No fan base needs an opening night program more than Celtics fans. The Celtics spent the off-season overhauling their roster, and enter the 2017-18 season with four new starters. Al Horford is the lone returning starter from last season.
Here’s a look at the Celtics roster and projected starting lineup heading into the 2017-18 season. Boston has a few options after Gordon Hayward sustained significant injuries in the Celtics opener. Our projections have Marcus Morris moving into the starting lineup with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown sliding down positions.
Terry Rozier is also in the running for the starting spot. Don’t be surprised if rookie Semi Ojeleye also starts to see additional minutes.
C- Al Horford, Daniel Theis, Aron Baynes
PF- Marcus Morris, Guerschon Yabusele
SF- Jayson Tatum, Semi Ojeleye, Abdel Nader
SG- Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier, Jabari Bird (Two-Way), Gordon Hayward (injured)
PG- Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart, Shane Larkin, Kadeem Allen (Two-Way)
Boston made one of the biggest splashes this off-season by acquiring Kyrie Irving. The Celtics will need a new heartbeat as Boston had to swap Isaiah Thomas and other core players for Irving. Celtics brass is betting that Irving can step into that role, and be one of the missing pieces to help get the Celtics to the NBA Finals.
Prior to trading for Irving, the Celtics signed Gordon Hayward in free agency. Hayward was one of the biggest names in free agency, and brings much needed scoring to Boston. Hayward averaged 21.9 points and 5.4 rebounds last season with the Jazz.
The Celtics drafted Duke forward Jayson Tatum in the 2017 NBA Draft. Tatum looked good in summer league action, but fans want to know how his offensive style will fit with the other Celtics players.
Jaylen Brown steps into the starting lineup despite seeing limited action last season. Brown is another promising young prospect who has shined at times when he has been on the court.
The biggest thing you will notice about this year’s Celtics team is their ability to score the basketball. Boston massively upgraded their offense through a series of trades and signings.
To upgrade their offense, the Celtics sacrificed some of the depth they had last season. The Celtics are adapting to a shifting NBA landscape where it is very difficult to compete without multiple stars on your team’s roster.