I have predictions. They are reasonably bold. Please read them.
- At least one game, Rajon Rondo will have a triple-double. Shoot, he could average a triple-double. He’s not going to play defense, he won’t shoot well enough to space the floor (we’ll leave him wide open), and he might not even be a net positive for his team. But make no mistake, he’s going to get some serious stats if only to mess with everyone on national TV.
- There will be a 4th-quarter shootout between Isaiah Thomas and Jimmy Butler. First there was Bird and Dominique, then there was Pierce and LeBron, and this is just the next generation paying homage to the past. Speaking of the past...
- Dwyane Wade will do something that causes a Celtics player pain (though hopefully not serious injury). There will be a heated scuffle between the teams. Rondo will conveniently forget to come to Wade’s defense. Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart will likely be involved somehow.
- Gerald Green will score 15 points in one quarter, probably the 3rd quarter of the 3rd game. He’ll score 5 the rest of the series.
- The Bulls will win one of the first 2 games in Boston. Everyone will flip out. Talk shows will have a field day. National talking heads will say “I told you so” and discuss the chances of an 8 seed upsetting a 1 seed. They’ll bring up the “TNT Bulls.” They’ll call the Celtics a “fake 1 seed” and patronizingly explain to us how the playoffs are different than the regular season. Then the Celtics will win in 5 games.
- (Similar and likely related) Al Horford will struggle in one of the first 2 games with a quiet game from a counting stats perspective. All his detractors will flip out. The usual complaints about his max contract will come up again. In the next game he’ll score 18 points, grab 9 rebounds, dish out 6 assists, block 2 shots, and make a game sealing defensive play. But some people still won’t get it.
- Jaylen Brown will have a strong series where his athleticism and fearlessness will make him a valuable weapon for Brad Stevens. He’ll throw down at least one rim rattling dunk (likely an alley-oop).
- Amir Johnson will be one of the most important players in the series and roughly 15 people in the world will notice.
- Paul Zipser will score 22 points in one game. Yup.
- At the end of the series, Jimmy Butler will be interviewed and he’ll go out of his way to compliment Brad Stevens and his coaching staff as well as the great group of guys the Celtics have that are playing like a true team. The rumors will begin immediately.
If any of the above predictions come true, I’ll point you to this article to say “I told you so.” If none of them do, I was just kidding.
Your turn. Add your own predictions below (or feel free to make fun of mine).