In the latest episode of Season Ticket, a new podcast from WBUR and The Boston Globe, Chris Gasper (@cgasper) and guests discuss the season outlook for the Bruins and Celtics. Both teams have plenty of exciting young players with sky-high expectations—but how high is too high?
The Bruins kick off their regular season Wednesday, October 5th against the Nashville Predators. The Celtics open the NBA season Tuesday, October 17th against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On the Red Sox clinching the division this year versus last year
Kevin Paul DuPont: If you remember, in 2011 they won with some intimidation. They were a big, broad team, intimidating people with strength and power. And they played very defensively as well. Well, they don't have [that] personnel anymore. They are going to, as I say, the current template, which is speed. And they're not calling it a transitional year, but the truth of it is that's what it is. They're washing out what they were and they're bringing in some speed and it's all well and good to say it [but] it still has to win.
"I always say it's a winner's town – whichever team has a chance to win a championship."Chris Gasper, on what kind of sports town Boston is
On Bruins' rookie Anders Bjork
Kevin Paul DuPont: This is a kid who does have game-breaking speed and they haven't had that. Now, he's got to integrate with guys who are quick but they're not that. Russ Cornall with Toronto had blazing speed nobody could keep up with it. So it becomes almost a useless skill. There are guys who play really fast and every other skill breaks down. That's not the case with this kid. [But] they run a risk here because the top line worked with [David] Pastrnack up there. So it is a classic case of trying to redistribute the offense and seeing if they are going to line up.
On whether the Bruins can steal some spotlight from the Pats, Sox, and Celts
Chris Gasper: People always ask me, 'What kind of sports town is Boston?' And I always say it's a winner's town – whichever team has a chance to win a championship.
Kevin Paul DuPont: Absolutely. And I think if the trend in Foxborough is what we're seeing here at the moment we could see that get tested again. People forget [the Pats] only had 20,000 people in the stands before the current Mecca was built. And, frankly, I think it's the dollar dynamic that drives it. You just can't go [to games] for a buck or two anymore. If you're in, you're all in. And if you're all in, you want it to be a good product.
"He's going to have nights where he looks like a kid. He's also going to have nights where he scores 15 points in 12 minutes."Chad Finn, on Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum
On how quickly the new-look Celtics will gel
Chad Finn: Kyrie Irving is a dominant All-Star type of player. Gordon Hayward is a dominant All-Star type of player. But they haven't played together yet. Their first preseason game was Monday night and they have some kinks to work out. So it might take a while but I tend to think it's going to happen quicker than people realize.
On the expectations Kyrie Irving entering this season
Chris Gasper: I'm going to be honest with you, Kyrie Irving is my favorite player in the NBA. I love watching him play. He's an artiste in the air. He can do things that no one else in the league at his size can do. But there is some risk here for Kyrie because he has to come here now and deliver. Not only is he separating himself from LeBron James, a generational talent, but he's replacing Isaiah Thomas and Isaiah Thomas was the focal point of the renaissance of the Celtics. So the expectations for Kyrie Irving are sky high.
On what to expect from rookie Jayson Tatum
Chad Finn: I'm not so certain on Tatum right away. He's getting rave reviews as a kid they took with the third pick in the draft. Paul Pierce comparisons. Al Horford is talking about him like he's going to be a really important player right away. But you saw him get pushed around in summer league a little bit. He's going to have nights where he looks like a kid. He's also going to have nights where he scores 15 points in 12 minutes.