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Answering your Celtics questions - playoff predictions, team MVP, and awesomeness

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Everything is awesome! Everything is cool when you’re part of the team.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Chatownceltic43: What are your realistic expectations for the Celtics in the playoffs? Assuming Irving-Brown-Tatum-Horford-Smart-Rozier-Morris are healthy for the most part throughout? I may have green goggles but I really think we could make the finals and win a game or two. If not, at least make the ECF very interesting.

Assuming full health is a dicey situation at this point, but I’m pretty optimistic as well. On one hand, I don’t want to count out any of the teams in the standings behind us. Each one could be a difficult matchup in their own right. On the other hand, I like our chances against any of them, including the Cavs. The Raptors remain the biggest threat in my mind and I think it would be a great series if the two teams meet in the ECF.

Pushed to make a prediction I could live with, I’d say C’s make it to the ECF and lose in 7 games to the Raps.*

*If anyone gets hurt, even just a little bit, then I’m using that as my default excuse if they don’t make it that far.

oblivious457i: Who do you think will be the biggest surprise in the playoffs? (Could be a team, player, or coach)

Sixers upset the Cavs in the first round. Boom, roasted.

RobotBoy: What are best, worst, and most reasonable expectations for guys coming back?

Best: everyone is healthy right now.
Worst: everyone is hurt, season cancelled.
Reasonable: umm, I’m no doctor, but I’d guess Kyrie and Smart play in the first round and Hayward makes a valiant effort to play by the ECF but may not be cleared in time.

dylan&townes: Dear Jeff, who are the five best point guards in the NBA in your opinion?

James Harden, Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, and... LeBron James?

shiggins: As you’ve gotten older (as we all have) how do you feel that’s affected your fandom as well as the way you’ve run the site? Do you still see things the same way as you always have or has it changed?

Oh man, how much time do you have? I could bore you for hours on lessons learned. I’ll try to summarize.

I’ve found my time get more and more limited as I’ve gotten older. So I’ve had to prioritize a lot. I’ve basically ditched following any other sport closely (I’m a casual fan of all the Boston teams). Also, I’ve had to remind myself that basketball comes behind a lot of things (Faith, family, friends, career, etc.).

As a fan I’ve become a little less invested in each individual game but more appreciative of each moment - if that makes any sense. Basically I take joy in a Marcus Smart steal or a Terry Rozier III skying rebound more than I do a 20 point blowout win over a tanking team.

As a blog manager, I’ve focused more on giving other writers a platform to share their passion and voice and work on their craft.

bdoughty207: What do you think the odds are (if any) that the Celtics try to move up in the upcoming draft to secure a big for the future?

I think there’s a very real chance. Ainge has future assets that he can use to leverage in trade if he sees “his guy” in a spot where he can go get him. Of course, trading way up in the draft is usually cost prohibitive, so I wouldn’t count on getting into the top 5.

McHale32: Call me crazy but this season has been so much fun and brought so much enjoyment to me and my friends that I honestly don’t get worked up game-to-game and will take anything the Celtics give us this year in the playoffs as icing on the cake.

So next year is where I have questions…

Hypothetical: If the numbers dictate that the only way to sign both Smart & Baynes meant having to trade away both Morris & Yabu for nothing more than pick(s) and salary relief, would you do it?

Yup.

mbetterthanyou: In a dreamworld, if both Davis and Kawhi were on the block this summer which would you prefer the Celtics go after and what would be the max that you would give up to get him?

Side note on Davis, do you think it would be better for Celtics to just wait out Davis and try and get him as a free agent rather than giving up good young players for him?

I’d take either one and I love Leonard but I’d prefer Davis because of the position that he plays. If you have a chance to get either player, you do it even if it is an overpay. If you don’t someone else will.

positivitize: What is the best All-NBA Injured team that we can put together?

Can you remember a season where so much talent has spent so much time injured? I’m not counting Irving as “injured” because I’ve convinced myself that Brad and Danny are rope-a-doping for the playoffs. Here’s what I came up with.

  • John Wall
  • Hayward
  • Kawhi
  • Porzingis
  • Boogie

DION WAITERS AS INJURED 6th MAN OF THE YEAR.

They really need to reduce the number of games played. Too many top guys missing too much time—everyone’s limping towards the playoffs.

You are missing Jimmy Butler somewhere in there but that’s a pretty good (but sad) lineup. Ban injuries.

StrengthIN#S: Who in your opinion is the most valuable player on the Celtics? I have Kyrie over Al, but a lot of people seem to think Al is our MVP. Thanks!

Boils down to your definition of “most valuable” I guess. I think Al Horford is probably our best two-way player and a critical cog in the Stevens machine. Meanwhile Kyrie Irving is perhaps our most impactful player just by his sheer force of will on offense. Ultimately I think Kyrie gets the edge but I love to carp for Horford so I’m giving him some love too.

