The roster is largely the same this season, but this is a different Celtics world.

And it’s not just because Gordon Hayward is back after playing five minutes and a few seconds last year and Kyrie Irving is again healthy.

Even some who played the full season are new, or at least not the same as when last we saw them in the Eastern Conference finals.

One week out from their first game, the Celts are still trying to figure how improved people like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown may have to downshift to keep the car firing on all cylinders.

“Oh yeah,” Irving said. “I was talking to J.T. about this, as well as J.B. I mean J.T. wasn’t expected to score 18 last year. J.B. wasn’t expected to take 12 shots last year. Gordon was supposed to be our second scorer, and now you think about that whole triangle of guys and Gordon’s coming back trying to prove himself, J.T. is trying to be at that next level, J.B. is trying to be at that next level, so they all want to do everything.

“And at the end of the day we can’t all do everything, including myself.”

That would seem to be at least part of the reason why the Celtics looked so ragged in their four-game exhibition run, though the usual unsteady preseason rotation and treating the games like practices has an effect, as well.

LAKERS: There’s bad news for fans who thought they were going to see LeBron James’ first Bay Area appearance as a Laker on Friday in San Jose.

James was not expected to play for the Lakers when they faced the Warriors at SAP Center, according to an ESPN report.

The plan was apparently to have James play in just one of Los Angeles’ two preseason games against the Warriors. He’s scheduled to start Wednesday night’s game in Las Vegas as new teammate Lonzo Ball makes his first preseason appearance after knee surgery.

James told reporters in Los Angeles that the plan is for him to play just 15-16 minutes on Wednesday.

TIMBERWOLVES: Jimmy Butler is back with the team, and his first practice of the season had fireworks.

He caused them – with his words and his play.

Butler, who asked for a trade more than three weeks ago, practiced with the Timberwolves for the first time this season. ESPN reported that Butler verbally challenged players, coaches and even GM Scott Layden in the practice, during which Butler dominated the team’s scrimmages even when going up against stars like Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.

In an interview taped with ESPN after practice, Butler said “a lot” of the network’s report was true and that the scene in practice was him just showing passion and being “brutally honest.”

“All my emotion came out at one time,” Butler said in the interview. “Was it the right way to do it? No. But I can’t control that when I’m out there competing. That’s my love of the game. That’s raw me. Me at my finest, me at my purest. That’s what you’re going to get inside the lines.”

The four-time NBA All-Star said he warned Coach Tom Thibodeau before practice that he would let his emotions out if he played, and that’s apparently what happened.

“I haven’t played basketball in so long,” Butler said during the interview. “And I’m so passionate and I love the game and I don’t do it for any other reason except for to compete and go up against the best to try to prove that I can hang.”

Wednesday was the 23rd day of this saga that started when Butler told Thibodeau that he wanted a trade. Thibodeau has said the team will try to make Butler happy, but has cautioned throughout the process that Minnesota will only do a deal that it deems is good for Minnesota.

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