Welcome to Boston.com’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through Twitter, Facebook, and email. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate. But you drive the conversation.
I know there’s the possibility that Trader Danny will make another deal or two, but right now the Celtics roster looks pretty complete. If this is the roster they start the season with, do you think it’s a better team than they had last year? Kemba Walker is a nice counter to losing Kyrie Irving, and it’s obvious they’re going to have better chemistry, but does that make up for losing Al Horford? Will they win more games next season than they did last year? – Dave G.
That’s a good one. They won 49 games last year, six fewer than in 2017-18 and four fewer than 2016-17, seasons that were far more enjoyable in the end.
Horford’s departure is being underestimated by a larger segment of the fan base than I expected. If I get one more email from someone who purports to watch the team religiously and then points out that all he did was score 13 points and contribute seven rebounds a game, I’m going to figure out a way to sentence them to a lifetime of watching Michael Olowokandi highlights. Some of Horford’s other talents were subtle, but most really weren’t subtle — his *obvious* savvy passing skills, his pick-and-pop value, and his defensive excellence and versatility. You saw this stuff. I hope you also noticed it. Enes Kanter is a nice pickup who will help the offense, but he is not a replacement.
(That concludes my final Give Al Horford Some Credit rant. Thank you for your patronage.)
I think they win more games this year. Gordon Hayward will be better, and maybe even a star again. Jaylen Brown puts in the work to improve. Jayson Tatum needs to put in the right work to improve. I believe in both of them. Kemba will be a terrific player and a unifier in ways Kyrie could not. I have no idea what to expect from the assorted bigs they’ve added or the rookies for that matter, but I suspect there will be pleasant surprises in there.
Put ‘em down for 51 wins.
But what does everyone else think? How many games will the Celtics win next season? I’ll hear you in the comments.