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The Celtics Luck Out

General Manager Danny Ainge took his fans on a rollercoaster ride through the offseason, but gave Celtics’ fans a moment to breathe when forward Gordon Hayward chose Boston and signed to a 4 year, 128 million dollar contract.

Let’s discover 6 major impacts of the Hayward signing:

  1. The former Utah Jazz player finally gives Boston a desperately needed “Big 3” that the team was searching for last year. With the combined efforts of point guard Isaiah Thomas and center Al Horford, the Celtics can emerge as a strong contender to win the East and possibly make a deep championship run.
  2. Hayward leaves the West at a perfect time, giving both the conference that already includes the Rockets, Warriors and Thunder less of a threat from Utah. At the same Gordon Hayward is able to emerge as a star in the East and play for a team that legitimately has a shot to win.
  3. The Celtics new player fills a huge void in terms of on court play. Even after drafting Jayson Tatum to play small forward, the Celtics were still missing another forward until now. The team no longer has to rely on Kelly Olynyk, who is currently an unrestricted free agent; this opens up room to sign another player.
  4. The Butler bond returns with the reconnect between Hayward and Boston coach Brad Stevens. This motivation enticed Hayward to come to Boston with the hopes of finishing off what had been started in college and winning an NBA championship.
  5. The signing is an incredible “win” for Ainge and the Celtics, however the question now relies on cap and space. With the huge contract the team owes to Hayward, Boston will most likely give up some combination of Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley or Marcus Smart, in the form of trading, to clear salary cap room. All together, the Celtics made a positive move to receive Hayward, but did not necessarily logistically discover his contract situation quite yet.
  6. Rumors have been floating around about a possible signing between the Celtics and center Marc Gasol. If the Celtics are not done, the Gasol move would be a huge plus in the rebounding category. The current Celtics’ starters struggle in that category including Gordon Hayward. Just when the Celtics appeared to make one big move…it is impossible to know when Boston is finished.

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NBA Finals; The Trilogy

The NBA needs this to be a good series. After the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers absolutely demoralized the entire league, fans are on the edge of their seat for a fantastic finale to the 2017 year. Nothing is better than these two teams going head to head for the third time straight in an epic battle.

Let’s break it down:

5 reasons why the Warriors will win the NBA Finals

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  1. The Warriors have more talent than the Cavs, plain and simple. All the way through the lineup, from Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry to Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, it is hard to argue against Golden State being the more well-rounded team. Throw in the dunk machine of JaVale McGee and you have a literal “superteam”.
  2. Aside from being sidelined for an MCL sprain and other injuries, Kevin Durant has been the missing key that the Warriors were looking for last year. He can play different styles to adapt to the Cavs while additionally shooting the ball over 40% from 3-point range and averaging 25.2 points per game.
  3. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are not even at full force yet. That should be a massive scare to Cleveland with Thompson only averaging 14.4 points per game with a mere .383 shooting percentage. Curry’s numbers have not been bad, though he is expected to play even better in this crucial series

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Celtics vs Bulls First Round Matchup

The beginning of the NBA playoffs features many great matchups. In particular the Eastern Conference includes the clash between the #1 Boston Celtics and the #8 Chicago Bulls

Let’s dive into the positional comparison between the two teams:

Point Guard

Boston: Isaiah Thomas

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The 5’9” machine averages a whopping 28.9 points and 5.9 assists per game. That speaks to his ability to pass when needed but also take crucial shots. He is known as “Mr. 4th Quarter” with his ability to crank up the intensity when the clock runs down. Thomas has been a major issue for opponents in the regular season and the Bulls will need to be cognizant of Isaiah at all times.

Chicago: Rajon Rondo

As a former Celtic, Rondo’s return to Boston for the playoffs is anticipated by many. He leads the Bulls with 6.7 assists per game and has a .408 field goal percentage. To match up with Thomas, Rondo will need to play exceptionally well; fans know he is more than capable of doing that.

Advantage: Boston

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The New NBA

With time, things change. The NBA has been no exception, although many Americans may not have anticipated the team sport to change so drastically.

Here is a breakdown of the new NBA today:

Individual Star Power- All sports have key players and more talented athletes than others. However, basketball by far exceeds those limits in that the sport is no longer represented by full strong lineups. Aside from very few, the days of having Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman on the same team are over, and instead, NBA teams have possibly one or two players that are all-stars. DeMarcus Cousins on the Sacramento Kings and Eric Bledsoe on the Phoenix Suns are examples. The athletes who previously were stationed as the headline of their weaker teams are being traded to a NBA Finals contender. Teams such as the Golden State Warriors (43-8 record) and Cleveland Cavaliers (35-15 record) have a multitude of star power with minimal chemistry, causing huge egos and talent to collide.

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Durant Drama

Kevin Durant, a small forward, joined the Golden State Warriors to create a fatal powerhouse and arguably a team that is stronger than the NBA has ever seen. Durant spent 8 seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, who is now devastated by the departure of its heart and soul. The league saw the Warriors set an NBA record for most wins in a season before just falling short of their second straight championship title. All are wondering just how great the Californian team will be next year. Here is the breakdown of why Kevin Durant made the right or wrong decision and what it means for the league:

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Celtics NBA Draft

With the 3rd pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics select…Jaylen Brown, Small Forward, Cal. The hype revolving around the Celtics pick came to a climax as Brown was selected to the delight and questioning of many. First reactions displayed confusion, though eventually the decision truly does make sense. Jaylen Brown embodies a 6’7, 225 pound frame that resembles a perfect basketball player. Brown, according to scouts from the NBA, is a player with a great wingspan, professional-grade athleticism and has the potential to be a strong defender” (NBA Prospect Analysis). Unfortunately, a concern revolving around the athlete was his play in championships and important games. In the final 5 games of the season, Brown only averaged 7.8 PPG (points per game) and 25.2 minutes per game (MPG) for a total of 126 minutes. Additionally, in that same span, 3 of those games were losses including a defeat which ended the season of Jaylen’s California Bears. For comparison, in the heart of the season, Brown averaged 17 PPG for 5 games in January and spent 29.4 MPG on the court.

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