Yup, it is about that time again. Time for me to make my annual silly predictions. I’m feeling pretty optimistic this year, so forgive me if I come across a little too giddy. ‘Tis the season for green tinted glasses after all.
every preseason prediction I've ever made https://t.co/pS87ZlI6Jp— CelticsBlog (@celticsblog) October 15, 2019
Gordon Hayward will win Comeback Player of the Year
I’ve said before that I don’t think Hayward will be back to All Star “Utah” level Gordon, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be really good. He’s still got all the tools, all the intangibles, and a great feel for what Brad Stevens is asking him to do. He won’t have as many shots as he did in Utah but that’s for the better of the team because he’ll have a better surrounding cast. Now 2 full years past his initial injury and with a full offseason to get right, he could have a sweet comeback year.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will be All-Stars
Book it. Few both have a lot to prove after last season’s failure to launch. Jayson is already walking with a swagger and Jaylen just keeps taking steps forward. Or should I say slashing steps toward the hoop. With bigger roles, developed skills, and a little more maturity (not to mention chips on their shoulders) they have the makings of twin breakout years. Admittedly the East is easier to break into an All Star roster than it is out West, but these guys are ready for prime time and the world will take notice.
Danny Ainge will NOT make a major trade during the season
Ainge is always on the lookout for top talent but the asking price on that top talent is so high right now. Look at what the Pelicans and Thunder got this offseason and tell me if Danny is willing to pay that price. Now that Beal is likely off the market, you might have to wait a bit to see the next major star force his way out of a team anyway. (Though I’ll keep one eye on the KAT situation just for fun)
I still think we’ll hear a lot of chatter in February and the Celtics will be brought up a lot. But ultimately Ainge will either settle on a lower tier acquisition (perhaps a center if nobody really steps up) or sit out the deadline entirely.
The Celtics will be back in the Eastern Conference Finals!
The underachieving Celtics of last year are gone. That means we can get back to doing what the Celtics should be doing. Overachieving!
With Al Horford gone, nobody is going to pick this team as-is to reach the Conference Finals. But Brad Stevens teams typically get better over time and I can see this group taking care of business in the first round and sneaking in an on-paper upset in the next round. We might be another year away from being a Finals contender (my optimism has limits I guess) but then again I guess you never know.
Your turn. What are your SWAGs for the season?