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Everything You Need To Know From Today's Celtics Media Day

Today is Media Day for teams around the league and I have to say, it's easily one of the best days of the offseason. You see on Media Day it doesn't really matter who your favorite team is. Every fanbase in the league right now is drunk off excitement, hope, anticipation, it's great. Anything and everything is possible at this moment in time. That'll change drastically in a few weeks, but for now the vibes are great and it's officially pandering season. Make no mistake, today is about telling fans what they want to hear. Everyone from the the players to the coaches spend today answering softball questions and giving us all reasons to be excited. For example, you'll never believe this but Player X added 10 pounds of muscle and is in the best shape of his life. Players have all improved on the 1 area of weakness they had heading into the summer. That's how these things work.

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I also do not give two flying fucks. Pander to me. Tell me what I want to hear. Some of us have been waiting all goddamn summer for this day and what comes after. We're so close to the season you can taste it. Before we get there though, let's go through everything we've learned at the Celts media day because to me, it's really the only thing that matters.

We'll begin with the boss.

One of the obvious things we saw Brad do this season is show us what he really thought of the roster Danny Ainge left him with. He thought it sucked ass. We know that because outside the core guys, everyone has been replaced for the most part. They played soft last year and nobody knows that better than Brad. So what did he do? He brought in guys and a coach that he feels can get them back to the toughness level we expect. Great start. 

Jayson Tatum 

Now this is what I'm talking about. If Tatum is open to be coached hard and held accountable for his play, that's going to make the rest of the guys being on board a whole lot easier. You could argue that a lack of accountability, especially with Tatum's iso decision making, was a big issue last year. Seems like he's open for something  different.

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Being the franchise guy isn't for everyone. From what it means both on and off the court. Brad and the organization have made it clear that Tatum and Brown are the guys. Everything revolves around them. I love that Tatum understands what this means and that he's ready to thrive in this role.

Feels great that we won't have to worry about any restrictions with this stuff when it comes to the Celts best player. With seeding potentially so tight this year, that shit matters.

Jaylen Brown

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If there's any doubt about this, may I direct you to my blog from earlier today. He looks fantastic and ready to roll

Well said. Last year was tough on everyone. Players, fans, it didn't matter. Part of it was injury related for sure, but also part of it was simply their effort on a nightly basis. What I like here is that nobody is running from it. Nobody is pretending like it didn't happen. It did, it was horrible, and it's now on everyone to prove that it was the exception and not the rule. 

Something tells me a healthy Jaylen will go a long way to achieving that. 

VERY IMPORTANT!!!!

Getting buy in from your franchise cornerstone players is crucial. If they are in, the rest will follow. It's why you had Tatum and Brown weigh in on this search. Nothing will work if your two best players aren't on board. They set the tone and it's great to hear that Jaylen is all the way in. Hopefully, it stays that way.

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Also, when thinking of what Jaylen's season might look like, we have to factor in his new hair style. I'm not sure we can rule out another career year. That's usually how these things work. 

Marcus Smart

While the whole roster needed a fresh start, that's especially true of Smart. I think it's OK to acknowledge that last season was a little bit of a step back for Smart, especially defensively. He sets the tone on that end and if we're in the trust tree and going to tell the truth, he had his issues. It wasn't exactly the All NBA defender we're accustomed to seeing. Now healthy, there's no reason to think Smart can't get back to that. It's also the first time he's ever had a role that truly fit his skillset

This is the biggest thing in my opinion. Smart now has his role as the primary facilitator of this offense. He hasn't had that in any of his seasons as a Boston Celtic. Honestly it's what I'm most excited about when it comes to his season. We know what a gifted natural passer he already is. This has a chance to be the best season of Smart's career, and if that happens it elevates their ceiling.

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Leader.

Ime Udoka

There are a ton of questions any Celts fan should have when it comes to Ime. Will it work? What will his rotations look like? What type of system will he run? Will players respect/listen to him? It's all fair considering he's never been a head coach before. That first answer is a pretty important place to start. Figuring out what this starting lineup will look like is the first big question he faces. Does he go double big? Does he start one of Al or Rob and then move Tatum to the 4 and have someone like Richardson on the wing? Will he want more shooting in that potential wing spot? 

