Oct 25, 2023 - Sports

Celts start new season with their "Unicorn"

Kristaps Porzingis #8 grabs a rebound during the preseason game last week. Photo: Kent Smith/Getty Images

Expectations couldn't be higher for this year's Boston Celtics, after they nearly made the NBA finals last season.

  • The Celtics open their season on the road tonight against the Knicks at 7pm on ESPN.

Catch up quick: The Celtics had a productive offseason, picking up 7-foot-2 Kristaps Porzingis from the Wizards.

  • Porzingis is huge and he can score from anywhere on the court, a rare enough combination that the 28-year-old Latvian has the nickname "the Unicorn."

Zoom in: Stars from last year Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are back to lead the Celts.

  • The team gave Brown a five-year, $303.7 million contract extension in July, the biggest in NBA history.
  • But the team won't have veteran guard Marcus Smart this year after he was traded away as part of the Porzingis deal.

What they're saying: "The Celtics remain in the league's inner circle of contenders. This offseason arguably only strengthened its spot," Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley says.

  • Buckley says late-game blunders that plagued the team last season need to be ironed out if the Celts hope to stay alive in the playoffs this year.

The Athletic's John Hollinger thinks Boston could easily end up with the best record in the league by several games.

  • "As the team's best player, Tatum almost automatically becomes a leading candidate [for MVP,]" he wrote in his NBA season preview, predicting the Celtics would win the franchise's 18th championship in June.

Be smart: Here's a handy video if you want to really nail the Latvian pronunciation of Porzingis' name.

Deehan's thought bubble: This clip includes some of my new favorite nonsense: "Hauser on the dribble-drive. Out to Porzingis. The unicorn strokes it! Man, that was deep!"


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