Celtics fans bleed green

Experience an NBA atmosphere that only Celtic pride can provide.

Posted: May 16, 2018 7:35 AM
Updated: May 16, 2018 7:48 AM

On the surface, the Boston Celtics' success story is a surprise. After a roster overhaul and two devastating injuries, Boston wasn't expected back in the Eastern Conference Finals for the second year in a row.

But perhaps more should have seen this coming.

Heading into the postseason, a CNN story last month pronounced the Celtics as all but finished, saying "what looked like a promising playoff run has all but faded" because of injuries to Gordon Hayward at the beginning of the season and Kyrie Irving just before the playoffs.

"With Irving unavailable, the Celtics are no longer seen as a contender," our story said.

Ouch. The hazards of the predicting business.

Clearly, that's not the case. It's quite the opposite, really. No matter what happens the rest of this postseason, the outlook for the Celtics has never appeared better.

Smart draft picks, key acquisitions

The team's rise started with general manager Danny Ainge, who has drafted two top-3 picks in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, as well as first-rounders Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart. He also was responsible for acquiring key players Marcus Morris and Al Horford.

With that young talent, most would have agreed the C's were in a position to contend for a title starting next season. What's so surprising is they're doing it now without Irving, out for the postseason because of surgery on his left knee, and Hayward, whom the Celtics lost in the opening minutes of the season with a fracture dislocation of his left ankle.

Those injuries became an opportunity for growth for the 20-year-old Tatum, the 21-year-old Brown and Rozier, who is all of 24. It's something not lost on veterans like Morris, an elder statesman of the team at 28.

"It gave other guys opportunity to step up," Morris said. "It's very unfortunate that we had those injuries, but no one is going to feel sorry for us at the end of the day, so we have to take our approach of next guy up. That's what we've been doing all season.

"Our confidence level is very high. The younger guys to the older guys, we think we can compete and play with anybody. At the end of the day all the talking is done off the court. Once we step between them lines, we have to compete no matter who we have out there, and that's what we've been doing."

A savvy coach

Another key to the team's success: Ainge hired Brad Stevens, who has shown in just a few seasons that he's one of the best head coaches in the NBA.

Not that Stevens wants to hear that.

"The praise is uncomfortable ... these guys should be getting it all," Stevens said. "We all have a role to play, and we all need to play that role as well as we can."

The Celtics' Aron Baynes, who played under esteemed Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, says there are similarities between the two coaches.

"They're both great with the X's and O's," Baynes said. "They've all figured out more than I've ever learned, so every chance I get and can see some things from them, I'm trying to learn as much as I can.

"Their composure throughout the game is pretty much second to none," he added. "No matter what's going on on the floor, they're so composed in how they are with the team and the message that ... keeps everyone calm."

The byproduct of all this: The Celtics fought past the Milwaukee Bucks and dismantled the Philadelphia 76ers in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

What once seemed improbable -- a trip to the NBA Finals -- is now within reach.

"I think that through the regular season there was so much changes with our group -- guys in and out of the lineup, different injuries, a lot of things like that," Horford said. "Once we've been able to settle down and kind of find what fits this group, I feel like that's what prompted us being better offensively.

"But you've just got to give credit to Coach (Stevens), because he ends up making adjustments ... whichever the matchup is, and giving us those options to go out there and execute on offense."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37624

Reported Deaths: 1503
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12150785
Ramsey4805226
Stearns234519
Dakota228690
Anoka2180107
Nobles16626
Olmsted110115
Washington106940
Mower9452
Rice8357
Scott7004
Clay58538
Kandiyohi5701
Wright4565
Blue Earth4532
Todd4002
Carver3641
Lyon3092
Sherburne3075
Freeborn2900
Steele2281
Watonwan2160
Benton2143
St. Louis17715
Martin1635
Nicollet15912
Cottonwood1340
Goodhue1298
Winona12215
Crow Wing10612
Pine1030
Le Sueur981
Chisago971
Otter Tail931
McLeod880
Carlton850
Dodge840
Polk812
Chippewa781
Unassigned7637
Isanti720
Itasca6412
Waseca640
Douglas620
Meeker611
Morrison591
Murray580
Becker550
Faribault550
Jackson550
Sibley542
Pennington500
Pipestone371
Mille Lacs342
Renville322
Wabasha310
Brown302
Rock300
Yellow Medicine300
Beltrami290
Fillmore280
Houston250
Swift211
Norman200
Wilkin203
Redwood180
Cass152
Wadena150
Aitkin140
Big Stone140
Kanabec141
Koochiching141
Roseau130
Marshall120
Grant100
Lincoln100
Pope100
Mahnomen81
Clearwater70
Hubbard60
Lake60
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30975

Reported Deaths: 720
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6464179
Woodbury321544
Black Hawk225258
Buena Vista171111
Johnson12648
Dallas126329
Linn126282
Marshall104319
Scott77810
Story7623
Pottawattamie72111
Wapello70630
Dubuque68322
Crawford6772
Muscatine62944
Sioux4630
Tama46229
Wright3801
Louisa36013
Jasper32317
Plymouth3165
Warren2731
Dickinson2642
Washington2369
Webster2132
Hamilton1871
Cerro Gordo1561
Boone1481
Clay1330
Clarke1312
Allamakee1284
Mahaska11517
Shelby1140
Clinton1071
Poweshiek1048
Carroll961
Pocahontas941
Bremer926
Franklin890
Des Moines882
Henry863
Emmet850
Cedar821
Taylor790
Monona760
Cherokee751
Floyd722
Hardin700
Marion700
Guthrie664
Benton651
Sac630
Jefferson590
Osceola590
Jones560
Humboldt541
Butler532
Harrison530
Lee532
Hancock510
Iowa510
Buchanan501
Monroe506
Calhoun492
Delaware491
Fayette480
Madison452
Clayton433
Lyon410
Palo Alto410
Davis391
Winneshiek380
Grundy370
Mitchell370
Mills360
Howard350
Kossuth340
Lucas304
Greene290
Jackson290
Chickasaw280
Winnebago280
Union270
Ida230
Cass220
Appanoose203
Keokuk201
Page200
Van Buren200
Worth190
Audubon161
Unassigned160
Adair150
Ringgold150
Decatur110
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont70
Rochester
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 72°
Mason City
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 70°
Albert Lea
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Austin
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 75°
Charles City
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 73°
Hot and sticky fourth of July weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Alternative baseball hopes to come to the Med City in 2021

Image

FOURTH OF JULY IN AUSTIN AND STEWARTVILLE

Image

Seans 6pm Weather 7/4

Image

Fans excited for Honkers return

Image

Honkers fall to St. Cloud in home opener

Image

Baseball returns to the Med City

Image

Seans 10pm Weather 7/3

Image

Leaders advocate for the homeless

Image

Fireworks Show During the Pandemic

Image

Pillars of the City Unveiled

Community Events