Aron Baynes' strong Celtics debut

The NBA offseason was crazy for just about every team in the league. It was particularly wild for the Boston Celtics. With the addition of players such as Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Jayson Tatum, there is a lot of both excitement and skepticism for Celtics fans. Questions about players' importance or use on the team were brought up, leaving some fans wondering who will get the major minutes at what position for Boston.

That question is still largely unanswered, but the Celtics' preseason opener against the Charlotte Hornets gave fans the opportunity to watch the players attempt to work together while simultaneously outplay their teammates in order to earn starting nods or a spot on the team. The player I was most surprised by, however, was recently-acquired Aron Baynes. He started the game as the Center next to Al Horford, and did a bit of everything. He finished the game with ten points, five rebounds, three assists, and a block and steal apiece. He led all the starters in scoring, while playing about the same amount of minutes.

In addition to the fantastic numbers, Aron also showed his Celtics' spirit and pride. He was strong, determined, and fought it out with Dwight Howard under the basket. Say what you want about Howard, that's a big, strong dude. Baynes played him fairly well, even saying that "it was nice to get out there and hit someone else tonight." This just shows his blue collar mentality, an aspect that has always been celebrated throughout Celtics history.

It is possible that Baynes just happened to have a kick-ass preseason game, and maybe it means nothing overall. That being said, I think if he continues to produce at the level he did in the preseason opener, he will certainly make it easier on Brad Stevens to figure out the rotations.

Photo: Charles Krupa/AP