Despite end-of-season tumult, ESPN projects top seed Celtics East


The Boston Celtics are expected to win 53.9 games this season according to ESPN’s Kevin Pelton’s statistical projections (see the full article for his methodology). Good enough for the best record in the NBA Eastern Conference standings for the 2022-23 season, it should be noted that this modeling of course does not take into account the impact of the suspension of head coach Ime Udoka .

But there is reason to argue that the suspension may not matter so much for how the team fares this season, as well as the health of several frontline players at the start of the season. the upcoming campaign — at least, if Pelton’s modeling accurately predicts how Boston’s campaign will play out.

Noting that even without Danilo Gallinari and Robert Williams III, Pelton writes that “the Celtics have a rock-solid top seven with the addition of Malcolm Brogdon.”

“Additional injuries are a concern with Boston’s depth shrinking rapidly,” he suggests, “but the team has the best projection in the NBA with more than four wins after finishing 2021-22 with the second-best league point differential and reached the NBA Finals.”

High expectations, sure, but the statistical models Pelton relies on emphasize the tangible aspects of what drives NBA wins, like uptime and previous performances.

Could these models paint a more accurate picture of the upcoming season than some of the worries Boston might face? We’ll have to see the games played to find out, but with pre-season starting on Sunday, the start of that process isn’t that far off.

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