This is a Celtics no-nonsense season preview where an anonymous NBA scout lets it all out about some key players.
A Celtics no-nonsense season preview was part of a recent Sports Illustrated article on all 30 NBA teams, done by picking the brains of some anonymous NBA scouts. Here is what one of them felt about the upcoming season for the Boston Celtics, followed by some ideas of my own.
Enes Kanter is one of the worst (defenders). He’s not a bad post defender. It’s the pick-and-rolls where you attack him
If you took a poll of coaches in the league, Jayson Tatum is in the top five of young players. He is an incredible pure scorer. But for a player who gets the touches he gets, the playmaking—the assists, the hockey assists, that’s the next progression
Most people see Jaylen Brown as a tier below Tatum. But you can argue that he is a better all-around player. He can average 16, 17 points. His defense plays every night
Boston is the perfect system for Kemba Walker. The offense is very structured. He is going to have the ball in his hands a lot, and he makes good decisions. The pick-and-roll offense should be really good. Kemba shoots it at a high level. He’s very reliable
Marcus Smart is an elite defender. Draymond [Green] might be the only wing player better. Maybe. I wouldn’t hesitate to put Smart on a center. The last seven minutes of a game, he’s the best guard defender in the league
Gordon Hayward is a wild card. I don’t know if he ever gets back to that player we saw in Utah. But you could see his body come around toward the end of last season.
The unnamed scout pulled no punches in his appraisal of the current version of the Boston Celtics. He very well could be correct about Kanter’s lack of defensive skills on pick-and-roll plays, but if he and Smart are on the second unit together, expect Marcus to cover up for some of Kanter’s insufficiency on the defensive end. I like his thoughts on Smart. He can be a terror for opposing players of any size or talent level.
With respect to Tatum, Jayson has picked up his defense and rebounding, but the passing needs more work. He truly needs to become a complete player. The question of who is the better Jay Team member remains up in the air and will have a significant impact on any potential contract extension for Brown. And Kemba has always been a shooter. Coming out of UConn, I never expected him to blossom as he has at the point. But he has. As far as Gordon, if we don’t see him at his Utah-form by mid-season, we may not see it at all. But I expect he will be totally back by the start of the New Year.
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