Celtics off-season preparation - "lean-and-strong" is the catchphrase

The Boston Celtics begin their 2018-19 regular season at TD Garden on October 16, 2018 against the Philadelphia 76'ers. This off-season has been a great opportunity for the team members to improve the various parts of their game that need work, but two factors always need attention - strength and leanness.

Jaylen Brown needs to work on his free-throw shooting. Jayson Tatum has to improve his handles. Aron Baynes is most likely working on his 3-point shooting. But two specific goals are always constants - strength and leanness. This is Scouts Inc.'s David Thorpe on the subject:

Some players need to lose weight, others have to gain it. But all of them always need to get stronger and leaner. "Lean and strong" is our catchphrase. Developing core strength is probably the most important part of our work in this area, but all parts of the body are challenged.

Lower-body strength is vital for holding position under the hoop and preventing an opponent from muscling into the hoop. Upper-body strength works well for snagging, and holding onto, rebounds - grabbing or slapping the ball out of an offensive player's hands - and maintaining control of the ball on drives. Wes Unseld was a great example of a player with low-body strength. No one could move him, and his outlet pass after the rebound was the best I have ever seen.

The Celtics Marcus Smart has tremendous upper-body strength, as evidenced by his bench press at the Draft Combine:

Marcus came to the Celtics at 10.55% body fat, but he has since lost a lot of that and even has a cash body fat bonus in his current contract, another incentive to keep that number in the 6-8% range. For more information on getting lean and staying there, read my article Lessons in Leanness. There are a few surprises in there.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC and NNELTFC.blogspot.com

Photo via John Huet