The NBA is coming back July 30 and not a moment too soon for basketball fans who have been deprived a proper conclusion to the 2019-20 season since Rudy Gobert’s positive coronavirus test March 11 that set off the worldwide cascade of sports league cancellations. Now, the NBA will look to finish what it started with a 22-team “bubble” at the Disney Resorts in Orlando, an eight-game finish to the regular season and four best-of-7 playoff rounds to determine a champion. We take a look at each of the teams involved as we move closer to the official return and today we’ll look at the Boston Celtics team in our Sports Intel preview:
Boston Celtics Team Preview 2019-2020 Re-Boot
(43-21, 3rd in East, 9.5 games behind No. 1)
Where we left off: The Celtics went five for five in their last ten games ahead of the pause in the action but, overall, picked up a few key wins – losing against the Brooklyn Nets in March in overtime wasn’t a highlight of the post-All-Star action. Injuries started to appear, and the team seemed to be in slight disarray. The suspension of games because of the coronavirus was most likely the best thing the Celtics could have had happen.
Remaining schedule: July 31, Milwaukee Bucks; Aug. 2, Portland Trail Blazers; Aug. 4, Miami Heat; Aug. 5, Brooklyn Nets; Aug. 7, Toronto Raptors; Aug. 9, Orlando Magic; Aug. 11, Memphis Grizzlies; Aug. 13, Washington Wizards.
Projected starting lineup: PG: Kemba Walker, C: Daniel Theis, SF: Gordon Hayward, PF: Jayson Tatum, SG: Marcus Smart
Key injuries, absentees: None (Walker is day by day)
Odds to Win Title: 17-1
Can they win it all? Celtics All-Star Jayson Tatum has proven to be a smart choice for the team, and his 29.9 points per game average since the All-Star break shows that he’s becoming a solid NBA player – especially from beyond the paint. He was picked third overall in the 2017 draft and has only continued to get better since then. Boston is fourth in the league in terms of offense, fifth in defense. However, in spite of Tatum’s performance, the team has slipped and needs to turn things around if they expect to take the championship. The talent is there, but the organization isn’t, and this will hurt the Celtics in the playoffs.
That concludes our team preview of the Boston Celtics ahead of the re-boot of the 2019-2020 NBA season in Orlando. If the team can stay healthy then they are in with a chance.