The long dreaded offseason is finally over. Tonight, the Boston Celtics lace them up for the first time against the Brooklyn Nets, beginning a 2016/17 campaign filled with expectations. Here are a few things to look for tonight out of Brad Stevens’ crew:
A Fast Start:
Over the course of last year, the Celtics built up a reputation for strong first quarters. Against a lowly Brooklyn Nets squad, expect the Celtics to come out flying and really push the tempo. With all due respect to Brooklyn, when your most notable player is Jeremy Lin, you suck. If the Celts are focused and ready to go, the result of this game should never be in doubt.
Will the Celtics be hurt by another slow third quarter?
On the flip side of the coin, the Celtics have also been known to let up once the second half starts. We all saw last year what happened when the Celtics get lazy and take their foot off the pedal; Too many 3’s and bad shots. This is the one singular flaw on this team that will prevent the C’s from taking the next step into the upper echelon of the NBA. We’ll see tonight whether the addition of Al Horford can help snap the Celtics out of their bad habits.
How does the Second Unit Look:
The starting five that will march out there is without question. I.T., Avery, Jae, Al, and Amir will round out the starters. The bench is much more in flux. Marcus Smart who is coming off of an ankle injury, may not be at full strength. What does this mean for Terry Rozier? In the preseason, Marcus was the primary ball handler for the second unit and Terry worked off the ball. Will Rozier have to orchestrate the offense as the point guard with Marcus injured? Furthermore, how will Jaylen work his way into the fold, and will Jordan Mickey make an impact? There are a lot of questions regarding the bench and hopefully some of those will be answered tonight.
Photo Credits: Boston Celtics