For an NBA fan, this might be the worst time of year. It has been a long time since we’ve been able to watch our team (FIBA and WNBA are fine, but they aren’t the Celtics). The draft and Summer League are a distant memory. League transactions (free agency and trades) are pretty much done until camp starts and it seems like Boston is happy with their roster at the moment.
We’ve gone over all the relevant topics and then some. We all know the narratives by heart at this point and we’ve all got our opinions on what needed to change and what to expect this season. It is still a little early for the big Season Preview articles from the mainstream media (and when they get posted most of us will side-eye them because we think we know our team better).
If you are like me, the kids are back in school and there isn’t even summer vacations to look forward to or be distracted by. The season is so close and yet the days drag on and on.
So much has been covered already that I didn’t think I had any specific thought deep enough for a full article, but I figured I could shake out a few thoughts like shaking the sand out of the bag you bring to the beach.
I’m already sick of talking about injuries with this team and the season hasn’t even begun. In theory everyone should be ready to go at the beginning of training camp. But how long will that last? Is Malcolm Brogdon really going to be full speed at the start of camp? How is Porzingis’ foot? I’m just going to assume that Robert Williams spent every hour of the summer either working out or wrapped in bubble wrap. I don’t know what magic elixir Al Horford has been drinking all these years, but hopefully he has at least another year’s supply.
Bottom line; I hate injuries and I hate writing about them.
If and when the team hits the floor, they should be a lot of fun to watch this year. They will have a fresh start under Joe Mazzulla and his new assistant coaches. They will have a full camp (hopefully without distractions this year) to set the tone and identity for the year as well as incorporating some new faces to the team.
I can’t wait to talk about training camp battles. Brad Stevens saw a lack of depth in the wing position and has thrown a handful of wings against the wall to see which one sticks. I’m looking forward to seeing how Payton Pritchard and Sam Hauser perform with (presumably) bigger roles available to them. And, of course, it will be interesting to see how Porzingis changes the entire dynamic.
Then there’s Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Yes, I’m tired of the storylines as well. We try not to rehash the same material over and over again, but at some point in the summer, there’s only so much meat on the bone and the best you can do is try to approach it from a different angle. Just because we write about something Tatum needs to work on doesn’t mean we’re giving Jaylen a pass. Brown clearly has some things he needs to work on, but we shouldn’t lose sight of what a special player he is as well.
All in all, I’m very excited for the season. I have my concerns and questions because experience has taught me to be cautious. But the only way to really answer any of that is to roll the ball out and watch them play it out. And then once the games begin, we have to keep in mind that the regular season is just a precursor to the playoffs. First things first though. We need some Celtics basketball to start very soon.
I miss the Celtics!