BrothaDarknezz: What are the outlooks/possibilities of Rozier and Theis becoming starters in this league? And what does that mean for the Celtics?

Also if you think Theis has shown enough, could he be a home grown Center that we need and can build around or would he have to show vastly more, which might be tough given his advanced age?

I don’t see why Theis can’t be a starter for this team as he continues to develop. He gives you defense, energy, rolling to the basket, and even some 3 point range potential.

Rozier could get caught in a numbers game with Irving and Brown ahead of him in the rotation (and perhaps Marcus Smart if he sticks around). If he continues to develop and outgrows his bench role, a trade could happen (either to make room for him to start or to give him a new team to start on).

Meister24: At the very beginning of the season the Irving & Horford Pick and Roll/Pop was deadly. Maybe I am wrong but I didn’t notice this the last few games (when they played both together). Am I wrong or is this play not the same like at the beginning. They don’t play it as often or is the opponent just better at defending it? (I watch every game, but I’m not an expert at noticing stuff like this)

Seems like the kind of thing that will always be there if they need it to be. Stevens is probably focusing on getting other players involved in those sets. I’ll bet we see it plenty in the playoffs (matchups permitting).

Dubes35: Jeff - You’re Awesome - That is all

if it needs to be in question form – Jeff – Are you Awesome?

A C’s question – If Kyrie is good to go for post season and we can get some version of Smart back – I still think we can survive the East – I think the Raptors are the biggest concern just from the point you will need to win game 7 in their building and we stink up there? Thoughts on the 18 playoff floor and ceiling – a lot has to drive on health and will Hayward be a wildcard entrant at any point?

Thanks for a great site and insights

See, I tell my wife that I’m awesome all the time. She doesn’t believe me.

I covered a lot of your other points in a previous question but I couldn’t resist posting your question/statement. Because it is so true.

celtiberian: Are Celtics going to match last year W/L record (53/29)? Will them surpass it?

Will they achieve any of the two objectives, while resting AH/KI/MS and JB? Meaning that they will rely in the same guys that lost closely to the Wizards in OT.

To equal last season record, they should go 6/6 at least, for the next (and season last) 12 games:

Tonight vs Oklahoma City

Fri, Mar 23 @ Portland

Sun, Mar 25 @ Sacramento

Mon, Mar 26 @ Phoenix

Wed, Mar 28 @ Utah

Sat, Mar 31 vs Toronto

Tue, Apr 3 @ Milwaukee

Wed, Apr 4 @ Toronto

Fri, Apr 6 vs Chicago

Sun, Apr 8 vs Atlanta

Tue, Apr 10 @ Washington

Wed, Apr 11 vs Brooklyn

In bold the games vs teams above 0.500. Though, there has been plenty of times when the Celtics have fumbled the most against the lesser teams.

Man, you put a lot of thought into that question. And I’m going to ruin it all by throwing my hands up in the air and saying “your guess is as good as mine!” I’m not great at predictions but in theory they should be able to beat bad teams even when they are undermanned. We’ll see.

CG74: Tatum - How good can he be? Is he a 14-16ppg player of a 20ppg player?

Wait, are we basing how good he can be on how many points he can get? Ok, his natural scoring ability lends itself to that, but I think he’s got the kind of all around game that can really take him to the next level. Let’s just say that I think he can be an All Star for the next decade or more. I’m a real big fan.

Blue Steel: You’re a manager looking to hire somebody to lead a team in your office environment. What player currently on the Celtics would you be most interested in?

Love this question.

I’m focusing on Al Horford as my lead Project Manager.

I’m putting Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum in the Management Development program.

Obviously Yabu is the intern.

David Anthopoulos: Bigs for next season—try to sign Baynes or Monroe or both, or go for a free agent like Dedmon, etc.?

Of course we already have Horford, Theis and Yabu under contract for next year, assuming no trades. Yabu may or may not improve a lot as a sophomore. I think he can, but it’s unclear. And assuming no Lakers pick this year.

Not expecting the Lakers pick this year and not holding out much hope for Yabu to develop too quickly, but you never know. We do have our pick so maybe we can find someone at the end of the first.

We could do worse than a 3 man rotation of Baynes, Theis, and Monroe if they all fit under the cap.

ItsNotLuck: Two questions:

1) What Celtics bench player will end up having the best career?

2) Would you rather be caught in a stampede of 100,000 Greg Monroes or 10,000 Mooses?

I’ll go with Terry Rozier with a slight edge over Marcus Smart if only because Terry is (probably) not insane. And I say that with all love to Marcus.

If I can dress up in an orange jumpsuit maybe the Monroes would mistake me for a basketball and take great care to box out and cradle me safely in their arms. I don’t trust those mooses. And why aren’t they called meese? Also I miss Bullwinkle.

Great questions everyone! Let’s do this again soon.