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Four Celtics - and their team - with something to prove

 In a new Celtics era, there are several Celtics players that have something to prove this season. I'll start with Al Horford - while unashamedly admitting that I love this guy.

Al Horford

After a disappointing stint in Philadelphia, followed by his shut-down after playing only 28 games for Oklahoma City last season - Al is back in Boston. At 35 years of age, his best days are in the past, but we probably can expect something approaching to what he produced in the 2018-19 season for the Celtics. Al Horford needs to show that he can still play a vital role for an NBA team.

(2018-19 season) 29.0 MPG - 13.6 PGF - 6.7 RPG - 4.2 APG - 1.3 BPG 

Marcus Smart

Is Marcus a true point guard? We are about to find out. "The Wolverine" somewhat reminds me of a cross between K C Jones and Don Chaney, but with a bit more punch on the offensive end. Notice I wrote "bit more". Marcus will never be a volume scorer on a consistent basis, and he needs to rein in his tendency to fire away with abandon. K C Jones only shot better than 40% from the field during two of his nine NBA seasons. Jones and Chaney were known as defensive stoppers that could rebound the ball and facilitate. That is the path for Marcus to prove he can direct the Celtics offense and tilt the outcome of a game in favor of The Green.

Enes Kanter

Welcome back, Kanter! If Ime Udoka plays Enes for roughly half-the-game, as was the case for the likable Turk last season in Portland (24 MPG), we can expect a double-double from him in points and rebounds - along with consistent accuracy on shots close to the hoop. The bonus from Kanter is his ability to collect offensive boards. Last season, he averaged 11.0 rebounds per game, with 7.1 of them  being of the offensive variety. But Enes needs the increased minutes to prove his worth.

Dennis Schroder

Schroder will only earn $5.9 million for a solitary season in Boston, rather than the 4-year/$84 million deal he turned down from the Lakers, but this is his shot at proving he deserves a lucrative, multi-year deal starting in the 2022-23 season. Never one to be labeled as timid, expect the German import to once again fight for recognition. Dennis is feisty, and fans can expect some ferocious dense when he occasionally joins Marcus Smart in the lineup.

Of course, all of this means nothing if the Celtics can't shed the burden of their 13th ranking in Sports Illustrated's latest poll. I feel confident they will accomplish at least that.


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