Boston Celtics: 3 regular season goals for Aron Baynes in 2018-19

Silvia Morton
October 18, 2018

A gruesome ankle injury in the 2017-18 opener ruled Hayward out for the remainder of the season, but on Tuesday he played 24 minutes as the Celtics started the new season with a 105-87 win at TD Garden.

Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward are back after missing the postseason past year and the Celtics struggled in the preseason.

That quality puts the Celtics on a level above Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference, with the Sixers now 2-8 against Boston since the beginning of last season. He's one of the most likable players in the game, both on and off the court, and it's great to see him playing the game he loves once again.

"I think my nerves got the best of me tonight, " said Irving, who underwent two surgical procedures to end his season last March.

The Celtics, who eliminated the 76ers in five games in the second round last spring, never trailed after the midway point of the first quarter despite the efforts of Joel Embiid (23 points, 10 rebounds) and Ben Simmons (19 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists). That mentality could help Boston pull off some upsets when the games really start mattering.

"He told me if you look exhausted, I'm taking you out, so, maybe I'll try to hide it", Green joked at morning shootaround. Having lost seven of their last nine matchups with the Celtics, Embiid said there isn't much of a rivalry between the two teams.

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"We switched a lot", coach Brett Brown said.

Coach Brad Stevens admitted his team did struggle offensively to make shots but praised their all-round effort and believes their strength is truly in their depth.

These teams met in a season opener for the first time - though the Warriors won on the road against the Seattle SuperSonics in 1983. Feel free to browse through the following link dump for coverage on your favorite team's most likely trade candidates, breakout candidates, predictions, individual player goals and much, much more!

"We go back to that psychological stability with him", Brown said.

After months of anticipation, the Boston Celtics finally showed the advantage they'll have thanks to their incredibly deep roster. Integrating Markelle Fultz into the offense will nearly certainly present some bumps along the way but, as out of place as he looked at times, Joel Embiid's rough night had as much to do with the 76ers rough offensive performance as anything.

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