BOSTON (CBS) -- The expectations are through the roof for the 2016-17 Boston Celtics, whose season gets underway Wednesday night at the TD Garden.
There have been projected win totals in the 50s, and some pundits feel the Celtics could even give the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers a run in the Eastern Conference Finals. Celtics president Rich Gotham joined 98.5 The Sports Hub's The Adam Jones Show on Monday night to look ahead to the upcoming season, and while the Boston brass isn't putting a ceiling on the team, they do have some lofty expectations of their own.
"They're pretty high as well," Gotham said of the organization's expectations. "We're not putting a ceiling on it; the idea every year is to reach your potential and we think this roster has a little more potential than the past couple of seasons. Adding Al Horford is a big boost, so we think our talent has improved. We hope to be in the thick of it in the East, so we'll see where the cards fall."
Adding a nine-year veteran in Horford to a team that won 48 games last season should help the Celtics improve during the regular season, and more importantly, in the postseason. So far, Gotham has been impressed with Horford's impact on both ends of the floor, but couldn't help noticing that the C's offense ran much more smooth with the big man down low during the preseason.
"He's really helped us across the board. More than anything he's really facilitated the offense and made us more efficient. It seems like every time he's involved, something good happens," said Gotham. "He's so versatile; he can step out and shoot, he's really good in the pick-and-roll and he really helps us space the floor and get guys to the basket in space. He can rebound and defend well, and even start the fast break. He brings a lot to the table, but what's caught me the most is how efficient he makes our offense. We're really optimistic with what we've seen so far."
Gotham was also impressed with what he saw from rookie Jaylen Brown during the preseason. The third overall pick averaged 10.7 points on 42 percent shooting, and though he's only 19, Gotham said there's a lot of potential for Brown to contribute during his rookie season.
"Everyone is impressed in our organization with his development thus far. He's a 19-year-old kid thrown right into NBA play, getting quality minutes against the other team's front line in the preseason games, and he really held his own," said Gotham. "He's shown he can hang defensively, and offensively he can get to the rim, draw fouls and pass off the dribble. There is a lot of upside there, but also potential to contribute this year."
Gotham also touched on the Celtics' view of their future draft picks, James Young earning the final roster spot, and the team's new training facility that will open next spring. Listen to the full interview below:
And Adam Jones and Rich Keefe discuss the ceiling for the 2016-17 Boston Celtics, and what they expect out of rookie Jaylen Brown:
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