Vegas Over/Under: 56.5
The Record Projection: 52-30 of fromal The Bet: Beneath with confidence
We are operating under precisely the exact same premise that led Vegas to place the over/under at 56.5 wins: Kyrie Irving is now a member of the Boston Celtics, because the onus is on the Cleveland Cavaliers to veto a trade that’s near processing.
Until that situation is resolved, we’ll be factoring in a changing of the guard from Isaiah Thomas into Irving, in addition to the departures of both Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic.
Boston went through tumult this offseason to enjoy roster continuity. Few members of last year’s team remain, which is always problematic in a league which has so many advantages gleaned from preexisting chemistry.
Talented as Gordon Hayward, Irving, Jayson Tatum along with another novices may be, they’ll go through an inevitable adjustment period that prevents them from working out with the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed.
Plus, we can not overlook what they lost.
Avery Bradley was a piece on the two ends of the floor. The best-case scenario for Boston is that replacing him Marcus Morris is a wash. But there is no way to replicate what Crowder brought to the proverbial table; the C’s were 11.5 points per 100 possessions better on the floor.
This group will be among the very best in the East, competing throughout the year for high billing. By the time the playoffs roll around, the Celtics could even be the favorites to advance to the NBA Finals and finish LeBron James’ reign of terror.
Just do not be surprised when they go through some tough times first.
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