In the minds of many, a quiet confidence is respectable while a braggadocios and arrogant swagger isn’t. The 2018-2019 Celtics on the surface are a humble squad, but behind the scenes I’m willing to bet the arrogance is heavy and that most players not wearing a “Kelly Green” uniform have received trash talking warning shots in their DM’s. Maybe I’m wrong and humility is being preached throughout the organization, but I wouldn’t be mad if it wasn’t. This team has what it takes to reign supreme and they know it. Here are some reasons why.

#3. Who’s Young & Dumb?

Jaylen Brown will turn 22 October 24th and Jayson Tatum won’t turn 21 until March 3rd, yet the two of them have proven that they are worthy of stardom. Brown’s campaign to certify himself as a player to lookout for started as far back as last seasons NBA summer league, while Jayson Tatum’s rookie season was filthy! His dunk over Lebron James in the Eastern Conference Finals was a season highlight and in my opinion sums up what his rookie season was all about. The Celtics are one of the youngest teams in the NBA, but they don’t play like it. They’re intense, fast, bold, experienced and yes……smart.

BOSTON, MA – DECEMBER 4: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics celebrates after hitting a three point shot during the first quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden on December 4, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

#2. Health & Strength!

Last season the Celtics had a record of 53-29, were the #1 seed in the East and lost to the Cavs in the Conference Finals despite losing Gordon Hayward in the 1st quarter on opening night and Kyrie Irving in early April. Fast forward to today and everyone is not only healthy, but motivated to prove they’re the future. Irving and Hayward are said to be 100% and from the looks on their faces during media day, they’re hungry and ready to put in that work!

CANTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 24: Gordon Hayward #20 exits a press conference on Boston Celtics Media Day on September 24, 2018 in Canton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

 

#1. Leadership.

When a team’s this talented, confident and excited to play, you need someone to make sure everyone stays focused. Coach Brad Stevens is that guy and it’s undeniable that he has earned the hearts and minds of his players. Multiple players throughout media day mentioned that this season was about taking steps, working hard and being patient. It’s clear that message is on repeat and fortunately it’s getting through to them all. Al Horford’s leadership shouldn’t be overlooked along with Kyrie Irving’s either. This season pay close attention to what’s happening on the bench during timeouts and when the reserves are playing. You won’t just see Brad Stevens directing, but you will see teammates encouraging and teaching as well. Some say offense is the key, others say defense wins championships, but leadership is just as important when talking about the ingredients of winning.

BOSTON, MA – MAY 23: Head coach Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics reacts in the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game Five of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

October 16th the NBA regular season will begin and the expectations for the Celtics will be high. Injuries aside, I see no reason why the Celtics won’t be a contender for the NBA Championship. I mean, Jaylen Brown and Kyrie Irving have already expressed that they think they can do it, why shouldn’t you? Here’s to an exciting, healthy and inspirational NBA season. Let the takeover begin and go Celtics!

Leroy Irvin