off at the adam jones incident), I have been waiting for this all summer. My main interests are

1. Can Krie share the ball?
2. Can Tatum learn to play enough defense to get playoff rotation minutes

I think Marcus Smart breaks out this season (meaning: ~average shooter) and I think he will pair incredibly with Kyrie in the backcourt (regardless of whether he starts or not).
 

Sprowl

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Title updated.

***

I am most interested in seeing how Brad Stevens can take advantage of an abundance of skilled wing players. What will other teams do when faced with a Kyrie-Brown-Tatum-Hayward-Horford lineup? That's a lot of skill and firepower on the floor.
 

reggiecleveland

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I am most anxious to see how good the defence can become. Bradley, Crowder, even Amir were pretty big parts of the D. Team chemistry on D is not easy to develop. I expect they will be able to score, but how will the D evolve?
 

BigSoxFan

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1. Motivated Kyrie - are we getting close to 30ppg?

2. Tatum against NBA vets

3. Hayward in Brad’s system with a man’s body instead of a 12 year-old’s

4. Jaylen 2.0

5. No Amir in starting lineup

6. Can Smart suck less at shooting?
 

pokey_reese

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I'm just really curious to see how all of these parts gel, and how long that takes. We've got two new prime-age stars, a once-great vet, two very young high draft picks looking for playing time, and... Smart. Basically none of them have really played together, and I have no real idea of how Brad is going to use all of these pieces. I'm really more interested in what the strategy and ball movement will look like, rather than the role of any particular individual player.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I thought this could be a fun topic. Your 2016-17 Eastern Conference Finalists are one roster spot away from as complete a rebuild as you'll see. Using my arbitrary list of options, what are you most excited to see in action this season?

What Kyrie can do out of LeBron's shadow
The upgrade from [the contract of] Jae Crowder to Hayward
A slimmed down Marcus Smart
Jayson Tatum, Summer League Superstar
Can Jaylen Brown make the leap?
How Brad Stevens sets and manages the rotation
What the crunch time line up looks like
How much of a chance the Lakers pick has of hitting 2-5
How many less hip injuries the team has with the replacement of Bryan Doo
Other

Edit: Goddamit. Thread title fail.
Yes!
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Stevens has some work to do with this squad and like many of you, I am very interested to see how he uses the different pieces. I suspect rotations will be somewhat fluid for the first half or possibly two thirds of a season.

Unlike many of you, I have serious questions about Irving and how he will fit in Steven's system(s). I know I am in a tiny minority who have concerns about this, amongst other issues and I am probably wrong to feel that way - that said, we don't need to debate it - I will keep an open mind as the season wears on. And I keep reminding myself that if anyone can get Kyrie to play his absolute best, its Brad Stevens, who is brilliant at maximizing player potential.

Finally, I too am really looking forward to the development of not just Brown and Tatum but also Semi Ojeleye. I know the latter won't get much run but his potential skill set is intriguing. Combine that with Steven's coaching and I have hopes that the C's have found another really valuable piece, at a bargain price, for years to come.
 

HomeRunBaker

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There are so many exciting side stories to this season many of which have been covered. In no particular order:

1. How Stevens adjusts HIS system to fit the talents of Kyrie and Hayward.
2. The 3rd year growth and usage of Rozier (he's going to play a much larger role than people expect)
3. The 2nd year growth and usage of Jaylen
4. The in-season progression of Tatum
5. The fan reaction when Kyrie has one of his many 3-16 nights over the course of the winter
6. Watching those same fans react when he singlehandedly wins playoff games for us
7. Can Theis play in the NBA as a stretch 4/5
8. Felger and Mazz stirring the pot on the days following Kyrie's 3-16 nights
9. Smart's contract talk and how Rozier's play factors in
10. How we play with a lack of regular season urgency in preparation of the playoffs and the fans/media reaction to it.
11. Following the Lakers for the '18 lottery pick
12. Following the soon-to-be demise of the Grizzlies to dodge the 1-8 protection in '19 and the 1-6 protection in '20 to receive their unprotected pick in '21. I hear Emoni Bates added another inch to his vertical since hitting puberty last spring. (That was a joke....well, kinda)
 

