Though they are unfazed by the pressure that comes with being the Eastern Conference favorites heading into the NBA season, the Boston Celtics have been working very hard in practice, according to Jayson Tatum.
“Practice has been hard as (expletive), I ain’t gonna lie,” Tatum told reporters after the Celtics 123-110 preseason win over the New York Knicks on Tuesday. “We’ve been practicing two-a-days, but it’s been good. We’ve been working hard. The second unit has been pushing the first unit. We’re having a lot of competitive days.”
The roster of the Celtics was significantly changed as a consequence of many offseason changes made by the team. Blockbuster transactions that sent Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday to Boston allowed Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon, and Grant Williams to leave the city.
There were changes in many areas of the organization than just the roster. Damon Stoudamire resigned mid-season to take over as head coach of the NCAA Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, while top assistant coach Ben Sullivan left the Celtics to join Ime Udoka’s staff with the Houston Rockets. Sam Cassell and Charles Lee were brought in to bolster the bench with second-year coach Joe Mazzulla in lieu of Sullivan and Stoudamire.
Tatum claims that the Celtics are concentrating on the future rather than the past.
“Guys are excited. Guys are in good shape. Guys have been working this offseason and there’s just a freshness about this season,” Tatum said. “We got a new staff, new guys on the team. I think everybody is just really excited and ready to get going.”