As NBA season opens, Celtics are aiming high

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"My adrenaline was pumping those first three or four minutes", Hayward said.

The Celtics beat the 76ers 105-87 Tuesday night to get the 2018-19 National Basketball Association season started with a statement win in Boston.

NumberFire's models now project Hayward to average 18.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.9 3-pointers per game this season. That doesn't mean this team can't still earn the top seed in the East.

And he set NBA Twitter ablaze with his phenomenal court coverage and vision - such as his second-quarter over-the-shoulder assist for fellow No.1 pick Markelle Fultz.

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Al Horford blocked five shots for the Celtics, who shot 43.3 per cent from the field and were 11 of 37 from three-point range. "Whenever things started to go awry and we put new fresh guys in, they all made plays".

By half-time the Australian had almost notched a double-double - having stuffed the stats sheet to the tune of 10 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block.

"I'm still going to do what I do out there - find guys, get to the rim and play my game", Simmons said. "I thought they were more comfortable in knowing when to be aggressive". It's far from just a catchy name, though. Marcus Smart, Marcus Morris, Aron Baynes and Terry Rozier all provided solid minutes and production Tuesday night, building on last season's playoff success.

Assuming the Celtics don't have any serious health issues this season, the biggest issue with the bench could simply be Stevens finding enough minutes for all the talent he has.

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Key Additions: Robert Williams (rookie, Texas A&M). "At the same time, I've been so hyped up to play. but you gotta just keep shooting". Boston's projected to win 58 games this season, and with that comes great expectations.

These are special times on the Boston sports scene with the successful state of the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins, and Stevens, about to being his sixth season, is caught up in the whirlwind like everyone else. Stevens has passed every test put in front of him entering his sixth season in Boston, now it's time to see if he can drive the auto to the finish line of the postseason rather than the regular season. Sure, the Sixers are an up-and-coming young team, but they don't have the veteran star presence the Celtics do.

There has been much anticipation about the Celtics building throughout the summer and into the fall, who went 1-3 in the preseason before getting nine days to focus on opening night.

One look at the landscape of the league and the firepower of this lineup makes the answer easy. In a rematch of their second-round playoff series from last season, the Celtics took on the 76ers, and pulled away in the second half for a 105-87 win.

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