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Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, left, chats with Celtics general manager Danny Ainge during Boston Celtics practice in Waltham, MA on April 23, 2018.

Boston Celtics small forward Jayson Tatum has done a great job in his rookie season, leading the team to the Eastern Conference Finals despite not having Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward on their roster.

The Boston Celtics couldn't even get a chance to reflect on their Game 7 loss before one of their players started talking about getting paid for next season.

Danny Ainge tore apart the team that made the Eastern Conference finals a year ago, and then put together a new roster that came one victory from playing for an National Basketball Association title. Take his stat line in Yesterday's Game 7 loss as an example: 1-of-10 shooting, including 0-for-4 from 3-point range yet still managing a net-positive +2 differential while on the floor.

With Irving and Hayward due back, there are questions about whether there will be enough shots to go around for everybody.

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The Celtics' performance has led many to suggest the team might be better off without their two injured stars - Irving and Hayward. The team indicated at the time that he was expected to need four to five months to recover.

"Right now, they're young fellas and in order not to be young fellas they've got to persevere". On the flip side, Irving and Hayward need to realize that they don't need to come in with an "I'm-the-man" mentality.

Hayward broke his leg in the first quarter of the season opener and missed the rest of the 2017-18 season. He was ruled out for the rest of the campaign after undergoing surgery.

There was hope late in the season that Hayward may have been ready for a playoff return.

"Last year, we didn't know all that stuff was going to happen, but we do feel we have a bright future with this team", Horford said.


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