Meet the Celtics roster for opening night
Experience: Six seasons
Stats last year: 25.2 points, 5.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds.
NBA Accolades: Rookie of the Year (2012); All-Rookie First Team (2012); NBA Rising Stars Challenge MVP (2012); Three-point Shootout champion (2013); Four-time All-Star (2013-2015, 2017); All-Star game MVP (2014); All-NBA Third Team (2014); NBA Champion (2016).
Role this season: Irving is the face of the franchise and will be looked upon to lead the team in scoring this season.
Experience: Seven seasons
Stats last year: 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists.
NBA Accolades: NBA All-Star (2017).
Role this season: Hayward will be one of Boston’s top three scorers in addition to ranking among the team leaders in rebounds and assists.
Experience: 10 seasons
Stats last year: 14.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists
Role this season: Horford will be one of Boston’s primary facilitators offensively, a key rebounder in addition to establishing himself as the linchpin to what Boston wants to get done defensively.
Experience: One year
Stats last year: 6.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 0.8 assists per game.
NBA Accolades: All-Rookie Second Team (2017).
Role this season: Brown will be counted upon to be a versatile defender, capable of guarding both guard positions, small forwards and some power forwards when teams go small.
Stats last year (at Duke): 16.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists.
Role this season: Tatum will be called upon to provide versatility at the wing position, another option Boston can turn to for scoring in addition to holding his own as a defender.
Experience: 3 seasons
Stats last year: 10.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists
NBA Accolades: All-Rookie Second Team (2015)
Role this season: With Avery Bradley (Detroit) and Jae Crowder (Cleveland) gone, Smart will be called upon to be the team’s primary on-the-ball defender. And with his weight loss in the offseason and improved 3-point shot, he’ll be looked to be more of a factor in Boston’s offense as well.
Experience: 2 seasons
Stats last year: 5.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists
Role this season: Rozier looks really comfortable playing with Marcus Smart in the backcourt, which gives Brad Stevens a dynamic 1-2 punch defensively in the backcourt. Defense and timely shot making should keep him in the rotation for the Celtics.
Experience: Four NBA seasons
Stats last year (Detroit): 4.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 0.5 blocks
Role this season: Baynes is a banger whose physical play is much-needed for the Celtics. Minutes remain to be seen, but Baynes has shown that whatever he’s called upon to do, he’ll be ready.
Experience: Six seasons
Stats last year (Detroit): 14.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists.
Role this season: Morris (right knee) will be out for at least 10 days to two weeks as more of a precautionary measure due to him arriving late to training camp. Once he’s given the green light to play, Morris’ defensive versatility and shot-making could be enough to get him into the starting lineup. If not, he’ll become a key reserve.
Stats last year in Germany (for Brose Bamberg): 10.7 points, 9.6 rebounds and 0.9 assists
Role this season: Theis will be a high-energy player who won’t play a ton of minutes at first, but his energy and all-out hustle should eventually lead to him having a steady role.
Stats last year (at SMU): 19.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists
Role this season: He won’t play a ton of minutes, but he’ll do just enough to show the promise he has in being a 3-and-D guy for the Celtics.
Stats last year in China (Shanghai Sharks): 20.9 points, 9.4 rebounds in 43 games.
Role this season: Yabusele provides more depth in the frontcourt for Boston, but it’s unlikely that he’ll have a significant role with the team initially. But in time, his burly frame will allow him to make an impact rebounding the ball which would help address one of Boston’s biggest weaknesses.
Experience: Three NBA seasons
Stats last year in Spanish League (Baskonia): 4.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 0.5 blocks
Role this season: Larkin left a good chunk of money on the table to play for the Celtics rather than the teams he could have inked with overseas. He will be hard-pressed to get much playing time ahead of Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier and of course, Kyrie Irving.
Position: Shooting guard
Stats last year with G-League (Maine Red Claws): 21.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists.
Role this season: Minutes will be hard to come by for Nader, who more than anything provides Boston with added depth along the perimeter. But for him to really get on the floor, he has to show tremendous growth as a defender which is the clearest path to getting on the floor for the Celtics.