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Kemba Walker thinks Celtics 'got better' with Thompson, Teague signings

/ by Nick Goss
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The Boston Celtics have had a busy offseason, and amid all the roster changes, one of their top players feels the team has improved.

"I can't predict the future, honestly, but I think we're good. I think we got better, especially adding Tristan (Thompson) and Jeff (Teague)," Celtics point guard Kemba Walker said at a video press conference Wednesday.

 "They definitely help us big time. But, who knows, anything can happen. We're going to work hard. We're going to put in the work to get to where we need to be, and that's what's most important-- us getting better throughout the year, staying together, especially when things get tough because things are going to get tough. Just like they do for every team in this league.

"It's all about what you do through adversity, as long as we stay together, hopefully that can help us get over the hump that we need to get over."

The Celtics lost veteran forward Gordon Hayward in a sign-and-trade with the Charlotte Hornets last week. Hayward was a quality playmaker and averaged 17.5 points per game last season, but he was unable to consistently stay on the floor due to injuries. 

The C's have not added a star wing to replace Hayward, but they did solidify two other areas in free agency.

Celtics Talk Podcast: Breaking out the Kemba Walker panic meter; the truth about why Gordon Hayward left | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube

 

They added much-needed frontcourt depth with the signing of center Tristan Thompson -- a nine-year veteran who's averaged 10-plus rebounds per game in each of the last two seasons. He's a consistent double-double threat and brings championship experience.

Boston also signed veteran Jeff Teague, who will replace Brad Wanamaker as the backup point guard behind Walker. Teague has averaged 10-plus points per game in nine consecutive seasons.

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The Celtics addressed one of their biggest roster weaknesses in the 2020 NBA Draft by selecting quality outside shooters in small forward Aaron Nesmith (No. 14, first round) and point guard Payton Pritchard (No. 26, first round). Nesmith was considered by several experts as the best shooter in the 2020 draft class and shot 52.2 percent from 3-point range at Vanderbilt last season. Pritchard was the Pac-12 Player of the Year award winner for Oregon and shot 41.5 percent on 3-point attempts.

A strong case could be made that the Celtics are a better team right now than they were when the Miami Heat knocked them out of the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals. And we'll begin to find out soon because the 2020-21 regular season starts in less than three weeks.