How many games will the Celtics win this season?

Boston, MA - 10/18/2017 - (2nd quarter)  Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) puts up a shot as Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) defended.  The Boston Celtics host the Milwaukee Bucks in the team's home season opener at TD Garden.  -  (Barry Chin/Globe Staff), Section:  Sports, Reporter:  Adam Himmelsbach, Topic:  19Celtics-Bucks, LOID:  8.3.2508922496.
Celtics' Kyrie Irving puts up a shot Wednesday as Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo defends. –Barry Chin / The Boston Globe

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So Gordon Hayward is out for the year. They’d be foolish to rush him back anyway. But without him, how many games will the Celtics win this year and where will they be seeded in the East? Probably drops to the mid-40s, right? – Dave D.

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Agree that they shouldn’t hurry him back, Dave. It sounds like the surgery went well, there were no complications, and he should eventually be back to himself. My biggest worry at this point is that he has some sort of recurrence from rushing back to make some sort of late contribution this year. Just make sure he’s right for 2018-19.

As far as how this affects this season, had I made a projection, I probably would have put the Celtics down for a couple more wins than last year, something like 55. Now? I don’t think they dip to the mid-40s. There’s still plenty of talent and a great coach, and maybe they’ll have the injury exception to play with. So let’s say 48 wins and a top-four seed. Wouldn’t be surprised if they do better than that, though.

What do you guys think? How many games will the Celtics win this year, and where will they be seeded in the playoffs? I’ll hear you in the comments.

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