The Boston Celtics finished their season a bit short of expectations with a conference semifinals elimination. Here are the team’s top moments of 2018-19.
Despite a fully healthy roster that included star players like Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward back in their lineup, the Boston Celtics‘ 2018-19 campaign ended in five games against the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this month. Boston put together a 49-win season that landed them in the 4-seed for the 2019 NBA Playoffs, with some impressive wins during the regular season over the league’s top teams.
Although rumors of Irving leaving clouded the team’s future, he and this team had quite a few shining moments this year where it appeared they were capable of making a deep playoff run if they sustained that high level of play. One of the more difficult challenges head coach Brad Stevens faced during the year was finding the right mixture of playing time for Hayward in his first season back from a gruesome leg injury that sidelined him for the whole 2017-18 season.
But Hayward found his groove off the bench and gave the Celtics a boost throughout the year. When Hayward scored 15 or more points, the Celtics were 17-4. When he scored 20 or more, they were a perfect 6-0.
There was still, however, a ton of pressure on the young stars like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to perform after reaching the Eastern Conference Finals (and nearly downing LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers) last year. Tatum upped his points per game total (15.7) almost two whole points from his rookie season, but shot a slightly lower percentage (45.0 percent) from the field. Similarly, Brown’s shooting percentages and numbers saw a dip, likely because of the new additions on offense.
But the good news for this Celtics team is that those two, at least for now, don’t seem to be going anywhere, and even if Irving’s future isn’t with Boston, they are reliable crutches to lean on if the dynamic of the Eastern Conference changes due to 2019 free agency drama. With the 2018-19 season wrapped up, here’s a look at some of the best moments for the Boston Celtics.