If you thought the Celtics would be in first place just under two weeks after Gordon Hayward's injury, then you better head to Vegas. Jon and Justin figure out how the Celtics were able to make this leap, largely thanks to long and stretchy defense, Jayson Tatum man-child-ing, and Kyrie and Horford getting themselves some mojo. The nonsense going on in Philly with Markelle Fultz got the CSL Boys Hanes in a bunch and they look ahead to a very interesting week ahead with games against the Spurs, Thunder, Kangz, and fellow first place Magic.
Jon and Justin make their first comments since the Hayward Injury discussing the waterfall effect it has had on the second unit rotations which was a point of contentious debate between the hosts in the preseason. This leads to emphasis on the need for the extra practice time that all teams are benefiting from this season. From there, discussions who will provide offense punch on the second unit (Rozier/Tatum) and the gaps they fill from last year's team in terms of rebounding and shot blocking respectively. To close out the show, Jon wants to know when Kyrie (and his teammates) are going to pull it all together, meanwhile hoping that Irving goes supernova to win one of the upcoming games.
Jon and Justin preview the season, make their predictions for the number of wins and compare the construct of this team versus last year, specifically in regards to the bench depth. Neither is certain that this team will be any worse defensively, especially with the flexibility so many players have to switch. However, the real debate comes when discussing whether Brown/Tatum can or should be expected to stay in the starting line-up and whether the second unit needs some veteran players to stabilize the defense and still generate offense in the early to mid second quarter. That period of time in the game was particularly troublesome for last season's version of the Celtics who struggled to generate offense with IT4 on the bench and frequently let large leads slip away.
Celtics Stuff Live gives Marcus Smart a new nickname, scratches their heads at the Embiid contract extension, and hypothesizes why the Celtics Org hasn't at least opened a dialogue with Marcus Smart with only a week left to extend his deal when you have to assume a larger contract would be key in future trades at the very least if they did not want to keep him around after this season.
Jon and Justin give their assessment of the overall performance of the roster in the first preseason game of action for a lot of new Celtics players. The guys have praise for Aaron Baynes, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Daniel Theiss. More focus on the end of the bench as Kyrie Irving's confidence, ability, and emerging leadership efforts are notable. Jason Tatum also rebounds in the 4th quarter against the Hornets' bench after struggling through 3 quarters.