Boston Celtics

The Celtics’ breakout player will be…

The Celtic’s breakout player will be Jayson Tatum. Based on his better than expected rookie season, most expected Tatum to have his breakout year in 2018-19. He improved in many ways in his second year but didn’t have the kind of production and impact that many believed he was capable of. Look for an expanded role in the offense to unlock his considerable skillset this year.

It all goes wrong if…

It all goes wrong if there’s a repeat of last season. As much as people want to blame everything on Kyrie Irving, there were issues across the team with competing agendas and an overall inability to get on the same page. Removing some key personalities and adding Kemba Walker should be the answer. However, if those issues persist then the problems may run deeper than we thought.

What we’ll be saying about the Celtics at the end of the season…

What we’ll be saying about Celtics at the end of the season is “This team is a lot more fun than last year’s team was.” Expectations were sky high in 2018 and the team fell on their collective faces. Expectations have been dialed way back in 2019 and there’s a clear path toward exceeding those expectations. Just getting back to the underrated overachiever role will make this team so much more fun to watch.

Final prediction

Vegas puts the Celtics at 48.5 wins this season and I think they’ll exceed that number, if only by just a little bit. They are relying heavily upon young players (Tatum and Brown in particular) stepping into larger roles, Gordon Hayward regaining his old form, and a grab bag of centers filling the void created by Al Hoford’s departure. On the other hand, Kemba Walker’s leadership and style has the potential to make all the pieces that didn’t fit together last year finally fall into place.

Final prediction: 50-32

Jeff Clark (@celticsblog)