Season Preview: Boston Celtics

Who’s New:

Gordon Hayward*, Brad Wanamaker, Robert Williams

 

Who’s Gone:

Greg Monroe, Shane Larkin, Abdel Nader

 

What They Did Last Year:

For the Boston Celtics, last season was a successful run, especially when you consider the circumstances. Their biggest offseason acquisition in Gordon Hayward was lost for the season after a devastating leg injury in the first five minutes of the season, throwing both the mood and the trajectory of the team in a loop. Despite that, Boston went on to have some regular season success, including a 16 game winning streak. When it came to the postseason, the Celtics made their second consecutive Eastern Conference Finals despite losing Kyrie Irving for the entire playoffs. Boston got some major performances from their young talent throughout the season. Guys like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier made up for the production lost from Hayward and Irving. Tatum and Brown were both especially impressive, making major leaps in their early and bright careers. Even though the Celtics did not add an 18th championship in 2018, they may need to make room in their trophy case in 2019.

 

Vegas Over/Under: 57.5 Wins

Despite getting Hayward back and being in a severely weakened Eastern Conference, Vegas has only given the Celtics two more wins over last year’s 55-27 record. While Boston did not make any major additions in the offseason, just getting Hayward and Irving back to full health puts them into an elite class in the East. Based on the talent on the court and the structure provided by Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge off it, look for Boston to continue to improve in 2019 and be the first Eastern Conference Finals representative in the NBA Finals without LeBron James on their roster since 2010.

Prediction: 61-21, Eastern Conference Champion

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