A NEW POINT GUARD ERA IN BOSTON
Another high-scoring guard is set to begin his tenure with the Boston Celtics, as three-time All-Star, and interestingly enough, former Charlotte Hornet, Kemba Walker, is now in town. He’s the team’s third new starting PG since February 2015, following the trail left by Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving, who each left the team controversially.
Nevertheless, Walker should be an exciting addition to Brad Stevens’ system. The dynamic guard is fresh-off a season where he netted 25.6 PPG and drained 260 threes, both of which are career-bests. It will be interesting to see him run the floor with the Celtics’ pair of promising swingmen, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, especially since the trio just teamed up this past summer at the FIBA World Cup – don’t ask how they finished, though.
THE TERRY ROZIER-MILES BRIDGES DUO?
That question mark isn’t a typo. At least on paper, all signs point to the Charlotte Hornets becoming the league’s new whipping boys – if they aren’t already. If we’re talking about excitement, what’s left of the horrifically trending down Hornets is Terry Rozier and second-year forward Miles Bridges.
Though a capable stat sheet-stuffer, Rozier is known as an erratic playmaker with an inconsistent shot, as evidenced by his career field goal percentage of 38%. Bridges, meanwhile, despite deserving of all the praise he can get in terms of athleticism, is still raw overall.
Rozier ought to bring his A game literally every night, as he got signed for a hefty, three-year, $58 Million contract. Bridges is more of an X factor.
WATCH OUT FOR THE YOUNG GUNS
As you know, since it’s the pre-season, a handful of the two teams’ rookies will likely get heavy minutes.
The Celtics will be armed with an array of explosive talent – Romeo Langford, a slashing combo guard, Carsen Edwards, a 6’0-scoring machine, and Grant Williams, a tweener forward with a bulldozer-like frame. We may also see Tacko Fall take the floor, an undrafted 7’7-giant, who became a fan favourite during the Summer League this past July.
The Hornets’ rookies aren’t as buzz-worthy – pun probably intended – with late lottery pick PJ Washington being the lone recognizable name. However, their other youngsters have experience, and all are proven scorers with a certain type of quickness, namely Malik Monk, Dwyane Bacon, and Devonte’ Graham.
WHO COMES OUT ON TOP?
The Celtics should be able to take home the win. They are too well-equipped to lose to the Hornets, who would most probably rely on their quick guards all night long. The Brad Stevens system is a free-for-all offense where everyone eats, and it fits the talent he has heading into the game.