Three offseason priorities for the Boston Celtics

It was a Cinderella season for the ’21-22 Boston Celtics. The club shocked the world by reaching the NBA Finals, achieving one of the most spectacular in-season turnarounds in recent memory. It was earnest, exciting, and truly unexpected. When the clock ultimately struck midnight, however, the Celtics came up short. For basketball fans in the Hub, this fairy tale doesn’t have a happy ending.

All the same, reaching the Finals and going toe-to-toe with the dynastic Golden State Warriors is an accomplishment worth celebrating. Teams led by such young stars rarely summit the mountain the way the Celtics did. Boston deserves immense praise and credit.

Hopefully, everyone in the organization will take some time to reflect and take a well-deserved bow.

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From there, the hard work begins anew. The Celtics might have muscled their way into the Eastern Conference’s upper echelon, but that doesn’t mean success is guaranteed moving forward.

The offseason has begun, and the moves teams make in July and August could have a ripple effect the following May and June.

It’s time for President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens to look ahead — here are a few priorities for the Boston Celtics this offseason:

Find the right point guard

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It was an epic defense that took Boston so deep in the postseason. Even when the Celtics were spinning their tires on offense, the team could still control the pace and flow of the game by locking in on the defensive end. It was a massive asset and seemingly one head coach Ime Udoka will rely on for the foreseeable future.

In the Finals, though, Boston matched up with an equally impressive defense. Golden State also employed a switch-heavy scheme with lots of high-caliber individual defenders. The Celtics had their key competitive advantage nerfed in a big way. Boston’s offense deficiencies weren’t just elevated as a result but compounded because the Warriors were so effective defensively.

Here, the Celts missed having a traditional point guard. Marcus Smart averaged just 5.0 assists per game in the Finals, while Derrick White logged just thirteen assists for the entire series.

For much of the regular season and the playoffs, Boston didn’t need a table-setting point guard. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown could generate enough offense to overpower opponents. In the Finals, however, neither Tatum nor Brown knew what to do with Golden State’s defense. They stalled and sputtered, coughing up turnover after turnover after turnover. The Celtics needed a quarterback.

Tatum and Brown are 24 and 25 respectively. That they played young under the brightest of lights isn’t all that shocking. When they eventually hit a wall, Boston didn’t have…

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