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Boston Celtics 2022/2023 Season Preview

The Celtics were able to deliver one of the more remarkable in-season turnarounds in recent history last season, after starting 20-21, the team won 31 of its last 41 games to finish 51-31 and as the second seed in the Eastern Conference. The questions for the Boston this season will simply be whether lightning can strike twice?

Arguably their biggest issue, particularly in the post-season, was a lack of genuine play-making and offense initiation from a lead guard. Marcus Smart tried to fill that gap, as did Jaylen Brown at times. Jayson Tatum, however, wore the majority of the responsibility on that front, and by the time the Finals rolled around, looked exhausted in moments against the Warriors. Brad Stevens and the front office brass pulled the trigger on a trade to bring in Malcolm Brogdon during the off-season, and on paper it’s the perfect fit.

Danilo Gallinari also joins the squad and though a recent knee injury may limit his impact, he provides veteran leadership to a still relatively young squad. Bruno Caboclo and Mfiondu Kabengele round out notable additions while the team also re-signed Luke Kornet and Sam Hauser.

Jayson Tatum (pictured) had to shoulder the majority of the play-making duties lasts season, which left him exhausted during The Finals. The team will be hoping Malcolm Brogdon can stay healthy and allow Tatum to play more off-ball. Credit: Sporting News

While the Brogdon deal on paper looks like a huge W for the team, it’s worth noting that Brogdon has had issues staying on the floor. Brogdon was technically injured (or at least on the inactive list in Indiana) to finish the season and he only appeared in 36 games for the Pacers as they put the cue in the rack to end the year.

Brogdon also has an issue staying on the floor, having failed to play 60+ games since the 2018-2019 season. If he’s healthy, the deal should benefit the Celtics massively, but if he continues to miss time, Boston will have to once again generate offense by committee until they can integrate him fully.

It would be remiss of me to not mention that Coach Ime Udoka has been suspended for the season, with Assistant Joe Mazzulla named Interim Head Coach for the 2022/2023 campaign. Mazzulla has been with the Celtics organisation for the past three seasons in addition to multiple G-League and other high level programs, and I'd expect that he wouldn't try to change the play-book or team philosophy too much after last years success.

Brad Stevens addressed the glaring issue with the Celtics roster in the off-season by bringing in Malcolm Brogdon, even if his injury history gives me reason for concern. Regardless, the Celtics have kept the same core that took them to a surprise Finals run last season and while I don’t expect them start as slowly as they did last season, I’m also not expecting a second lightning strike that last an entire season.

Ceiling: 1st seed

Floor: 5th seed.

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