After LeBron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, the Boston Celtics immediately became the top favorite to fully dominate the Eastern Conference in the 2018-19 NBA season. It is not a surprise why most people expect the Celtics to be the new ruler of the LeBron-less East. Despite losing Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward in a season-ending injury last season, the Celtics managed to reach the Eastern Conference finals and forced a Game 7 against James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
With both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward set to return 100 percent healthy, the Celtics will be entering the 2018-19 NBA season with the most talented roster in the East. In a previous Inquisitr article, Boston was named as the “presumptive kings” of the East and was predicted to face the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors, in the NBA Finals 2019.
In a recent interview with Boston.com, Celtics legend Paul Pierce believes Boston has what it takes to dethrone the Warriors. However, in order to win the 2018-19 NBA championship title, Pierce said that some of the Celtics’ players should learn how to sacrifice for the team. Pierce added that all of them should set aside their individual goals and focus on what they want to accomplish as a team.
“You have to sacrifice if you are truly committed to trying to win a championship,” Pierce said. “They’re going to win a lot of games, but unless they sacrifice — because we know they’re going to be better than probably what their numbers show — if they can sacrifice they’ll win a championship this year. Because the talent is definitely there.”
The Celtics currently have a big problem they need to resolve, but it is a type of problem most NBA teams are willing to have. Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens believes they have as many as 10 players on their roster who have the capability to become a starter. With Irving, Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Al Horford expected to be the Celtics’ starting five next season, players like Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, Marcus Morris, and Aron Baynes will be needing to accept lesser playing time off the bench.
Tatum and Brown may be expected to retain their starting role, but they will also be needing to make a huge sacrifice with their game, especially on the offensive end of the floor. Now that Irving and Hayward are back, both young players may be forced to take lesser shots than they did last season.