After a playoff appearance last season and the addition of veteran free agents in the off-season, optimism for this years Boston Celtics has increased as the team prepares for their season opener Wednesday.

Boston will begin the 2016-17 campaign at the Garden against Philadelphia with a lineup that will look much different than the starting 5 a year ago. The Celtics have added skill and experience in the front court by adding David Lee in a trade and signing Amir Johnson who is projected to be a big double-double guy. Those two players should bring significant help for Jared Sullinger and Tyler Zeller.

With his rookie season in the rear view mirror point guard Marcus Smart has shown in the preseason that his game has matured and is more willing to be a distributor of the ball first in order to help the offense grow. His greatest strength will be on the defensive end of the floor where Lee calls him a game changing player.

Boston will play their first three games at the Garden with the Knicks and Spurs coming in after the 76ers.