What to expect with Celtics coverage as a BSJ subscriber in 2018

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since the Boston Sports Journal launched in July, I’ve been meaning to write some kind of a description/mission statement for our Celtics coverage. Something so our subscribers can know what to expect on a daily basis and some information that helps potential members know what they will be getting when considering whether to pay a few bucks a month to subscribe to BSJ on a monthly or yearly basis. The start of 2018 feels like a good time to write about this, and I won’t lie, a well-needed break in the Celtics schedule helps too.  

Writing this is important for me personally, largely because I was a pretty stingy consumer of online media until recently. I was the guy who would read the five free articles a month and went elsewhere when I had to subscribe to keep reading. Why pay for something you can probably get for free elsewhere? It’s a reasonable mindset to have and one that applies to a lot of sports coverage. There’s a ton of great free Celtics coverage across the Internet, and I encourage you to read all of it (while also subscribing to BSJ).

So if we’re going to ask you to consider subscribing to the BSJ for Celtics coverage (and great Pats, Red Sox and Bruins coverage as well) the least I can give you as a beat writer is a roadmap of what you’ll be getting and what’s to come in the months ahead with our Celtics coverage. What exactly can you find at Boston Sports Journal that’s (hopefully) worth the price of admission for you? Here’s a rundown:

1) A thorough game column or video breakdown every night: There will always be several posts on the Celtics every day (even on off days) but game nights you’ll always be getting a BSJ Game Report, and on top of that you’ll be getting a column. I’m never going to ignore the big storyline on a given night, but I’ll try to also write about an angle of the game that may have been under the radar. Last week it was Marcus Smart making plays down the stretch that don’t gain much notice. Last month, I advocated for Jayson Tatum to get more involved in the offense while the bench sputtered. The goal here is that you learn something on a nightly basis, whether it’s about the small or big picture, that you might not read about elsewhere.     

2) Coverage of what you want: Beyond the weekly Q-and-A sessions on all four teams/leagues where we answer any question you have, I’m here to cover what you want to read about. Whether it’s sending me an email or commenting, I’m happy to write more about what you want to read about. For instance, one of our commenters brought up a weekly “lottery watch” after I did a Sunday column on the 2018 Lakers pick last week. It got a lot of thumbs up in the comments, so it’s something I’ll be incorporating in my coverage for the rest of the season to help you keep tabs on the lottery race and the C’s future picks.  

3) Exclusive interviews and insight: A few examples of some of the interviews I’ve held over the past few months with Danny Ainge, Brad Stevens, Al Horford etc. On top of that, I’m always going to try to stay ahead of Celtics trends. For instance, the Celtics starting five of Irving/Brown/Tatum/Morris/Horford wasn’t playing well earlier this year collectively. The numbers made that easy to find out, but I wanted to give you more than the what. It’s just as important to know the why, so I dove into the video to diagnose some issues with the grouping and predicted that the Celtics might make a switch with their starting five soon. It ended up happening the next night (Aron Baynes has been starting at center ever since). I probably got lucky with that one, but that’s the kind of stuff I’ll be seeking out on a regular basis to make you a more informed reader.

4) Informed trade, draft and free agency speculation: The NBA is a great league when it comes to player movement, but it’s also confusing as hell with all the different trade and free agency rules that make up a complicated collective bargaining agreement. I’ve been studying it all for years and I still couldn’t give you an ironclad answer on every particular involved. With that said, I believe I have a pretty strong grasp on the important points and I’ll be communicating it to you on all things Celtics as they pop up.

On some other sites, you’ll get a post on any trade rumor that pops up (rumors = pageviews), even if there is a .01 percent shot of said trade happening. At BSJ, I’ll try to separate the realistic reports from the pipedreams and lay out the thought process of all parties involved when it comes to evaluating a hypothetical move.

Whether it’s writing about which players the Celtics can and can’t acquire with the disabled player exception, why Marcus Smart didn’t get an extension, which players would have to be moved for an Anthony Davis trade scenario to even be plausible, or knowing what the Celtics can and can’t realistically do in future offseasons due to their salary cap situation, I’ll be doing my best to explain it all in a digestible, entertaining way. It’s my job to know the boring stuff so you don’t have to, but you’ll have a better grasp of what’s possible and what’s not for this team as they ramp up their quest for another title by being a subscriber here.

5) A well-informed community of commenters to interact with: This has truly been one of the highlights for me as a writer (and reader of the other writers) at BSJ so far. If you’re subscribing to BSJ, you’re not only getting great coverage, you’re joining a community of knowledgeable fans to interact with. The comment sections on most sports sites are a wasteland of trolls, but those people are nowhere to be found at BSJ. Instead, it’s a lively back and forth between passionate and informed commenters. Ideas are thrown around among members, questions are asked and answered, it’s a great way to have an extended chat about the teams you want to read about. I learn new things most times I go into the comments, and sometimes the discussions lead me to investigate new things. We love interacting with our subscribers and getting to know you, whether you’ve been with us from the start or are just joining as new readers. Hopefully, we’ll find more ways to foster the relationships between writers and readers and to show our appreciation for all of our subscribers who have made BSJ possible. 

To close, let me just say I’m extremely excited to be able to cover the Celtics on a full-time basis for the first time in my life this season. Hit me up on Twitter or email brobb@bostonsportsjournal.com if you have any questions, and I hope you consider becoming a member here at BSJ or consider getting a subscription for a friend if you already have one. Most importantly, thanks for reading!