Five bold predictions about the 2019-2020 Boston Celtics
Can you feel it in the air people? The National Basketball Association is BACK! And as Celtics fans, it's a rebirth, an opportunity to breath a sigh of relief after a tumultuous 2018-2019 season and look forward to a much more entertaining and exciting time. Whether the additions of Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter, or the eternal hype-train that is Tacko Fall, there's a lot of things to look forward to about the 2019-2020 Boston Celtics. So without further ado, here are five bold predictions about the upcoming year!
Kemba Walker Averages Less than 25 points
Walker averaged 25.6 points last season, good enough for 10th in the league. It's no secret that this year's Celtics team has the most talented roster that Walker has ever played with. In Charlotte, Kemba was expected to carry the offensive load in a way that maybe no other NBA star had to. With players like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Gordon Hayward, Walker will have significantly less pressure to be at his best every single night. Kemba will still average 20+ points and will likely still lead the team in scoring, but don't be surprised if his scoring average drops a bit while his efficiency and assists go way up.
The Celtics will make a trade for an established big man
THIS IS NOT A SHOT AT THE CURRENT BIGS ON THE TEAM. Daniel Theis is an effective defender who can stretch the floor, Robert Williams III is a athletic freak at the center position, something Boston hasn't had in years, Enes Kanter is a fiend on the offensive glass, and I will certainly be naming my first child after Tacko. BUT, this team is going to get absolutely bullied by dominant centers. Kanter is a defensive liability and Williams III is just too raw/inexperienced. They will have their moments, and will probably be able to hold their own against lesser competition, but if this team wants to make a splash in the playoffs they are going to need to improve their crop of bigs. Keep an eye out for Domantas Sabonis.
Carsen Edwards will be top-5 in the NBA in bench scoring
Last year when I did a predictions article I looked foolish when I said a Boston bench player (Terry Rozier) would win Sixth Man of the Year. But bless my heart I'm back again. Edwards is a flame thrower, a heat-check aficionado with thighs that could suffocate the sun. He also seems unfazed by the transition from college to pro ball and has never seen a shot he doesn't like. It may have been preseason, but not many NBA players are capable of a performance like this:
Edwards' height may impact him getting a lot of crunch-time minutes, but he has shown enough scrappiness on the defensive end to warrant playing time right from the jump. The kid can score, and I don't think many NBA second units are going to stop that.
Boston will shine on the national stage
The Celtics have 34 nationally televised games this season, ranking them seventh in the league just behind the likes of the Lakers, Clippers, Rockets, and Warriors. After spending his career in the
NBA wasteland that is Charlotte, Kemba is foaming at the mouth for an opportunity to perform on the league's biggest stage, and we know what Tatum and Brown can do under the brightest lights from their 2017-2018 playoff run. I see a 24-10 national TV record this season, and the Celtics will slowly start to regain their media darling status that they destroyed last season.
The Celtics will hit the over for wins, and surprise as the 2-seed
Las Vegas has the Celtics at 48.5 wins. That's six games back of the Philadelphia 76ers, and nine back of the Milwaukee Bucks. Not only will the Celtics eclipse 50 wins, 52 sounds good to me, but they will also outpace, wait for it, the Bucks for the second seed in the Eastern Conference. I think the Bucks will miss Malcolm Brogdon, now with the Indiana Pacers, more than they think they will, and that will lead to a big regular season drop in wins. Look for the Celtics to be facing off against the rival 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals in late May.
What is your boldest prediction for the C's this season? Leave a comment to let us know!
Follow Connor Casey on Twitter @Connor_Casey5
Photo via Nic Antaya/Boston Globe