The Celtics’ first season after the old core left and a new one formed under Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown rolled smoothly until a late string of losses easy to forget now.
Injuries ravaged the team nearly every week, depth became a question, but overall Boston won at a pace that at least set them up to improve over last year’s team. Tatum reached player of the month status, Jaylen Brown made his own strides and Marcus Smart continued to look like a steady offensive producer in this league. Meanwhile, Daniel Theis fit into the enormous hole left behind by Al Horford.
The team, regardless of their true contention status, set a mood indisputably favorable to the one that fell easily in round two last season. The NBA hopes it can restart and Boston’s among a handful of teams that’ll love the renewed health such a layoff will provide their contention chances. That’ll settle uncertainty the hiatus left — whether the Celtics’ honeymoon season continues or gives way to more contending concerns into the offseason.
An abrupt ending provides a bit of both. Though Gordon Hayward’s likely intention to opt-in to his contract and forego free agency until 2021 answers one question, The Garden Report addressed the rest of the possible cancellation impacts on Boston — as did our Keith Smith.
Is this season a success regardless? —
How’re the Celtics impacted by the hiatus? —