During the heart of the NFL season and World Series drama, a different kind of action is taking place in the NBA, more specifically, in Boston. The Celtics have officially begun their 2016-17 campaign and the excitement around the team is very high with good reason. Boston has started strong in the very early part of the season and looks to continue the momentum into the winter months. Although it is early to take too deep of a look at the standings, there is reason to be optimistic about the start for the Celtics. The team is now 2-1 and on top of the Atlantic division, as well as fourth in the Eastern Conference. Their games included an opening night victory over the Brooklyn Nets, a loss in Chicago to the Bulls, and another victory in Charlotte over the Hornets. The Celtics next two games should be considered measuring sticks as they face some of the best competition in the East with back to back games starting with the Chicago Bulls and then a trip to Cleveland to face the defending champion Cavaliers.
The Celtics team chemistry has been evident through their first three games, something that has been an important part of their success of the past couple years. The addition of all-star Center Al Horford has appeared to have had no negative effect on the team’s chemistry, in fact, it has seemed to only make it better. Horford has the perfect skill set for this Boston team adding another big man that can stretch the floor and play solid defense. Along with Horford, new draft addition Jaylen Brown has shown glimpses of his worth as the 3rd overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Brown has been able to make a positive impact off the bench, getting to the basket and playing great defense. It spears that he will be able to help the team for many years to come. Many people disagreed with the Celtics choice to draft Brown, so he will be hungry to prove the haters wrong.
As for the familiar faces of the squad, all-star point guard Isaiah Thomas has continued his rise to the top tier of NBA talent. The 5’ 9” point guard has been a scoring machine once again, racking up 24.7 points per game, as well as 6.7 assists per game. It is clear that the offense runs through Thomas and with more attention on him, other players have been able to step up when needed. These players have included Avery Bradley, Amir Johnson and Jae Crowder, who finish out a solid starting five behind Thomas and Horford.
Overall, Boston has to be pleased with the start the team has had so far. Each player has played into their role extremely well and hopefully the excitement will continue throughout the year. The Celtics have high expectations, including predictions of over 50 wins, playoff series wins, and even an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals for a match up with the class of the conference the Cleveland Cavaliers. If the Celtics want to accomplish these goals, they will have to continue to improve and establish themselves as a serious contender.