Eddie Jurak

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There are so many exciting side stories to this season many of which have been covered. In no particular order:

1. How Stevens adjusts HIS system to fit the talents of Kyrie and Hayward.
2. The 3rd year growth and usage of Rozier (he's going to play a much larger role than people expect)
3. The 2nd year growth and usage of Jaylen
4. The in-season progression of Tatum
5. The fan reaction when Kyrie has one of his many 3-16 nights over the course of the winter
6. Watching those same fans react when he singlehandedly wins playoff games for us
7. Can Theis play in the NBA as a stretch 4/5
8. Felger and Mazz stirring the pot on the days following Kyrie's 3-16 nights
9. Smart's contract talk and how Rozier's play factors in
10. How we play with a lack of regular season urgency in preparation of the playoffs and the fans/media reaction to it.
11. Following the Lakers for the '18 lottery pick
12. Following the soon-to-be demise of the Grizzlies to dodge the 1-8 protection in '19 and the 1-6 protection in '20 to receive their unprotected pick in '21. I hear Emoni Bates added another inch to his vertical since hitting puberty last spring. (That was a joke....well, kinda)
I'm interested in:
  • What is Rozier? Thus far he looks more to me like another Avery Bradley type (undersized 2 guard) than a PG. Not the same guy as Bradley - and maybe he can be a better all around player than Bradley - but still not a PG.
  • Who is the 10th man in the rotation? 9 guys are set (Kyrie, Hayward, Horford, the Marcuses, Brown, Tatum, Baynes, Rozier) and 2 are at the bottom of the roster and not likely to get a look barring injuries (Nader, Larkin). That leaves Theis, Olejeye, and Yabusele, with the first 2 more likely to play than the last one.
  • Development of team chemistry
  • How do Kyrie and Hayward take to their new roles.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I'd have to imagine Theis is far ahead of Olejeye and Yabusele at this stage. Those two have a ways to go before seeing an NBA floor imo.
 

Sprowl

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I'm interested in:
  • What is Rozier? Thus far he looks more to me like another Avery Bradley type (undersized 2 guard) than a PG. Not the same guy as Bradley - and maybe he can be a better all around player than Bradley - but still not a PG.
Rozier looks to be an excellent ballhandler: he keeps control at high speeds, and is faster with the ball than many other players without it (as Jason Kidd used to be). His assist-to-turnover ratio last year was 131 to 47, which suggests that he is not turnover-prone.

He has poor court vision, however, and creates primarily for himself, where he is capable of acrobatic finishes around the rim. That makes him a point guard only when another player like Horford takes over the ball as distributor and playmaker after Rozier gets the ball upcourt. Then Rozier goes to the corner and waits for the kick-out or round-the-arc pass.

He is a mediocre but improving three-point shooter (22% as a rookie, 32% last year's regular season, but 37% in 17 playoff games) capable of spreading the floor and hitting the corner 3.

He was the team's best rebounder because of his excellent hops, lateral quickness and ballhawking instincts, and has the tools to be a great on-the-ball defender like Bradley in his early years.

Overall, an excellent combo guard off the bench, but probably never a starter at point guard. Collectively, Rozier/Smart/Brown have defensive stopper potential against opposing ballhandlers and wings. I don't think Bradley or Crowder, both of whom economized on defensive effort when they played starter's minutes, will be missed on defense because there is so much young and hungry defensive talent to replace them.
 

Wilco's Last Fan

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I'm curious about the fit of Marcus Morris in the rotation (presuming he is acquitted, of course). He has the potential to be an incredibly valuable piece, given his defensive versatility, his playmaking ability as a ballhandling wing out of the PnR, and his ability to space the floor. On the other hand, he loves the mid-range and I worry about his shot selection on a team that has superior scoring options.

If he's comfortable in an Olynyk-type role, MM might replace some of the defensive toughness we lost with Crowder and some of the spacing we lost with Kelly O. That could be an immensely valuable role player on a really good contract.
 

