One of the biggest signs that basketball is almost back in our lives is when media day arrives. With a just under a month until opening night, media day gives us a chance to see our players together and hear what they have to say about the upcoming season. Media day is such an exciting day for me because I love to listen to what the players have to say about one another. Everybody’s so excited to get back and finally get on the court together. Everybody’s in a great mood, and that means so am I. Here are the biggest takeaways from media day, including realistic expectations for the upcoming season.
We’ll start with the biggest news of the day; Kyrie Irving putting an end to any rumor of him leaving Boston.
I’ve said this a million times before, and it pains me to say it another, but Kyrie isn’t leaving Boston. That video and those quotes from the man himself ends the debate. There should be no more rumors surrounding this, unless analysts have no new content to talk about and decide to start this up again. He sees the potential of the team and how special they can be if they stick together for years to come. They have the potential to make it to the NBA Finals and actually compete with the juggernaut Golden State Warriors THIS SEASON. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are only going to get better, Hayward is just going to get more and more comfortable playing for Brad and with the team, and from top to bottom, this team is stacked with guys who are willing to sacrifice to win. Kyrie sees it, he knows it, and he sure as hell wants to be a part of it for the foreseeable future.
Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum worked out with basketball legends Tracy McGrady (Brown) and Kobe Bryant (Tatum) this offseason. Not only did they get to pick the brains and learn the game from two of the best to ever do it, but they also had time to work on their weaknesses from last season.
Jayson’s weakness was his strength. It was apparent that he needed to add weight and muscle, especially if he’s going to have to play the four position consistently this season. Jaylen’s biggest weakness was his free throw shooting. For an athletic guard like himself who will find himself getting to the line more and more as his career progresses, it’s crucial for him to be a consistent and deadly free throw shooter. People don’t realize, but the closest, most important games can be lost because of missed free throws. It’s important to have that tool in your arsenal, for any player.
With both players working out with legends and strengthening their weaknesses in their game, I can see both Jaylen and Jayson making huge steps this season towards becoming All-Star caliber players, and eventual superstar status.
Next, we have to talk about the nickname Marcus Morris Sr. gave to the Celtics’ bench. Bench With Attitude (BWA) is one of the most intimidating basketball nicknames I have ever heard. If I ever saw Marcus Morris, Terry Rozier, and Marcus Smart, with Aron Baynes standing tall behind them, I would sprint my ass the other way. To be quite honest, the Celtics have some guys you don’t want to mess with. You mess with one of those guys, you know everybody’s going to be backing them up. The BWA, consisting of Terry, Smart, Morris, Baynes, Theis, Semi, Yabu, and Williams is without a doubt, one of the deepest benches in the entire NBA.
Wait… Did somebody say… YABU?!
I’m just going to leave this picture here. I don’t really have much to say about it, except it’s one of the greatest photos I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Only on media day. #ScaryTerry
In 2018-2019, we finally get to see everybody back at full health. By bringing Hayward and Kyrie back, it’s like you have a whole new team. You thought the team last year was good? Just wait until next season. I will warn Celtics’ fans that there will be some bumps along the way. Hayward won’t be the same player he was before his injury as soon as the season starts. It’ll take him a bit to get back to being comfortable playing at a high level against the best basketball players in the world. He hasn’t played basketball in almost a year, so we’re going to have to give the guy a break.
Long story short, the Celtics will not be a team taken lightly next season. My realistic expectation for the team is that they win at least 60 games. My prediction for the win total is 67. I expect the Celtics to make it past the Eastern Conference and onto the NBA Finals. We’ll talk more about who’ll win when we get there. This is all under the assumption that the team stays healthy. From the top guy on the team to the 15th man on the bench, I believe this is the only team that can seriously compete with the Warriors.
I think a reasonable expectation for Boston fans should be a 60-win season leading to an NBA Finals appearance. We saw how the team competed in the playoffs last season without the teams two biggest stars. Imagine the Celtics with those two in the lineup now. It’s scary thinking how successful this team can be. The potential and talent are there, now we just have to pray to the basketball gods for no more season-ending injuries.