It is very hard to try to predict how a player will translate their game from their college careers to the pro’s. Some players who had mediocre college careers trend upward to having a great professional career in the NBA. Some athletes go on from being the best player in college to being a bust in the NBA, so deciding how a player out of college or coming from overseas and performing in the NBA is a very difficult task, and I am here for it. This is the third and final installment in which I will discuss what I expect from the Celtics rookies and the team’s expectations as a whole.
There are many rookies that will be on the Celtics roster at one point or another this year. But there is one player in particular that will see the court the most this year. I believe Romeo Langford will be a vital part in the Celtic’s season this year.
I predict that Langford, the 14th overall pick in this past draft, will receive a good chunk of minutes off the bench. Just like most of the rookies that I will talk about I do not expect huge numbers from them, and with that said I think Langford will only average around seven to nine points on only decent percentages from the field.
In college he was not the best three point shooter averaging 27 percent from beyond, and I do not believe he will come into the season improved. I would like him to get a fair amount of shots in games to see what he can provide for the team.
Another young player that should see the court a few minutes a game is Grant Williams. There was a large amount of hype coming from the fans who watched the Summer League games Williams played in. Fans are excited to see the young forward thrive in the NBA. But, from what I have seen from the Summer League and from College I believe he will struggle in his first year with the team.
He has the talent to grow in the league but the style of play that he provides right now is not very impressive. I can see him playing a large role on the boards and defensive end off the bench in the few minutes that he will receive in the start. Williams’ role on the team will be mirrored as a Draymond Green type, playing gritty basketball and doing the utmost and everything for the team’s success. On the offensive end, he will be used mostly for pick and roles, and the majority of his points will come off of corner three’s, fast breaks in which he is running ahead of the group or offensive rebounds.
Carsen Edwards is the final rookie that will probably see consistent minutes on the roster. Edwards had a phenomenal Summer League run with the Celtics, providing incredible scoring in every game. I am not expecting him to copy that during the NBA season, I do not even expect him to average more than seven to eight points a game for the team. But I have the highest praise for this player and I would like to see him get every single garbage time minute this season for him to score the ball.
I hope that he can shoot over 40 percent from the field, and 35 percent from beyond the arc in his first year with the team. I would not be surprised if he becomes one of the rookies the Celtics have this year breakout into a player that they can rely on, and receive heavy minutes off the bench because the Celtics were awful last year on the offensive end, and Edwards is a tremendous shooter who can create his own shot. The talent that Edwards provides on offense is the reason why he can flourish on this years team if given the right development and opportunities.
There are a few players that will be in and out of the team’s roster as well such as Tremont Waters, Tacko Fall, Max Strus, and Devonte Green. These four players will not see the court very often, especially early in the season and most of their days will either be in the G-League or warming up the bench, but this is all learning experiences for these young guys.
All seven of them will be learning the ins and outs of the league seeing what they need to do for the team and its culture finding a role for themselves. As I have mentioned, I can not give these rookies expectations, but I can expect them to take the best out of their situation.
As for the whole team I have thought of some goals that I will be looking out for as the season is in play.
The first goal is that I expect the team to play more team oriented ball. I want players such as Tatum, Brown and Hayward to take reasonable shots this year. Last year, especially towards the end of the year and in the playoffs multiple players took unnecessary threes and mid range attempts to feed themselves. If the team can lower these terrible shots, fans will see better basketball.
Another goal that I have for this team, is to not focus on outside players and to focus on their youth. Players such as Tatum and Brown should be the teams two main players. Now with that said I do not expect them to be the leading scorer for the team but both of these players should receive close to the same amount of shot attempts and plays that run through them just as much as Walker would get.
As for expectations in the win column, I predict roughly the same amount of wins last year, but I am feeling really positive about this team and with saying that I believe the team will win three more games, going 52-30. I can not predict what seed that will land them, whether it will be the first seed in the East or the sixth.
This Celtics team is not a certain Eastern Conference final contender but should be able to bypass the first round of the playoffs. I will be very disappointed in the team if they have the same result as last year in the playoffs, losing by considerable numbers in the second round. If the team can show fight in the second round of the playoffs then I will consider this year a success.