The Boston Celtics are a team looking to make some noise in 2021-22.
After enduring one of their most disappointing season in recent memory last year, the front office looked at this past summer as a time in which they could re-tool and, in turn, better position themselves for greater success.
Based on the looks of things, it appears Brad Stevens and co. have set the Cs up rather nicely to have a much more enchanting campaign than they did in 2020-21.
That said, sometimes looks can be deceiving — after all, it’s not how a team appears on paper that matters but, rather, how they produce on the hardwood.
While there are a handful of names such as Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart who are all but guaranteed to have major impacts on how this year’s Boston Celtics team ultimately pans out, there are less polarizing players found on the roster that could aid in the team’s successes just as easily as they could contribute to their demise.
Today, we discuss 3 not so obvious Cs who could make or break Boston’s season:
Boston Celtics player No. 1) Juan Hernangomez
For a few years now, the Boston Celtics have seemingly been void of any legitimate options to throw out into the lineup as an authentic power forward. Because of this, the team has been forced to thrust Jayson Tatum into the four spot on a regular basis.
Yes, while the budding superstar has obviously seen tremendous production in this role over the last two seasons — two All-Star appearances while boasting averages of 24.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.3 steals, and just under a block per game — long-term, it’s likely in the C’s best interest to get him back to his more natural position of small forward.
In an attempt to make this desire into a reality, the front office made the rather strategic move of dealing for power forward Juan Hernangomez from the Minnesota Timberwolves for the low cost of Kris Dunn, Carsen Edwards, and the right to swap second-round picks in 2026.
Entering his sixth year in the association, Hernangomez has had himself a rather up-and-down tenure, being traded three times and seeing career averages of just 5.7 points and 3.5 rebounds a game.
That said, throughout he has shown glimpses of being a rather productive player, particularly as a starting power forward for, just in the last two seasons, he averaged 12.9 points and 7.3 boards on 45 percent shooting from the floor and 42 percent shooting from deep in 14 starts back in 2019-20 & 10 points and seven boards on 46 percent shooting from the floor and 37 percent shooting from deep in this role last year as well.
After a few weeks of us suggesting the newly acquired forward should get a starting gig, game one of the preseason saw the Madrid native get the nod at the four and, in turn, produced rather well — six points, four boards, and one block on 50 percent shooting from the floor and a box plus-minus score of +6.
Still just 26, Hernangomez has the potential to develop into a quality starting four in this league and, should that happen with the Boston Celtics this season it could be enough to make the lineup truly lethal.
That said, if he regresses the Cs will find themselves stuck with yet another former first-round pick with potential that has yet to be tapped into.