Aron Baynes set to hit new heights as Celtics eye Championship

After entering NBA free agency in the US summer, the much-adored Australian centre Aron Baynes is back in Massachusetts with the Boston Celtics, ready to be a key cog in their title charge.

He re-signed with the Brad Stevens-led outfit over the free agency months and will fulfil an important role for the Celtics this season.

After the 2016/17 campaign, it was clear to see that Boston needed a rim-protector and a physical presence near the basket, gobbling up rebounds and providing crucial blocks.

The Physicality of the NBA

“The Physicality of the NBA” by  ( )

He brought with him steel, Aussie grit and Championship-winning experience to a side desperate to make it to the finals.

Signing a bargain two-year deal that came to $11m, Baynes adds leadership to a youthful, aspirational side that can now have their sights firmly set on winning a title.

Either starting on the court or off-the-bench, Baynes has already proved what an asset he is to Boston, gelling perfectly with the unselfish brand of basketball head coach Stevens has engrained into this outfit, which is 6.5 to win the title when NBA betting on bet365.

When it comes to the league’s most physically imposing centers, Baynes never backs down and makes big-men and swingmen think twice before attacking the basket.

The man-bunned mountain has come a long way since his days playing rugby league, only when he was 15 was he introduced to basketball. Though born in New Zealand, Baynes is a proud Aussie and has been a member of the Boomers’ last two Olympic Games squads, with Australia narrowly missing out on bronze in 2016.

Starting his professional career in 2009 for Lithuanian side Lietuvos rytas Vilnius, he bounded around Europe for four different sides before San Antonio brought him to Texas to play for coach Gregg Popovich and with legendary payers like Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.

aron-baynes san antonio spurs

“aron-baynes san antonio spurs” by  (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Baynes won an NBA title with the Spurs in 2014 and he’ll need to bring all of that experience to the Celtics in their quest to lift a title. He was one of the NBA’s top defensive players last season, and should dove-tail well with Al Horford again in 2018/19.

Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid at the Philadelphia 76ers caused Baynes problems last season, but who didn’t those two challenge? Baynes has the ability to go toe-to-toe with pretty much any forward or center in the league when it comes to sheer determination.

Baynes perfectly summed up the simplicity of his effective game, he told ESPN back in April, “My job is to try to make every shot attempt of the opponent’s as tough as I can.”

And that’s what he does with tremendous efficiency.

With Gordon Hayward returning after a campaign-ending injury during last season’s curtain-raiser, his arrival back in the starting five will be like a new signing. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown also have a year of development under their belts and should hit the group running with Kyrie Irving pulling the strings from PG.

Baynes has a big season ahead for the Celtics and is definitely one to keep an eye on.

The Pick and Roll Team

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The Pick and Roll was founded in 2014, and continues to strive to be the best platform for you, when it comes to Australian basketball news and features.

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