The Celtics have played 2 games and I'm already seeing some pretty classic overreactions and jumping to conclusions from fans.
One game was an easy win against a terrible (and undermanned team). The other was an ugly loss against a playoff team. The preseason started telling us some of the story, but most of the information gathered during that time should be set aside (unless enough of the trends continue during the season for us to draw conclusions from.
Everyone should understand the concept of small sample sizes. Jordan Mickey's 78+ PER probably isn't going to stand up when he gets a few more minutes. Amir Johnson probably won't shoot .667 from 3 point range (unless he stops taking them from now on). I'd love it if Isaiah Thomas would average 26 points per game but that might be a reach. Likewise I hope Evan Turner isn't going to shoot 25% from the field and hopefully Sullinger doesn't shoot 00.0% from 3 point land (again, unless he stops taking them right away).
So the logical question is "when is it safe to draw conclusions from the regular season? I'll say that there is no correct answer and my experience is that it is more art than science. In years past I've advocated waiting 20 games (roughly 1/4 of the season) only to abandon that effort halfway through. Some trends are crystal clear by the end of the 2nd week of play. Still, some trends really require a few more games to play themselves out.
So for my own sake, I think I'm going to wait roughly 15 games to make any definitive judgement about the team. Here's the next 13 games that will take us roughly one month into the season.
Nov. 1 San Antonio
Nov. 4 at Indiana
Nov. 6 Washington
Nov. 10 at Milwaukee
Nov. 11 Indiana
Nov. 13 Atlanta
Nov. 15 at Oklahoma City
Nov. 16 at Houston
Nov. 18 Dallas
Nov. 20 Brooklyn
Nov. 22 at Brooklyn
Nov. 24 at Atlanta
Nov. 25 Philadelphia
There are a number of tough playoff teams and title contenders on that list. It isn't going to be an easy month but we'll learn a lot about what our team is made of.
So before we jump to conclusions, let's see how they navigate this first stretch of games.