JakeRae

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I'm most interested to see how this team manages with only 7 proven NBA rotation players on the roster. In addition to everything else that changed about this team, we went from being a very deep team to being a very shallow team that is hoping for young players to step up.
 

Big John

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I'm interested to see if Kyrie Irving can fill Isaiah Thomas' shoes. On paper Irving is a better player, but does he have IT's heart? Stay tuned.
 

benhogan

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I'm most interested to see how this team manages with only 7 proven NBA rotation players on the roster. In addition to everything else that changed about this team, we went from being a very deep team to being a very shallow team that is hoping for young players to step up.
I count 9 (Hayward, Irving, Horford, Smart, Morris, Baynes, Brown, Rozier, Larkin) with proven NBA experience. Are you excluding Brown and Larkin? On a whole, I agree with your assessment that they are a lot less deep than last season. But do think guys like Rozier and Brown can step up with more minutes and better production. A more polished Tatum should play a larger role than Brown,17 mins/game, did last season.

Danny is betting on Brad's ability to get the most out of new talent. SO I'm really excited to see how Stevens makes this transition work with a couple weeks of practice and 4 pre-season games. Anything over .500 ball during the first month would be a great job by Brad (6 of the first 7 games are against probable playoff teams with four on the road). November is the soft part of the schedule and hopefully, we'll have worked out some of the kinks by then.

I'm also excited to see if Danny/Brad can unearth some hidden gems out of Theis, Nader, Yabu, or Semi.
 
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Eddie Jurak

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Yeah, except for one thing I think the depth issue is overstated. That issue being they are very thin at center.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I'm most interested to see how this team manages with only 7 proven NBA rotation players on the roster. In addition to everything else that changed about this team, we went from being a very deep team to being a very shallow team that is hoping for young players to step up.
If a team has "proven" guys at 8-10 there is a very good chance that the only thing the player has proven is that he isn't very good.
 

reggiecleveland

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Rozier looks to be an excellent ballhandler: he keeps control at high speeds, and is faster with the ball than many other players without it (as Jason Kidd used to be). His assist-to-turnover ratio last year was 131 to 47, which suggests that he is not turnover-prone.

He has poor court vision, however, and creates primarily for himself, where he is capable of acrobatic finishes around the rim. That makes him a point guard only when another player like Horford takes over the ball as distributor and playmaker after Rozier gets the ball upcourt. Then Rozier goes to the corner and waits for the kick-out or round-the-arc pass.

.
Brad has shown he gets the most out of what guys can do, not limited by what they cannot. Rozier can play minutes at the one because he can get the ball over half and make the initial pass. He is not great and some of the traditional PG stuff on O, if he was he would be starting material. He isn't so he is a good bench guy.
 

benhogan

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I'd have to imagine Theis is far ahead of Olejeye and Yabusele at this stage. Those two have a ways to go before seeing an NBA floor imo.
Good observation on Theis (aka D.Nice)

It is early but Theis looked much more advanced then Semi and Yabu. He played tall and looked confident from the moment he stepped on the floor.

Playing EURO2017 probably has him in mid-season form.
 
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Eddie Jurak

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Good observation on Theis.

It is early but Theis looked much more advanced then Semi and Yabu. He played tall and looked confident from the moment he stepped on the floor.

Playing EURO2017 probably has him in mid-season form.
Absolutely. Theis showed a little of everything, including passing, hitting the 3, running the floor, driving on a closeout, rebounding. Looked very good and ready for minutes.

I don't think Semi looked bad, exactly - he had some good defensive possessions. But he looked like a guy with "3&D" upside in his first game against NBA competition.

Yabu, on the other hand, looked like a ball in high grass. A BIG ball, to be sure, but still. My early judgment on him is that he'll spend the full year in the D league and I wouldn't be shocked if he doesn't get an NBA minute this year. If he gets time, it will be the odd minute here or there where Brad needs someone to foul Andre Drummond.