Celtics

Celtics

Doesn't the 2018-19 season seem like a lifetime ago?

We're just eight months removed from watching the Boston Celtics flame out in the second round of the NBA playoffs despite a wealth of offensive talent.

That talent has dispersed throughout the league since last May, as five major contributors from last season's club -- Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris and Aron Baynes -- now are on different teams.

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We know how Kemba Walker and the new-look Celtics have fared through the halfway point of the 2019-20 season (28-14 through 42 games, with Walker 22.1 points per game).

But how have the former C's been holding up? Here's a quick breakdown, complete with stats, player grades, highlights and how much Boston misses each player.

Kyrie Irving, Guard, Brooklyn Nets

2019-20 stats (15 games played)
32.7 minutes, 26.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game; 45.9 field goal percentage, 36.2 3-point percentage

Grade: C+
Irving is scoring at a career-high pace this season. He's also played in just 15 games this season with a 5-10 record in those contests while creating unnecessary distractions with his locker room diatribes. The headache currently outweighs the talent.

Do the Celtics miss him?
You think the Celtics miss this?

 

Al Horford, Forward, Philadelphia 76ers

2019-20 stats (41 games played)
30.9 minutes, 12.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.0 blocks and 0.9 steals per game; 45.3 field goal percentage, 32.4 3-point percentage

 

Grade: B
Horford has shown signs of life after a serious late-December funk, tallying 10 points or more in seven of his last eight games and dropping 19 points in a win over Irving's Nets. Philly will need more of that production from the veteran big man with Joel Embiid sidelined due to a finger injury.

Do the Celtics miss him?
Yes. Enes Kanter has played very well of late, but the Celtics still haven't quite replaced all the little things Horford did well on both ends of the floor with Boston.

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Terry Rozier, Guard, Charlotte Hornets

2019-20 stats (45 games played)
34.1 minutes, 17.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.2 steals per game; 42.0 field goal percentage, 39.5 3-point percentage

Grade: B+
Rozier continues to fill it up as Charlotte's starting point guard, dropping 20 or more points in seven of his last nine games and shooting at a career-high clip (42 percent). The Hornets lost seven of those nine games and are 15 games under .500, but at least Rozier is proving he's a legitimate starting guard.

Do the Celtics miss him?
Yes and no. The C's could use a better backup to Kembw Walker than Brad Wanamaker or Carsen Edwards, but Rozier wasn't going to play second fiddle to another Celtics point guard after sitting behind Kyrie Irving. It is what it is.

 

Marcus Morris, Forward, New York Knicks

2019-20 stats (36 games played)
31.9 minutes, 19.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 0.8 steals per game; 44.0 field goal percentage, 45.7 3-point percentage

Grade: B+
Morris missed five games due to injury earlier this month, but he's still the leading scorer on a lottery-bound Knicks team. If he keeps producing, he'll set himself up for another fine deal in free agency next summer.

Do the Celtics miss him?
Not especially. The Celtics have had enough trouble finding an offensive flow with talented wings Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown and don't need Morris putting up 10-plus shots per game.

Aron Baynes, Forward, Phoenix Suns

2019-20 stats (33 games played)
22.9 minutes, 11.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 0.6 blocks per game; 49.0 field goal percentage, 33.3 3-point percentage

Grade: B
Baynes has come back down to earth following his red-hot first 10 games for the Suns, but he's managed to stay (relatively) healthy after missing nine games early in the season and is a solid starting center in Phoenix.

Do the Celtics miss him?
Occasionally. The C's could have used Baynes' muscle against bigger teams like the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers, but they still boast the NBA's fourth-best defense this season without him.

 
 

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