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Evaluating the Boston Celtics 2020-21 Roster

| December 12, 2020 2:40 am PDT
Boston Celtics Roster for 2020-21 NBA Season

The Boston Celtics reached the Eastern Conference Finals in the previous NBA campaign, and I’m sure that they are hungry for more in the 2020-21 season. The organization managed to keep most of last year’s core and added some interesting names in the offseason.

I explore the Celtics roster’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of starting lineup and bench heading into the next year. The goal is to determine if Boston managed to improve enough to become a title contender.

Before I start my analysis, here’s a full list of players that are currently part of the Celtics roster.

  • Kemba Walker
  • Jeff Teague
  • Carsen Edwards
  • Tremont Waters
  • Javonte Green
  • Payton Pritchard
  • Marcus Smart
  • Romeo Langford
  • Aaron Nesmith
  • Evan Turner
  • Jaylen Brown
  • Semi Ojeleye
  • Jayson Tatum
  • Grant Williams
  • Amile Jefferson
  • Daniel Theis
  • Robert Williams
  • Tristan Thompson
  • Tacko Fall

The roster will be trimmed down to 15 players before the start of the campaign. I expect to see guys like Tacko Fall and Amile Jefferson out, but nothing has been confirmed yet. With that in mind, let’s move on to explore the athletes that almost certainly will be part of the team going forward.

Starting Lineup’s Strengths and Weaknessess

I don’t have too many doubts about the Boston Celtics’ starting lineup for the upcoming season. Kemba Walker will be the point guard once he returns from injury and we should see Marcus Smart as his backcourt partner.

That would provide the necessary mix of playmaking, scoring, and defensive grit. It’s a strong combination, as we saw in the NBA Playoffs last season.

Smart is one of the top perimeter defenders in the entire league, so he provides cover for Kemba’s deficiencies on that end of the floor.

Jalon Brown and Jayson Tatum will be the starting forwards, and I have high expectations for both. They averaged more than 20 last year, and they both are versatile on offense and defense.

Tatum should be a superstar in 2020-21 if he can keep his form from the NBA Bubble and Brown is one of the most consistent third options you could wish for. Considering their age, it won’t be a complete shocker if they take another step or two.

The center position is the only potential issue for the Celtics. I believe we will see Daniel Theis as the starter once again, and he’s better than many people give him credit for. If you add the chemistry with the rest of the team, the German is not a bad player by any means.

And yet, he’s undersized for that position and could struggle in certain matchups. The good news is that the Celtics brought Tristan Thompson as his backup, which leads me to the next part of this Celtics roster assessment.

The Boston Celtics Bench

I don’t think that Gordon Hayward’s departure hurt the Celtics starting lineup because Marcus Smart can take his place seamlessly. The problem is that the guard was the heart and the soul of the second unit, and someone else will have to step up.

The likes of Carsen Edwards, Semi Ojeleye, Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, and Robert Williams are all candidates for more minutes. None of them strikes me as the kind of guy who could contribute consistently from the bench, though.

Tristan Thompson and Jeff Teague look like the only established players that could come in and make a difference. That’s probably not enough, and unless someone else improves, the lack of depth could hurt the Celtics in the playoffs.

The defense should be taken care of, but there is not enough offense. I expect the Celtics to address that later in the season, but the problem is obvious at this point.

Final Verdict on the Boston Celtics Roster

I believe that the Boston Celtics will have a strong regular season, and the team should be one of the top 4 seats in the East. If Jayson Tatum and Jaylon Brown continue their development, I won’t be shocked if the franchise finishes second or third.

The big question is what happens in the NBA Playoffs. The current roster has enough stars and a strong core that could match most opponents in the league.

However, the lack of an elite big man and proper depth on the bench might hurt the Celtics in the postseason. You should have that in mind if you want to bet on any NBA futures that include Boston.

Jerry Summer
Jerry Summer

Jerry Summer has a wide-ranging interest in gambling and the gambling industry. He's made a living out of both playing poker and betting on sports.

The English Premier League and the NBA are among Jerry's primary areas of expertise. He's knowledgeable about many other sports, too, along with poker and several casino games.

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