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 was looking at some stats and was surprised to see that Kemba Walker averaged almost 26 points per game for the Hornets last year. I know they were an awful team, but I didn’t realize he contributed that much of the offense. The Celtics team he has joined obviously has more scoring options. I know he probably won’t average around 25 again, but will he lead the Celtics in scoring, or will someone else? I think it’s going to be Jayson Tatum. – Ryan A.
I got this question before the Celtics’ opener Wednesday night, a 107-93 loss to the Sixers in which Walker struggled (12 points on a Rozierian 4 of 18 shooting), Tatum was hit or miss (he was aggressive, but shot just 8 of 21 on his way to 21 points), Jaylen Brown was on pace to foul out in the first half (8 points) and Gordon Hayward played one of his better games as a Celtic (25 points on 8-of-15 shooting).
You can’t really take much away from that slog of an opener, though Hayward’s showing was certainly encouraging.
I don’t expect him to be their leading scorer, though. He’s going to score around 20 a night, but he’ll also be one of the main facilitators on offense. It will be either Tatum or Walker, and I think I’m going to go Tatum. Walker is a terrific offensive player, but he’s also conscientious about trying to fit with a new team and be a good teammate after what these guys put up with from Kyrie Irving last year.
Tatum? I don’t think he has much of a conscience when it comes to shooting, and that’s a good thing given the offensive improvements he seems to have made.
I bet both Tatum and Walker average in 22-to-24 points per game range, and it will be close. But I’m going with Tatum. Fire away, kid. The new guy isn’t going to harangue you like Kyrie did.
But what does everyone else think? Who will lead the Celtics in scoring this year? I’ll hear you in the comments.