Boston Celtics

New Celtics had no prior love for C's

611924.jpg

New Celtics had no prior love for C's

It's very, very, easy to hate the Celtics.

Not as a Celtics fan, of course, but as a fan or player of just about every other team in the NBA.

Don't believe it? Just ask two Celtics newcomers, Chris Wilcox and Keyon Dooling.

Both veterans have played against the Celtics many times in their careers, and at least over the last few years neither of them say anything nice about the team from an opponents perspective.

"Outside looking in you hate them, you know?" Wilcox said. "But when you're here, you love them. Because it's like a family. It's family-oriented. The guys in the locker room are great, the guys upstairs are great. So it's just like being home at the family reunion when you come here, because everybody is on the same page, everybody is about one thing and that's winning."

Wilcox is right on the money. Until you're accepted into the family, there's no way you'd understand what it's like. Kevin Garnett's scowl and bark, or Paul Pierce's and Rajon Rondo's on-court demeanor certainly won't earn them any friends on the opposing team, but that's fine with them.

Heck, guys they've won championships with who have now gone on to other teams probably hate them again.

Dooling certainly knows how easy it is for the Celtics to get under the skin of opponents. The C's and the Milwaukee Bucks, Dooling's former team, went at it on a few memorable occasions in recent seasons.

"As an opponent against them you really don' like playing against them" Dooling said. "They're very loud, they're very aggravating they're very, you know what I mean, they have that Celtic moxie so to speak.

"You didn't like that when you were playing against them. But now that I'm on this side I look forward to being the antagonist a little bit as well."

No longer the little team that could, Celtics may need time to jell

No longer the little team that could, Celtics may need time to jell

Fireworks have been ablaze in the NBA all summer long, with the latest electrifying salvo being tossed by the Boston Celtics in trading for Kyrie Irving from Cleveland in exchange for a package of playerscentered around Isaiah Thomas and a first-round pick centered around Isaiah Thomas. Without question the Celtics were among the biggest winners this offseason as they went about transforming their roster significantly despite having the best record in the East while advancing to the conference finals. But good wasn’t good enough, a similar mantra by a number of teams in the NBA. We’ll take a look at all 30 teams in the next 30 days as they prepare for the 2017-2018 regular season, which is when the real fireworks begin!

BOSTON – Expectations for the Celtics this season are the highest they've been in the Brad Stevens Era.
 
The past couple of years, Stevens’ crew was seen as a scrappy bunch.
 
That all changed Tuesday night when the Celtics pulled off a blockbuster trade in acquiring Kyrie Irving from Cleveland for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the rights to the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

MORE ON THE KYRIE IRVING BLOCKBUSTER:

 
Acquiring the four-time All-Star would have made this offseason one of the best ever for the Celtics. But prior to landing the 25-year-old point guard, Boston was able to sign Gordon Hayward to a four-year, $127.8 million contract after he spent his first seven seasons in the NBA with the Utah Jazz.
 
The new guys join a Celtics team that returns just four starters, a group led by Al Horford, who stands as the lone returning starter from last season’s squad which finished with the best record in the East (53-29) while advancing to the Eastern Conference finals before losing in five games to Cleveland.
 
Adding a pair of All-Stars to the mix will certainly benefit the Celtics for this upcoming season. But for their continued growth, they will also need to get more from their youngsters.
 
Second-year forward Jaylen Brown had a strong offseason and is poised to build off of a rookie season in which he was named to the All-Rookie second team. Boston will also look to get quality play from rookie Jayson Tatum who was selected by Boston with the third overall pick in the NBA draft.  
 
For Boston, the biggest concern has to be chemistry.
 
There’s no question there’s more talent on this roster from top to bottom.
 
But with this being the first go-around for most of the players, it remains to be seen just how long it will take for all of the core players to get on the same page and find success.
 
That challenge won’t be easy, especially with the Celtics opening with seven of their first 11 games on the road.

Even with all the new faces and a challenging schedule out the gates, that won’t diminish the heightened level of expectations for a team that will surely have a bull’s-eye on its back all season for a journey that should result in yet another deep playoff run.
 
Key free agent/trade additions: Kyrie Irving (from Cleveland); Gordon Hayward (from Utah); Aron Baynes (from Detroit); Marcus Morris (from Detroit).
 
Key losses:
Avery Bradley (traded to Detroit); Amir Johnson (Philadelphia); Jonas Jerebko (Utah).
 
Rookies of note:
Jayson Tatum; Semi Ojeleye.
 
Expectations:
60-22 (First in the Atlantic Division, first in the East)

CSNNE SCHEDULE

BST PODCAST: What grade would you give the Celtics trade for Kyrie Irving?

best_of_bst_podcast.jpg

BST PODCAST: What grade would you give the Celtics trade for Kyrie Irving?

0:41 - What grade would you give the Celtics for their trade for Kyrie Irving? Michael Holley, Kayce Smith, Tom Curran, break it down and give their grades.

4:32 - Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakley discuss how Kyrie Irving will fit in the Celtics system and how Brad Stevens will handle the roster with new egos.

8:50 - We take a look back at the Pierce and Garnett trade to the Nets that landed the Celtics multiple 1st round picks. Are you pleased with how the Celtics used those picks? Is Danny Ainge a Hall of Fame executive? Michael Holley, A. Sherrod Blakely, and Tom Giles discuss.

14:30 - Our BST crew talk about the Red Sox getting the win over the Indians, Eduardo Nunez being hit intentionally by Corey Kluber, and if Chris Sale will retaliate.