It sounds like he's open to the idea with Al, despite it not really working in PHI

Remember, the two big lineup did work with Al last time he was in Boston playing next to Baynes, so don't be surprised if we see it early. I do think this is going to be a fluid situation though depending on matchup.

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Giphy Images.

When I talk about pandering, this is what I mean. This is EXACTLY what I want to hear from Ime. The Celts on ball defense was dogshit last year. Their best defenders got cooked on the regular. There was nowhere close to enough energy and effort individually. On offense, this has been something Ime has preached since the second he took the job. Enough of the iso buillshit. What I love is he repeatedly talks about how terrible Brad's offense was, basically to his face. This is a man with a plan. You can't talk this much about changing how the Celts will play only for things to stay the same. That's what I'm very excited to see. Sure it's great to talk about, but can he get the players to buy in? When they hit adversity, will they fall back into bad habits? Will Ime have the balls to do something about it if a player goes away from the plan?

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Al Horford

I'll admit, it feels crazy to see Al back in Boston colors. He sounded thrilled to be back today and I can understand why/ You go from the disaster in PHI and then OKC, this has to be a breath of fresh air. Then you remember he was shut down by OKC for being too good and he's more than rested heading into this season and yeah there's real reason to be excited about what he can bring. As long as you recalibrate your expectations, this is not 2016, it should be a great addition.

Giphy Images.

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Athletically, he's not what he was at 30. We all know that. But Horford is still an effective NBA player. He shot 43% from three last year from the wing. While he might not have the lateral quickness of old, being able to tap into his mind is going to help all the young guys. It gives the Jays a reliable safety valve option on offense compared to someone like Grant. Just look at what it's already doing for Rob

Josh Richardson

If you were to ask me what my biggest concern with Josh Richardson heading into the year, it has to be his shot. Frankly, it's been an issue for him over these last few seasons. In order for him to truly work, he has to improve on that end. Being a 32% three point shooter isn't going to cut it. Finding a way to be more consistent is key. If he can find a way to get to around league average or even slightly above, he becomes a much more viable two way option.

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Obviously this is something to monitor. Ideally, the team would be at 100% so you don't have to worry about any restrictions/health issues once the season rolls around. Considering many have Richardson as a potential starter, this is important.

Robert Williams

Everyone knows what a difference maker Rob can be when he's actually on the court. The issue…..is actually being on the court. Whether or not he can stay that way is the million dollar question.

This is something I feel like Rob has gotten better at over time. That comes with more experience, but it doesn't feel like he's so out of control anymore. The game looks like it's slowing down for him. He's making the right reads offensively, his defensive timing is improving. He's seeing the floor better as a passer. That all comes with confidence.

Back to my point about pandering. Love to hear this. Some guys get paid and want to chill on their mountain of money. Rob? He wants to show that not only is he worth it, but it's a steal. That's the type of mindset that can only help heading into a season. If he somehow finds a way to have good health this year, it could be a monster season for him. 

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Dennis Schroder

A couple of things to digest here. First off, how about the recruiting effort by everyone involved. That's something you can keep in your back pocket for the future. It really feels like they've done a pretty good job in this area dating back to 2016. Schroder at the minimum had options. The fact that the Celts were able to convince him to come is a good sign.

The second part is what perked my interest though. This is where Brad's relationship building will be important moving forward. It's why that Kemba/Horford trade was important. Sam Presti is widely respected around the league. The Celts as a franchise needed a perception change in the post Ainge world. It feels like Presti is doing his part to help change that narrative, which is obviously important moving forward. If guys are hearing from well respected GMs that Boston is a good place to be, people will eventually make their way over.

All in all, Media Day was exactly what I needed it to be. I'm sure you feel the same way about your favorite team and the quotes coming out of their sessions. Now the hard part comes though. Now we get to see all these good vibes and positive quotes actually turn into a successful season. LFG.