The new look of the Boston Celtics

Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images /

The Celtics still need a defensive presence, but adding Marcus Morris and Aron Baynes is a step in the right direction. Along with incoming youth, this new look of the Celtics will certainly be a change of pace.

Losing Avery Bradley is massive. It opens up a sinkhole in the Boston Celtics‘ backcourt, but young players like Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart will help ease the pain as they continue to develop. Smart is likely going to see the most minutes alongside Isaiah Thomas in the backcourt, but he will not have as demanding a role as Bradley did.

With Thomas, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford running the offense, Smart, Marcus Morris and Aron Baynes can settle in as role players. The second unit will need scoring, but Baynes will be a low-post presence that has been desperately needed.

His skills are limited and average across the board, but his toughness fits the Celtics dynamic. He might be the secondary subject of some of the meanest posters in recent history, but he goes up with authority and manages to get his fair share of blocks in the process.

Baynes and Morris

Aside from sounding like the new buddy-comedy hit of the summer, both are great additions to the frontcourt. They are defense-first players that thrive on toughness. The major downside is that neither are strong rebounders. They tend to focus on good shot defense rather than positioning for rebounds. Playing alongside Horford might allow them to find a better rebounding identity, but unfortunately, that is pure speculation at this point.

The Celtics were forced to go small last season. With Morris and Baynes, they have the flexibility to use more stable lineups that can protect the rim. This will not be the answer to all their problems, but it does plug up a hole that’s been leaking for the previous few seasons.

The Celtics have done a good job of providing options in the backcourt, but this new frontcourt is going to make an immediate impact on opposing teams. The Celtics will desperately miss Avery Bradley in the rotation, but they still have a chance with Rozier, Smart and Brown on the come-up.

The importance of getting Marcus Morris has been overshadowed by losing Bradley in the process. Morris is a perfect big that can guard across the court who adds strength and support to use with Al Horford. His scoring is suspect and inconsistent, but has proven he can be productive on more than one occasion.

Morris will be needed for defense, but he can contribute in any offense and his spacing will be greatly appreciated by the new Big Three in Boston: highlight reel guard Isaiah Thomas, fundamentalist slasher Gordon Hayward, and the tactical-athleticism of Al Horford.


NBA Summer League leaves fans with high aspirations and higher expectations. (Good luck, Lonzo Ball.) Jayson Tatum stole nearly all of the spotlight from Jaylen Brown for Boston this summer.

Brown proved himself in the regular season and that is what matters. There are plenty of factors, mental and physical, that go into “non-regular season” NBA games. Buying into Brown’s Summer League performance is, more or less, a waste of time, especially knowing he can keep his composure in more meaningful situations, like the playoffs.

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As for Jayson Tatum, he was a joy to watch. Every contested shot. Every drive. Every possession, Tatum looks like the player they needed before the Hayward trade. Granted, Tatum will need to time to develop, so learning behind Hayward should be beneficial.

He hits contested shots, finishes through contact and does almost everything rookies struggle to adapt when first playing in the league. This does not mean he is poised for an All-Star run in his rookie season, since it’s just Summer League, but he might see a workload more advanced than his first-year colleagues.

The Brown-Tatum duo was a big part of Boston’s Summer League success. Jabari Bird managed to separate himself in the Celtics’ game without Brown and Tatum, producing while shouldering the workload. The youth is clearly doing all the right things, but when it comes to the regular season, will it be the right combination to beat the best?

With the current direction it is going in, Boston is subjecting itself to more losses by changing the team dynamic. The Celtics are trying to build a more cohesive team from a traditional standpoint.

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The chemistry has been tweaked this offseason and while it might look good on paper, on the court, the results are going to change. Morris and Hayward are the most important additions to this team and hopefully they can provide enough help to keep this team in the winning direction it has carved for itself…and LeBron James going to the Lakers next summer wouldn’t hurt either.