Boston Celtics

  • On Tuesday night, the Celtics begin their latest pursuit of Banner 18. They open up their 2022-2023 regular season at home Tuesday night, taking on the Philadelphia 76ers.

    For the most part, the Celtics’ roster – at least to start the season – will look similar to it did at the end of last year. However, the team has made some targeted additions, boosting depth in key spots. Here’s a look at the group they’ll be rolling with to get things started…

    New additions in italics.

  • Guards

    Oct 5, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) drives to the basket during the second half of a preseason game against the Toronto Raptors at the TD Garden. Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 5, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) drives to the basket during the second half of a preseason game against the Toronto Raptors at the TD Garden. Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    –Marcus Smart
    –Malcolm Brogdon
    –Derrick White
    –Payton Pritchard
    –JD Davison (two-way contract)

    Smart returns looking to defend his Defensive Player of the Year title, but it’s the he addition of Brogdon should help propel this group to the next level. He adds another perimeter scoring option off the bench, which in turn should have the Celtics asking less of White as a scorer and more as a distributor and defender. That being said, White said at the end of last season that his biggest focus in the offseason was going to be improving his shot, and in the preseason that work was evident.

    Pritchard seems to be on the outside of the rotation looking in to start the season, but is a very reliable option should the rotation need to expand. Given Brogdon and Smart have dealt with injuries in recent seasons, he’ll likely be called on to play a bigger role at some point this year.

  • Wings

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 03: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics and Jaylen Brown #7 celebrate during the third quarter of Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden on May 03, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – MAY 03: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics and Jaylen Brown #7 celebrate during the third quarter of Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden on May 03, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    –Jayson Tatum
    –Jaylen Brown
    –Grant Williams
    –Sam Hauser
    –Justin Jackson

    After their run to the Finals last year, the expectations for Tatum and Brown both locally and nationally are through the roof. The crazy thing is though, based on what we’ve seen and heard during the offseason and into training camp, they seem ready for the challenge.

    This is also a big year for Williams. He and the Celtics failed to reach a contract extension by Monday’s deadline, making him a restricted free agent at the end of the season. He’ll likely have a larger role this season with the injury to Danilo Gallinari, and now that he’s in a contract year he’ll be in a spotlight of his own.

    Deeper on the bench, Hauser is an intriguing player who could end up seeing some time in the right matchups. He was red hot from deep in the preseason, shooting 48.1 percent from three on almost seven attempts per game. Justin Jackson is more of a defensive player, who also had a strong preseason as he locked up one of the final two ‘up-for-grabs’ roster spots.

  • Bigs

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 23: Al Horford #42 of the Boston Celtics reacts in front of Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat during the second quarter in Game Four of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 23, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – MAY 23: Al Horford #42 of the Boston Celtics reacts in front of Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat during the second quarter in Game Four of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 23, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    –Al Horford
    –Blake Griffin
    –Luke Kornet
    –Noah Vonleh
    –Mfiondu Kabangele (two-way contract)

    Getting Robert Williams back will be a major boost for this group, but this is the depth to start the season. Just like in the playoffs last year, 36-year-old Horford will be asked to do a lot early on.

    How the rotation shakes out behind him will be a question as the season starts. Blake Griffin figures to be a factor, but just how much he can contribute after playing a limited role last year in Brooklyn is tough to judge. Kornet had a strong summer, but is recovering from an ankle injury that held him out in the preseason. Vonleh and Kabangele could end up getting looks in the case of injuries.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.