Why the new and improved Celtics are a major threat

Boston Celtics (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Given how heavy the stake is for the Boston Celtics and how different they are about to look, the excitement is real. Rarely do you see a team this close make this significant of an offseason blockbuster, let alone receive the deal’s best player.

"“I’m probably more excited to watch them than any team I could remember in recent memory just because of how much different they are going to be and the stakes that are on them. To Brian’s point, they have leaned so far into what Joe Mazzulla wanted to do and so far away from what they were under Ime just a couple of years ago.” ESPN’s Tim Bontemps on Brian Windhorst and The Hoop Collective on July 17"

If it were not already clear with the Marcus Smart-Kristaps Porzingis deal, Stevens and the Celtics’ brass have fully invested themselves in the Mazzulla regime. Windhorst describes it as high-volume three-point shooting with massive offensive versatility.

The Grant Williams-Dallas noise came to fruition with Boston getting a TPE back. Another hard-nosed defender cut from the same cloth as Smart is no longer in green. Grant was a notable instrument to the C’s 2022 Finals team that kept the defense intact outside of the core for the bench.

Though, in comfort of Williams’ expected exit, rookie Jordan Walsh gave the Celtics a ton of promise during the Summer League in Las Vegas. Walsh has prematurely returned that competitive grit that lied within the two departing fan favorites. Ranked the fifth-best rookie in the exhibition, the 19-year-old provided plenty of skillset offensively as well that maybe wasn’t fully on display as a Razorback.

But on defense, a complete fire-breathing disruptor is a pest that is always bringing that energy and intensity. That Celtic edge that many fans fall in love with, which Walsh immediately acknowledged when he was introduced, means he knows that, with his length, he fits as well.

Walsh, Oshae Brissett, with his thunderous cutting, shot-blocking, and length on the glass, and Sam Hauser can all play into the minutes that Williams left. There were highlighted moments last season in the regular season and playoffs where Williams did not receive any playing time due to Hauser’s elite shooting and good plus-minus defensively.