NBA Season Preview: Boston Celtics

Sam Amico


Camp Location:Training Center at Healthpoint, Waltham, Mass.

Coach:Brad Stevens, three years; 113-133 overall

Last Season:48-34, lost to Atlanta in first round of playoffs.

Key Returnees:Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Tyler Zeller, Jonas Jerebko, RJ Hunter, Jordan Mickey, Terry Rozier, James Young.

Key Additions: Al Horford (Atlanta), Jaylen Brown (rookie, California), Gerald Green (Miami),, Ben Bentil (rookie, Providence), Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame).

Key Losses:Jared Sullinger (Toronto), Evan Turner (Portland).

Outlook:The Celtics have increased their win total by at least eight games in each of Brad Stevens' three seasons. And now they've added Al Horford and lottery pick Jaylen Brown. It's true that Ohio State products Jared Sullinger and Evan Turner bolted in July. But this remains a dangerous team, a confident team, a team that plays tough and intelligent basketball. Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder are just three shining examples of that. Are the Celtics championship material? On paper, probably not. Then again, Stevens' teams have always been about handling business on the court. Bottom line: They're better this year, and that could be scary.