Tipoff is at 7:30 pm ET as two of the East’s likely top teams square off after considerable changes to their rosters. For the Celtics, many of those changes are less than desirable, with veteran forward Gordon Hayward having decamped to the Charlotte Hornets in the offseason, while All-Star point guard Kemba Walker and second-year wing Romeo Langford out for the opener as they recover from knee and wrist issues respectively.
— The Celtics Wire (@TheCelticsWire) December 21, 2020
On the other side of the court, the Bucks shored up their starting unit to successfully sell superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo on signing a supermax deal. The trade required sacrificing depth, but got them veteran guard Jrue Holiday from the New Orleans Pelicans in a major four-team trade.
Milwaukee also inked wing Bryn Forbes, forward Torrey Craig, point guard D.J. Augustin and big man Bobby Portis in free agency.
Boston added a pair of veteran free agents in point guard Jeff Teague and center Tristan Thompson via free agency as well, though it is not yet clear if Thompson will be available for the opener as he works through the strained hamstring.
Celtics’ Tremont Waters excited to be with Boston this season https://t.co/AqZq2yFSQz
— The Celtics Wire (@TheCelticsWire) December 22, 2020
Currently thin with both Walker and Langford out and Thompson a potential scratch, the Celtics may need to lean on their unproven bench players and newly drafted duo of point guard Payton Pritchard and wing Aaron Nesmith.
That doesn’t bode well given the team’s rough preseason play, but if the starters can recapture some of the focus and cohesion they flashed in their deep Disney bubble postseason run, the game could very well be a good one.
However, a Giannis-led Bucks eager to show off their new team with the worry of whether the Greek Freak will sign the supermax deal behind them could make for a painful watch for Celtics fans if they play as they did in the preseason.
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Celtics' Tremont Waters excited to be with Boston this season
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