Boston Celtics: 3 things to monitor in C’s preseason debut

Sep 27, 2021; Canton, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jayson Tatum (0) during Celtics Media Day in Canton MA. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 27, 2021; Canton, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jayson Tatum (0) during Celtics Media Day in Canton MA. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /
1 of 3
Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /

The wait is finally over, folks: the Boston Celtics take to the hardwood tonight for preseason game No. 1.

Though this time on the calendar has little to no impact on how the Cs will wind up performing come the end of the regular season and beyond — often we see teams go undefeated in the preseason and ultimately end up vying for the top spot in that year’s NBA Draft — it’s still a fun time for fans to get a small glimpse of what their favorite franchise may have in store.

After going through such a disappointing 2020-21 campaign, the front office took matters into their own hands and re-tooled the rotation in an effort to give them a better shot at overall success in this upcoming season.

Now, this new-look roster will take to the hardwood tonight at 7:30 PM (EST) for their first taste of being a collective unit.

For viewers of the event, the Houdini has 3 things in specific that they should keep an eye out for:

What Boston Celtics fans should monitor No. 1) Who will get the start at center?

With Al Horford now back in eastern Massachusetts, there’s no doubt in our minds that the Boston Celtics managed to bolster their center rotation for this year.

With this problem out of the way, they now find themselves with another residing in this same area: who will wind up getting the starting nod at the pivot?

Horford, a long-time starter who has only proven to excel as the main man down low for the shamrocks, is coming off of a rather impressive season where he proved that he’s still capable of producing at a high level in the league (averaged 14.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and just shy of a block per game on 45 percent shooting from the floor and 39 percent shooting from deep with OKC).

However, this offseason, the Celtics also went about and committed to their fourth-year big, Robert Williams, for the long-term as they extended him for another five years at an overall cost of $54 million.

Last season was somewhat of a breakout for the 23-year-old, as he posted career bests all across the board (15.5 points, 13.3 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.4 blocks per 75 possessions) and, in a career-high number of starts at the five, led Boston to a 10-3 record while putting up 9.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.8 blocks on 70.5 percent shooting along the way.

Though many are under the impression that this team’s best chance at reaching their full potential is with the Time Lord manning the starting center spot, others (myself included) believe that because of how underwhelming last year was, they should consider going with the safe route to start off the season and slotting Horford in at this role.

Both are deserving of a shot at center in the first five lineup, and tonight will likely give us a better understanding of which way the coaching staff is leaning.