Kyrie Irving is healthy, motivated and ready to lead the Boston Celtics to their first NBA championship since 2008.
The five-time All-Star's season was ended in March after two procedures on his problematic left knee and missed the Celtics' run to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Irving has been pushing himself hard during the offseason and believes he can take his game to a higher level in his second term with Boston.
"I'm moving completely differently," Irving told ESPN.
"I've worked on my strength and have a heightened awareness of what my body needs on a day-to-day basis. I spent all summer trying to get my left leg to catch up with my right. And it's there.
"Now when I go to the rim I'm able to maintain my strength and athleticism, so when I get under there I have all sorts of options. No limitations. I can pick my spots. It's a lot better."
In addition to the return of Irving, star forward Gordon Hayward is back and healthy after his horrific ankle injury suffered in last year's season opener.
The fact the Celtics made it to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals without their two stars has the team's hopes high for an even better finish to the upcoming season.
"Can we beat Golden State in a seven-game series? Yes," Irving said.
"Because of who we have and what we're establishing here, not just for this season, but for hopefully for the next few years, something that's pretty special.
"I've played against Golden State in three straight Finals [2015-17] - two that I was able to participate in.
"I've seen them up close. I've played them so many times … I know what it takes."
19. Dezember 2018
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|Solskjaer to United: Bayern mute Champions League Twitter to avoid 1999 footage|
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|Jones and Humphreys to assist incoming Wales head coach Pivac|
|I have nothing to say - Mourinho muted on Manchester United exit|
|Gallen defiant amid Sharks crisis|
|Solskjaer to United: Cardiff stint not relevant to Old Trafford challenge, says Berg|
|Manchester United´s on-field results must improve to maintain commercial strength - sports finance e|
|Rashid and Carey inspire winning start for Strikers|
|Solskjaer to United: Phelan to continue Mariners role during coaching stint|
|Malone: Jokic an MVP contender|
|Solskjaer to United: Returning heroes - the hits and misses|
|Solskjaer to United: Ole´s best moments for United|
|Solskjaer to United: Club writing off two seasons with interim appointment - Fletcher|
|Allen´s LeBron block made statement - Atkinson|
|Solskjaer to United: Molde give blessing for their manager to take job on temporary basis|
|Dragons land Eels playmaker Norman|
|Black Caps tried everything - Williamson|
|Solskjaer to United: Red Devils´ interim boss in numbers|
|Solskjaer to United: Other Ferguson pupils who became teachers|
|Manchester United appoint Solskjaer until end of season|
|Kane a doubt for north London derby|
|Mourinho sacking changes things – Tuchel|
|Nets top Lakers in Brooklyn, extend winning streak to six games|
|LeBron on Lakers potentially acquiring Davis: That would be amazing|
|Rain helps Sri Lanka claim draw against New Zealand|
|Mourinho had to ´take the consequences´, says Klopp|
|Ausilio: Icardi has offer on table, won´t be sold to Juve|
|Chargers lead NFL Pro Bowl selections, Brees named NFC starting QB|
|Pro Bowl 2019: Chargers lead NFL with 7 selections, Drew Brees named NFC starting QB|
|Savea re-signs with All Blacks, Hurricanes|
|Flanagan facing de-registration as Sharks, Tigers cop huge fines|
|Napoli rejected £95m offer for Koulibaly amid United links – De Laurentiis|
|Kovac feels for axed United boss Mourinho|
|Rabiot, we do not need you – PSG fans respond to wantaway midfielder|
|Guardiola hails assured debut from Man City youngster Garcia|
|He´s very happy at Tottenham – Arsenal boss Emery wants Pochettino to reject Manchester United|
|Rams sign RB C.J. Anderson|
|Good luck with the Red Devils - Norway PM´s message for Solskjaer|
|Pogba was ´dancing on the grave´ of Mourinho - Neville|
|Solskjaer set to replace Mourinho after Man United gaffe|
|City signing Steffen up to Guardiola´s goalkeeper demands, says Berhalter|
18. Dezember 2018
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|Mourinho? Ausilio dismisses Inter return after United sacking|
|Whyte needs to raise his game to beat Chisora again - Haye|
|Brussino leads late Tenerife rally as Venezia down Holon|
|Orleans 1 Paris Saint-Germain 2: Super sub Diaby sends holders through|
|Leicester City 1 Manchester City 1 (1-3 on penalties): Muric stands tall in poor shoot-out|
|Middlesbrough 0 Burton Albion 1: League One side reach semi-finals|
|Bologna 0 AC Milan 0: Bakayoko sent off as Inzaghi claims point against former side|
|Fortuna Dusseldorf 2 Borussia Dortmund 1: Bundesliga leaders suffer shock first loss|
|Rivera yet to make a call on sitting Panthers QB Newton|
|Pulisic would thrive in Premier League, but Berhalter expects Dortmund stay|
|Raptors coach Nurse fined by NBA for criticising referees|
|Solari ´loves´ struggling Real Madrid star Isco|
|Mourinho sacked: Pogba, Lukaku, Fred and his other Man United signings rated|
|Mourinho sacked: What does it mean for Manchester United players?|
|Ibrahimovic provides short-term pain, long-term gain for US - Berhalter|
|River Plate 2 Al Ain 2 (aet, 4-5 on penalties): Perez misses decisive spot kick|
|De Bruyne and Aguero back for City, surprise debut for Garcia|
|Uncapped Varun ´panicked a little´ after huge IPL deal|
|Replays scrapped for FA Cup fifth round|
|Pochettino readies big guns for Gunners|
|Ex-Wasps star Wade struggling with NFL transition|
|BCCI rejects ´baseless´ claims over Kohli-Paine ´banter´|
|Ibrahimovic re-signs with LA Galaxy for 2019|