Celtics fans have high hopes for the 2023-24 NBA season. Jrue Holiday, Kristaps Porzingis, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown make the C's a title contender with the league's greatest top-six.
Who are Celtics' X-factors for the next season? These players have more options and might decide if Boston hosts Banner 18 at TD Garden next summer.
Porzingis would be No. 1 on certain teams, but he's happy as No. 3 behind Tatum and Brown. He seems to be doing well in that capacity.
The 7-foot-3 big man, acquired in June's blockbuster Marcus Smart three-way trade, has excelled on both ends of the floor in preseason. With defenses focused on the Jays, Porzingis has gone 8-for-13 from 3-point range in three games. With three blocks, he protected the rim.
Before Porzingis, the Celtics had a top offense. This starting lineup will be unstoppable with "The Unicorn" in the mix. An unexpected injury might ruin the enjoyment.
Porzingis is Boston's No. 1 X-factor because to his brilliance, injury history, and frontcourt depth problems. His 65 games played last season was his most since 2016-17. A summer injury concern with plantar fasciitis kept him out of the FIBA World Cup.
After trading Robert Williams III to Portland for Jrue Holiday, the C's have 37-year-old Al Horford and Luke Kornet as their frontcourt depth behind Porzingis. Porzingis' health might determine the Celtics' Banner 18 prospects.
White remains undervalued despite a stellar 2022-23 season and postseason with Boston. ESPN mysteriously omitted the All-Defensive selection from its Top 100.
White will want to prove his worth as a key Celtics player this season. D'Angelo Russell said White "doesn’t get a lot of credit for what he does" and "makes all the winning plays." His presence is felt every time he plays, whether starting or benching.
After trading Robert Williams, the Celtics are in that situation. A 37-year-old who ran out of gas in the second part of last season and an ailing Porzingis lead the frontcourt. If either big man is hurt, that would be devastating.
The 25-year-old guard, who signed a four-year agreement last month, has been the preseason standout. He has made at least three 3-pointers in all four games, converting 16 of 41 long-range tries (39%). He averages 18.8 points in 24.5 minutes.