Celtics Fans Have Moved on From Last Year's Team

Celtics fans fell in love with last year’s team and they were devasted when Danny Ainge decimated the entire roster after the 2017 season. But it is clear that Celtics fans have moved on from last year's team.

Celtics fans fell in love with last year’s team.

For one, they were a true underdog that came out of nowhere and won the East. They were led by “the little guy,” Isaiah Thomas, who made big shot after big shot after big shot.

They didn’t have a true superstar and that’s what made them likable.

The Celtics played team basketball and the sum of its parts was much greater than each individual talent.

They had a chip on their shoulder and the team played with passion and toughness.

However, after last year’s group fell short in the playoffs by getting dominated by the Cavaliers, Danny Ainge decimated almost the entire roster.

Fans who fell in love with the team now had to say goodbye to Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Gerald Green, Demetrius Jackson, Jonas Jerebko, Amir Johnson, Jordan Mickey, Kelly Olynyk, Isaiah Thomas, James Young, and Tyler Zeller.

And fans were not happy.

Myself? I was thrilled. I loved that Celtics team but there were too many mediocre players. However, many Celtics fans were emotionally connected to that group and were sad to see those players leave.

Fast forward to this year and the Celtics had a completely new look. Say Goodbye to Jonas Jerebko, Jae Crowder, and Kelly Olynyk and say hello to Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Jayson Tatum.

Although this new team was much more talented than last year’s group, it took fans a little longer to accept and get behind this new core of players.

The biggest reason?

The emotional attachment just wasn’t there. To get behind a team, you typically need to know the players, watch them play well together, and feel like they are your team.

In the beginning, we didn’t know Kyrie Irving. He didn’t feel like our guy. He felt like a superstar who we were lucky enough to watch but he was not necessarily a Celtic yet.

We were also not in love with Jayson Tatum yet. He was just a rookie. In addition, Gordon Hayward got injured the first game of the year, and fans still missed Isaiah Thomas.

Well, after the Celtics defeated the Bucks in seven games on Saturday night, I can confidently state that not one Celtics fan has given a thought to last year’s roster.

Not one thought. Isn’t it remarkable how that works?

Fans were devastated over the turnaround in the roster. Now nobody thinks about the Bradley’s or the Olynyk’s anymore.

Instead, “Green teamers” are now in love with Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Terry Rozier.

Fans are 100 percent behind Marcus Morris’ toughness and competitiveness. Fans love Guerschon Yabusule’s personality and Shane Larkin’s hustle.

And fans now love Kyrie Irving.

Although this Celtics team is much more talented than last year’s team, after all of its injuries, it is actually very similar to the Celtics roster last season.

In this series, the Celtics have played without Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Daniel Theis. Marcus Smart also missed most of the series with a hand injury. Because of these injuries, the Celtics struggled to score at times in this series, just like last year’s team struggled to score in the playoffs.

However, even with these injuries, the Celtics had a variety of different players step up in the series. Jaylen Brown carried the bulk of the scoring load in the first few games and simply looked like a beast in many games in the series. Horford led the team in scoring and rebounding with 18.1 points and 8.7 rebounds, and he stepped up when the team needed him. Tatum and Morris were both effective scorers for this team and Rozier was awesome at home and had a huge game seven.

Just like last year’s team, this group is playing without a true superstar, and fans appreciate the effort.

The psychology of a fan is interesting. In Boston, it is simple: If you work hard, are competitive, and overachieve, Bostonians will love you.

If you underachieve and have a lot of talent, they will hate you. Just ask Carl Crawford, Pablo Sandoval, and David Price.

Say what you want about this Hayward-less and Kyrie-less Celtics team, but they have overachieved and fans have bought in.

Bring on the process.

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