Last season was truly a terrific one for the Boston Celtics. They not only notched 50 wins, but finished as the one seed, and even overcame tough opposition in the Washington Wizards to reach the Conference Finals.

But, even with such success, there was still an element of disappointment on behalf of the Celtics. This disappointment stemmed from the fact that in the eastern finals, they got beat fairly convincingly, as the series ended 4-1. A sad end to a great season, that really emphasized just how far away they were from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Heading into the off-season, it was clear that the upcoming summer was a big one for the Boston Celtics, and the magnitude of the occasion was also notable for General Manager Danny Ainge. Ainge has made some key dealings, that give the C's more than a fighting chance against LeBron James' Cavaliers.

Off-season recruitments

The most notable of these dealings being the free agent capture of now ex-Utah man Gordon Hayward. Ainge simultaneously brought in an all-star talent and completed a Butler themed reunion, as Hayward re-connected with his college coach Brad Stevens.

The stats backup the Hayward signing as well. Last season he averaged 21.9 points a night, and shot 47.1% from the field. Very impressive, and in a faster system that Brad Stevens can cook up, I would expect his performances to escalate.

Another free agent man that the Celtics recruited was former Detroit man Aron Baynes. Yes, he isn't going to make the all-star team, but the depth he brings could be really valuable for Brad Stevens and his team. Especially when you take into consideration how many big's they have. The likes of Al Horford, Ante Zizic, Daniel Theis and now Baynes will provide safety at the Center sport for the C's.

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Baynes is a tough and rugged type of player, who could be a great bench option this term.

Speaking of tough players, the Celtics also picked up Marcus Morris, in exchange for defensive stalwart Avery Bradley. At first glance this trade may seem lopsided, as Bradley's two way skills make him seem like a better player. However, Bradley's contract expires this season, and considering he would most likely ask for upwards of $20,000,000, they wouldn't be able to keep him on. Not with big contracts such as Al Horford and Gordon Hayward, and a potential future big earner in Isaiah Thomas.

So, the Celtics spotted this and traded him away for a decent player. This player is of course Marcus Morris, a man who averaged 14 points last term, shot 33% from 3, and also brings solid intangibles such as tough defending and a high work rate. During the off-season the C's have brought in all star talent, and potential conference winning depth; both essential components in a title contending team.

Going's on around the conference

Another reason why the Celtics could become the beasts of the east is because of the activity of teams in their conference.

Over the course of the off season an exodus of talent has occurred, with Jimmy Butler and Paul George both going to the west. [VIDEO]

This weakens two play-off sides in Chicago and Indiana. Also, the solid contenders such as Washington and Toronto haven't strengthened as much as the Celtics have. Perhaps the most notable activity coming out of the east has been the man who wants out- as elite guard Kyrie Irving has told the Cavs that he wants to leave the organisation. If he is to be traded away to the place where he wants to go (San Antonio) then LeBron will be left to defend his conference throne, and with Hayward, Thomas and Horford all charging for the title, I'm not so sure he could keep it.

Overall, the Celtics have a terrific chance of going forward and winning their respective conference. They already have plenty of talented players, but with the addition of Hayward I would expect to see them build on last years excellent season. Of course, only time will tell if they have enough in them to beat Cleveland, but they're certainly in the right place to do so.