One ESPN NBA analyst’s model predicts Celtics to win the most games in the regular season

It's the second straight season Kevin Pelton's stats-based win projection has picked the Celtics to lead the NBA in victories.

One ESPN analyst's model favors the Celtics by a significant margin this season. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
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The Celtics have high expectations this season from fans and media alike thanks to their big offseason splash, along with their performance last season. But according to one ESPN analyst’s projection, they’ve got the stats to back up the hype.

Kevin Pelton released his stats-based win projections for all 30 NBA teams, and Boston came out with the most projected wins by a significant margin.

He projects the Celtics to win 54.3 games. The Cleveland Cavaliers are behind them (48.6), followed by the Milwaukee Bucks (48.5), Memphis Grizzlies (48.4), and Minnesota Timberwolves (47.7).

This is Boston’s second straight season with the most projected wins according to Pelton’s model. Even factoring in Damian Lillard joining the Bucks, Boston is still projected to win nearly six more games than


Pelton noted that, although the Celtics didn’t actually finish last season with the most wins, they did have the best point differential, “which is typically more predictive of future results.”

Boston entered the offseason with a goal to get over the hump with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Brad Stevens made some tough roster decisions along the way. Among the hardest of all was dealing away Marcus Smart. Boston also lost Grant Williams, Robert Williams III, and Malcolm Brogdon.

However, they gained two more elite players in Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday. The Celtics have made four Eastern Conference finals in the last six years, and one NBA final. But they haven’t reached their goal of hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy and bringing banner 18 to the TD Garden.

The Celtics will get a first look at their retooled lineup on Sunday when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers at 6:00 p.m. EST.


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