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Celtics season recap: the best of times

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It was a season of highs and lows for the Boston Celtics. Here are some of the best highs.

Phoenix Suns v Boston Celtics Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

It has been an ...interesting season to say the least. The high expectations leading into the year and the struggles the team has had made it difficult to appreciate the little victories along the way. But there were some wins and fun moments this season. Here’s a list of a few of them.

Opening Night - Beating the 76ers ...again

Riding into the first game of the season, high expectations, an opponent that Boston seems to own, on National TV. Couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season.

Gordon Hayward Gatorade showers

It has been a roller coaster of a year for Gordon Hayward this season. After missing a whole season recovering from his terrible ankle injury, he returned on Opening Night against the Philadelphia 76ers. The delight and relief on his face was such a treat as he knew he was back on the basketball court where he belonged. It was a celebration for the whole team.

So, after scoring 30 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves, his teammates took this opportunity to start a new tradition with Hayward. They gave him a well-deserving Gatorade shower in his post-game interview. Then again in Sacramento, after a game-winning basket, he received another congratulatory shower. It has been a difficult personal journey for Hayward to get back and these Gatorade showers made it all worth it. - Jack Noonan

Timelord Mania

Things haven’t really gone very well this year for the Celtics, in case you missed it. This is pretty dramatic departure from previous years, where the Celtics would outperform regular season expectations, show up strong than playoff odds suggested, and go home whistling with a top draft pick for their trouble. Celtics fan’s find themselves reckoning with genuine, bitter disappointment for the first real time in five years.

Robert “Timelord” Williams was a beautiful distraction from all of that and created some of the rare moments of actual fun this year. Williams is exciting and recaptured that “tantalizing unknown” that had been absent in this Celtics season, with his raw potential and surprisingly slick passing. Fandom civil wars about Irving’s leadership, or Brown and Hayward’ play vanished, as unity would once again be (briefly) achieved as we all wondered how he fell to #27. In a season that involved some reflective pining for the past, Timelord reminded us that there’s still a lot of future to be had for the Celtics. - Sam Sheehan

Overtime win over Raptors (Kyrie Irving scores 43)

In what could still be an Eastern Conference Finals preview, it was a game for the ages and Kyrie Irving shined brightest of all. - Jeff Clark

56 point win over Bulls

Kyrie vs John Wall, overtime win

The Wizards had their own set of struggles this season, but when he was “on” there were few in the league as unstoppable as John Wall. One such game was in mid December when the Celtics and Wizards went into overtime with Wall and Irving trading baskets showdown style. Irving scored last and the Celtics won. It would prove to be one of the last great performances (for a long time) for John Wall as he had season ending surgery weeks later. - Jeff Clark

Jayson Tatum wins NBA Skills Challenge

It was a fun but basically frivolous event and he won it in the most frivolous way possible, on a half court bank shot. Let’s just hope it is the first of many times he’s at All Star weekend and for less frivolous reasons. - Jeff Clark

Soul Plane ride out to California

Pretty sure this is exactly what happened. (Except on a plane) - Jeff Clark

Blowout win over Warriors

As many have said before me, this season has been disappointing in most regards with all the hype coming in. However, this 33-point win against the Golden State Warriors at their place was one of the best wins this season. It was a huge win as the Celtics were in an absolute free fall prior to this West Coast trip. It was a full team win with five players scoring in double figures and Gordon Hayward leading all scorers with 30 of his own. This team desperately needed a win like this to show that they can still compete with the best teams in the league. It was one of the better peaks of the roller coaster of the season.- Jack Noonan

Isaiah Thomas video tribute

Marcus Smart wins Red Auerbach Award

In a season when the team struggled with its identity, it is important to recognize and appreciate the way Marcus Smart has grown as a player and a person. Yes, there was the Embiid shove which shows that he’s still a little rough around the edges. But somehow I think Red Auerbach would have just laughed and made fun of Joel.

Smart simply brings his own brand of tireless, frenetic energy each and every night. It isn’t always pretty, but he grinds out winning plays by sheer force of will. And he can shoot now too! A lot of guys play their best when they are about to become free agents. Smart has saved his best season for the year after he got paid. Heck of a year for him. - Jeff Clark