Sports Q

Sports Q: What’s your boldest prediction for the Celtics this season?

The Celtics open up their season against the Knicks on Wednesday night.

Winslow Townson
Jayson Tatum looks to continue his ascension as one of the league's top stars this season and Ime Udoka hopes to build the Celtics as one of the league's top teams this year.

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Kind of lost in the shuffle of everything else is the Celtics opener tonight. What’s your boldest prediction about this season? Mine is that Jayson Tatum finishes second in the scoring race. – Tim C.

Hmmm, I like that question. I’m curious who you have beating Tatum in the scoring race. Kevin Durant? Steph Curry? George Gervin? I definitely think it’s realistic that he ends up in the top five in scoring, even with the emphasis on moving the ball.

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If you want one that’s really bold, how about this: Dennis Schroder ends up beating out Marcus Smart for the starting point guard spot. I wouldn’t bet on that happening – Schroder is on a one-year deal, while Smart just signed for the long-term – but there is a path to it becoming reality.

Ime Udoka clearly is going to make the players face consequences for their actions. Smart has already been punished once before the season has even begun, getting a one-game preseason suspension for missing a team flight. If he doesn’t play better than he did last year – and he regressed on the defensive end – and Schroder is rejuvenated after a rough second half with the Lakers last year, I could see their roles change.

As for one I actually believe will happen: Aaron Nesmith and Romeo Langford will be more significant contributors than Josh Richardson. Those of you who wanted to trade them for [insert name of moderately helpful veteran here] at the trading deadline last year will be grateful Danny Ainge didn’t listen.

Also, the Celtics will win 52 games and finish third in the East. Don’t know if that counts as bold, but it’s on the record now.

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What does everyone else think? Give me your bold prediction for the 2021-22 Celtics, up to and including trades for Ben Simmons. I’ll hear you in the comments.

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