What hasn’t gotten as much attention is how the roster fared with the players that stayed mostly healthy and played the most minutes.
Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Kemba Walker played the most minutes for the Celtics in each of the last two seasons. Tatum is still shaking off COVID, Brown was their most consistent player before his season-ending wrist injury, Smart was hampered by a pretty serious leg injury, and Kemba was still Kemba despite the outrage over his load management and occasionally streaky shooting. Marcus Smart plays hard and is one of the best defensive guards in basketball, so those two things must be related, right? Maybe to an extent, but it’s not like there’s an effort-to-defense conversion rate we can use to give a concrete answer.