The Boston Celtics have made many moves this offseason and are creating the origins of changing the culture of Danny Ainge in the front office and Brad Stevens as head coach. Stevens ascended to the front office, Ime Udoka was named head coach, the aforementioned roster moves were made, and the Boston Celtics seem ready to move into the Eastern Conference elite. What do the Boston Celtics need to do to perform better than last season's .500 record?
Boston Celtics 2020-21
A front office shakeup was inevitable with the Boston Celtics. Finishing 36-36 has a way of creating doubt throughout any organization, let alone one of the winningest franchises in sports, the Boston Celtics. Kemba Walker didn't work out and was shipped to his native New York, Al Horford was brought back into the fold. Marcus Smart was re-signed and Dennis Schröder was brought in on the cheap.
The Eastern Conference is better
Despite what's going on in Philadelphia with Ben Simmons, the Eastern Conference grew decidedly better this offseason. Miami brought in Kyle Lowry to give the Heat fourth quarter toughness, New York added Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier, and also re-signed Julius Randle, Alec Burks and Derrick Rose. Chicago is going for it by teaming Zach LaVine with DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball - and that's just for starters. The Brooklyn Nets with James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, are the team everyone will chase - and that includes the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks, who will defend the title like few we've seen.
With that said, let's take a look at three areas where the Boston Celtics can improve in.
#3 Foster continued chemistry between Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum
Two of the best wing defenders - as rare as they are - star for the Boston Celtics. Jayson Tatum is a true indeed MVP candidate heading into the season, and with the steady emergence of Jaylen Brown, it's only a matter of time before the divisive questions pervade the Boston Celtics' press conferences from either in Boston or out of state media. That's just what the field does, and Brad Stevens and Ime Udoka can control all of that simply by ensuring the chemistry between the two stars remains intact. It's really important to the future of Boston Celtics basketball that Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum play together for as long as possible so the Boston Celtics compete for an NBA title. Everyone is saying the right things now, so time will tell if the fallout doesn't happen.
#2 Close-out close games
When teams are mired in mediocrity, how they get out of mediocrity is to win close games. With a superstar like Jayson Tatum, the grit of Marcus Smart and Al Horford, and the burgeoning explosion of Jaylen Brown, bringing in a point guard like Dennis Schröder was imperative to control the pace of the fourth quarter. He has not won an NBA title yet, but is veteran enough and has been around enough champions to know what it takes to win. He is a decent ballhandler and capable scorer to help the two wing stars finish late in games. Ultimately, it is up to the coaching of Ime Udoka and the execution of the aforementioned Brown and Tatum that will send the Boston Celtics to clutch victories needed to compete at the top of the Eastern Conference.
#1 Add a superstar big at the NBA trading deadline
The Boston Celtics have been trying for years to secure a top center to not only deal with currently Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, but the rest of the Atlantic Division. They have been highly unsuccessful in this ambition, and that failure is reason why Boston hasn't won an 18th NBA title. Boston needs to go after Jaren Jackson from the Memphis Grizzlies - who will be a free agent this summer. While he's not yet a superstar, Jackson is definitely on his way if he can stay healthy. Front-court depth could help, yet for the Boston Celtics to take advantage of the primes of their stars, adding a talented scoring big man would take so much pressure off those stars. Let's see who becomes available at the trading deadline.