NBA Eastern Conference Team Preview – Boston Celtics

October 4, 2023

Tony Camino


New-look Celtics poised to be big threat in Eastern Conference

The Eastern Conference race has officially turned into an arms race, and the Cavs’ title path got more difficult without them doing anything. After the Damian Lillard trade that sent Jrue Holiday to Portland and Lillard to Milwaukee, the Trailblazers were looking to move Holiday to recoup some draft capital for Lillard. He ends up with the Boston Celtics in what is a great move for them. While they had to give up Malcolm Brogdon and Robert Williams, the Celtics finally got that true point guard who can create downhill that they have been desperate to have.


Projected Rotation

Guards: Jrue Holiday, Derrick White

Wings: Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Sam Hauser

Bigs: Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford

Sending Marcus Smart to Memphis in order to bring in Kristaps Porzingis is a bold move, considering how much Smart means to the franchise, but tough moves have to be made when a team is trying to reach that next level. They replaced Smart with Holiday and have created a roster that has shooters everywhere. The roster makeup on this team is amazing, and they will be tough to defend with zero liabilities from deep.

The biggest issue the Celtics need to address is their frontcourt depth. Horford is 37 years old, and Porzingis has only played 60 games in three of his seven NBA seasons. After trading away Robert Williams, the only depth behind these two is Luke Kornet, who the Celtics aren’t looking to rely on late in the season. They are definitely not done making moves, and they will look to add some inexpensive depth to their frontcourt.


How do they match up with the Cavs?

After the offseason, the Celtics and Bucks have solidified their status in the top tier of Eastern Conference contenders. On the Cavs’ side, their potential ascent into that tier, which began when they acquired Donovan Mitchell last September, has nothing to do with roster moves. Darius Garland is 23 years old, and Evan Mobley is just 22. Their continued development into legitimate NBA stars is the path to contention, provided they can improve and retain Mitchell long-term.

Mobley possesses immense potential. His defense is already among the best in the NBA, as he can function as an elite rim protector while also being capable of defending wings and even some guards on the perimeter. As he gains more muscle, hones his offensive creation skills, and refines his jump shot, he will undoubtedly ascend to become one of the NBA’s best. The sky is truly the limit for Mobley, and he plays a pivotal role in the Cavs’ quest to rise to the top of the Eastern Conference.

The offseason additions may not have been as flashy as those of the Celtics and Bucks because the Cavs made their splash with the acquisition of Mitchell last year. However, the additions of Max Strus and Georges Niang should significantly improve the spacing in the Cavs’ offense, enabling key players to unlock their full potential. This core group’s deep playoff run has always hinged on internal improvement after acquiring Mitchell, and everyone should be patient as the championship window has yet to fully open. As the team continues to progress, they possess all the necessary pieces to contend in the near future.


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