3 way too early bold Celtics predictions for 2022-23 NBA season
After a disastrous beginning to last season, the Boston Celtics rebounded in a major way. They posted the best record ever (51-31) for a team that was under .500 (20-21) halfway through the season and nearly won it all. While the C’s fell two games short of winning the NBA Finals, the 2022-23 NBA season will be a fresh start for Boston in its search for an elusive 18th championship. For the most part, the same squad that made a deep run in last year’s playoffs is back, assuming a big Kevin Durant trade is not made. The Celtics did not lose any major talent, yet rather gained new assets, so the expectations in Beantown are high for next season. Although the actual start of the regular season is still months away, it’s never too early to predict what might unfold. Here are three bold predictions for the Celtics ahead of the 2022-23 campaign: Boston Celtics 2022-23 Predictions 3) Malcolm Brogdon wins Sixth Man of the Year The biggest addition of Boston’s offseason was undoubtedly former Rookie of the Year and near-All-Star Malcolm Brogdon. Following a trade with the Indiana Pacers, the Celtics landed the 29-year-old guard who is both offensively and defensively gifted. He provides the C’s with more point guard depth due to his passing and playmaking ability, however, that does not mean he’s going to start. According to reports from the Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy, Boston sees Brogdon as a sixth man and will likely start Marcus Smart at point guard. While it cannot be confirmed how things will play out, Brogdon has averaged more than 10 points per game for every season of his six-year career no matter the minutes, so there’s no reason to think he won’t thrive in any playing time situation. If Brogdon does indeed come off the bench, he still has the talent to score and defend at an elite level, making him an easy choice for a potential Sixth Man of the Year. The only thing standing in the way of him and this award is a nagging injury history, but hopefully he’ll avoid the injury bug during his inaugural Celtics season. 2) Jayson Tatum wins MVP The 2022 NBA Finals were not kind to Jayson Tatum, and he received more than his fair share of criticism for his underwhelming performance. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t capable of bouncing back during the 2022-23 season and taking home the league’s most prestigious regular-season award. Tatum had a fantastic regular season despite what happened against the Golden State Warriors in the Finals. His averages of 26.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists were all career-high marks, and that was enough to earn him All-NBA First-Team honors. Furthermore, he led the Celtics during their excellent second half of the season and even received MVP votes when all was said and done. It won’t be easy to piece together another MVP-caliber regular season, yet the 2022-23 campaign comes with an interesting change for Tatum: he has rarely had this much rest heading into a new season. In 2019, he spent his summer playing in the FIBA Basketball World Cup for Team USA. During the summer of 2020, he played in the NBA bubble, where Boston fell to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. The following year, he helped the United States grab the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. This offseason, he was told to vacation and hasn’t played basketball at a high level at all, unless you count his defense on his son Deuce. Jayson Tatum just sent Deuce’s shot to another area code (via @justlobs) pic.twitter.com/cnlIZY4LGq — Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 5, 2022 Summer camps aside, Tatum is coming into the new season more rested and motivated than ever. With that in mind, an MVP season for the young star is not out of the question. 1) The Celtics surpass the 2021-22 win mark and return to the Finals As mentioned before, the Celtics’ 51 wins last season were impressive given their terrible start. For the new and improved C’s, it shouldn’t be that tall of a task to go above .500 halfway through the season. With returning stars and a revamped roster, it’s more than possible for Boston to have a good start and reach an even better win count. A well-rested Tatum, an angry Jaylen Brown (due to all the rumors), a newly acquired Brogdon, a DPOY-winning Smart and a returning frontcourt featuring Al Horford and Robert Williams III make for a solid rotation. The Celtics undeniably got better since the Finals, so it’s not unbelievable to think that they can make it back again. While reaching the Finals is easier said than done, Boston also has a bolstered bench with sharpshooter Danilo Gallinari and high-flying rookie JD Davison. So, with added depth and more strength at a once-weak point guard position, there is plenty of hope for another lengthy playoff run from the Celtics. Whether or not a repeat Finals run in the Celtics’ 2022-23 season will result in a championship is the real question. But, if there was ever a championship window for the C’s, it is right now. The post 3 way too early bold Celtics predictions for 2022-23 NBA season appeared first on ClutchPoints.