Quantcast

There are many characteristics that people can identify when talking about championship-caliber teams.

Many point to veteran leadership, playoff experience and knowing what it takes to win. What doesn't come up very often is the idea of youth. However, looking at this year's Boston Celtics roster, fans may have to change their opinions, if they truly believe the Celtics should be mentioned in that category. With the 2017-2018 season just over two months away the Celtics roster is all but solidified. While there are many new faces, the part of the roster that jumps out at people is the amount of rookies that can be found when reading through the names. Six of the fifteen roster spots (not counting both two-way contract players) are filled by rookies. With so many first year NBA players on the roster, we dive in to see what impact these youngsters can have.

Jayson Tatum- The most talented and perhaps most impactful rookie. Tatum lit up Summer League, and while he only made the All-Summer League Second Team, many including DJ Bean believed he was robbed of First-Team honors. Regardless, Jayson showed Celtics fans exactly why Ainge was so high on the freshman out of Duke. Tatum proved he had the ability to score from all three levels, with great footwork and a fadeaway shot that is nearly impossible to block at his size. We can fully expect the rookie to be rolled out with the second unit, which will be in desperate need of a scoring punch.

Ante Zizic- Perhaps our expectations for the seven-footer were a little premature. After all, the big-man is only 20 years old (he doesn't turn 21 until January). Many slated him to contribute to this years Celtics team. You can't really blame writers and fans who thought along these lines. Ante is a load in the paint, with a good motor and the ability to grab rebounds, something the Celtics rarely did last year. Zizic had come off a long season playing overseas, and he looked like he had run out of steam. With the addition of Aron Baynes and the propensity for Brad Stevens to go small, it looks like a development year for the young Croatian.

Semi Ojeleye- The 6' 7" wing struggled mightily in Salt Lake City with his shot. Which led some to question whether he would even make the roster. However, basketball fans know that a player's shot comes and goes. The true testament to a player's mental fortitude is their ability to not allow their struggles to affect the rest of their game. Ojeleye showed the ability to defend positions one through five, with his freakish strength and athleticism, even earning recognition from Brad Stevens. The second round pick's shot came around in Vegas, and coupled with his defensive versatility has become someone who might be able to squeeze their way into the rotation.

Abdel Nader- The NBA D-League (now the NBA G-league) rookie of the year, proved he could get to the rim at will. Although,he does not finish at the most efficient rate, the ability to draw contact allowed him to get to the foul line. In this league points can be hard to come by, and the ability to draw fouls is paramount (see James Harden). He doesn't pass much, but in Summer League that may have just been a function of trying to do too much. With all the depth at the wing position, Abdel will have a hard time finding playing time. However, we have seen how injuries can stack up over 82 games, and Nader's flexibility makes him a candidate to jump in at that time.

Daniel Theis- Not much is known about Theis, except for the fact that he averaged around nine points (41 percent from three) and five rebounds for Brose Bamberg in Germany. A big man, who can stretch the floor is not something to blush at, especially in the modern-day NBA. While Daniel projects as a bench player, the ability to shoot fits perfectly into what the Celtics run as an offense.

Guerschon Yabusele Finally, and my personal favorite is the man known as the "Dancing Bear." Compared to Draymond Green, Yabusele is known for his great motor and "startling" athleticism . With the way the Celtics go small, a big body that can move like a guard is someone who cannot be overlooked. While most parts of his offensive game are still raw, he has the ability to garner some minutes with the energy he can bring to the team.

Let me know what you think! Which rookies will be contributors and who will take longer to develop? Thanks for reading!

Photo Credits- Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images

Troy Tanzer 8/02/2017 08:21:00 PM Edit
_________________________________________________________________________
« Prev Post Next Post »

Recent Posts
_______________________________________________________________________________________

comments powered by Disqus