Brad Stevens says Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward are ready to go

The Boston Celtics are a week away from playing an NBA basketball game. Let that sink in. For the first time since that fateful night in Cleveland, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward are prepared to take the floor together. Surgeries, grueling rehab, and waiting are things of the past. Now it's time to play.

While attending the annual Celtics Shamrock Foundation golf tournament, Brad Stevens took a moment to answer questions about the upcoming season, and the return of his two all-star players.

The excitement level amongst fans, the players, and even the mild-mannered Stevens is palpable. Expectations are through the roof, but having no minute restrictions or limitations on Irving and Hayward should allow the team to hit the ground running. Combine that with the rising stardom of players like Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Terry Rozier, and the Celtics have one of, if not the deepest and most talented team in the league.

Having Irving and Hayward back at full strength right from the jump unlocks an unlimited amount of lineups for Stevens. Will there be bumps in the road when it comes to finding the right rotations and enough minutes for the core group of players? Of course, but the stars will be out in Boston, and people have taken notice.

Via Zach Lowe of ESPN:

Forget the buzz about LeBron playing center, or DeMarcus Cousins lumbering into the Warriors' starting five. This quintet is the most exciting group since Golden State stumbled into the Death Lineup: Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford. The level of shooting, playmaking, and switchability on defense (minus Irving) is outrageous.

We are in the final stretch now. Training camps are starting, games are on the horizon, and we can only hear about the intensity and unbelievability of the 5v5 pick-up games for so much longer. The hype is there, the expectations are there, and the players (finally!) are there. It's time to roll the ball out and see what we have.

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