Boston Celtics NBA Team Preview and Betting Picks
TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts
Brad Stevens – Head Coach
2017 Record: 55-27
The Boston Celtics have been one of the best teams in the NBA’s Eastern Conference over the past two years but they have been prevented from getting past the Eastern Conference Finals due to two main reasons.
The Celtics have lost the past two years in the Eastern Conference Finals, to the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James and also due to a plethora of injuries that have plagued them.
The good news for Celtics fans is James is no longer playing in the Eastern Conference and the Celtics appear healthy, which clears the way for them to compete for a spot in the NBA Finals.
The Boston Celtics have had one of the best defenses in the NBA for the past 2 years but the defense has been stung by injuries which have forced them to adjust their playing style in the postseason. This year, the Celtics are looking to return to their defensive dominance but also add some offensive firepower with some key players returning from injury.
Boston Celtics Coaching
Brad Stevens is the Head Coach of the Boston Celtics. Stevens has been with the team since 2013-2014 when he took over the hopeless Boston Celtics. The Celtics only went 25-57 in his first year, missing the playoffs, but have since made the playoffs in every year under Stevens leadership.
Stevens has posted a record with Boston of 221-189 overall and has gone to the playoffs 4 times. The Celtics lost in the 1st round of the postseason twice and lost in the Eastern Conference Finals twice.
Stevens has not really coached in many venues over his career, only listing two Head Coaching positions on his resume, one in college with Butler and his current spot in the NBA with the Boston Celtics.
Boston Celtics Key Additions
The Boston Celtics didn’t acquire a lot of players in the offseason, mainly because they kept their team intact and felt that they had a winning lineup. They were the best defense for most of the year and still made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, even without star players Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving.
They did acquire some depth for their bench but for the most part, the team you will see this year is the same as you saw last year.
Robert Williams III – The Celtics went out in the NBA Draft and with the 1st round selection picked Power Forward Robert Williams III, from Texas A&M. Williams was the only draft pick that the Celtics had last year.
PJ Dozier – The Celtics signed PJ Dozier to a two-way contract. Dozier played 2 games last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder but spent the majority of the time in the G-League.
Brad Wanamaker – The Celtics signed Wanamaker on July 2, 2018. Wanamaker has spent the past 7 years playing in Europe and will bring a combination of experience and talent to the Celtics.
Walt Lemon – Walt Lemon was signed to fill the second two-way contract spot on the Celtics. Lemon will spend the majority of the season in the G-League this year as they groom him into an everyday player.
Justin Bibbs – Bibbs was signed as an undrafted free agent to play with the Celtics during training camp. It is uncertain at this point if he will actually make the team but the Virginia Tech prospect has the potential to become an average talent in the league.
Nick King – The Celtics signed King to an exhibit 10 contract. King spent the summer playing for the Lakers in the Summer League. The Conference USA Player of the Year played 10 games for the Lakers in Summer League.
Jeff Roberson – The Celtics signed Roberson to an exhibit 10 contract. The 22-year old’s contract can be converted to a two-way contract if he is kept past training camp.
Boston Celtics Key Losses
- Kadeem Allen – Waived
- Rodney Purvis – Waived
- Shane Larkin – Unrestricted Free Agent
- Greg Monroe – Unrestricted Free Agent
Boston Celtics Starting 5
The Boston Celtics will play small ball this year. They don’t really have that big man in the middle of the paint but will run with Al Horford, who is one of the top shooting Centers in the game. Their entire success revolves around playing tough defense.
Last year, they were the #1 ranked defense for the better portion of the year and I would expect nothing but the same. Their starting 5 is made up of the following:
Jayson Tatum (PF) – Tatum finished up the season 3rd in the rookie of the year voting. He was solid in 2017-2018 and should gain on the experience for this upcoming season. Tatum led the team in the postseason, averaging 18.5 points per game, which is a great sign for things to come. Tatum’s upside is tremendous and he could legitimately turn into one of the top threats on the Celtics this year, in just his second year in the league.
Gordon Hayward (SF) – Boston Celtics really didn’t get a chance to see just how good Gordon Hayward was last year. He was brought in as a free agent last year but played just one game, getting injured in under 6 minutes on the court, suffering a season-ending fractured ankle. The injury was gruesome to say the least and many felt that Hayward may not ever truly recover but he has cleared all medical tests and is back with the Celtics.
Hayward suited up for the first time on Friday Night, as the Celtics kicked off their preseason games. Hayward played 22 minutes and looked really good considering the injury he had. Hayward scored 10 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist in the game and showed no effects from the injury.
Kyrie Irving (PG) – Kyrie Irving came to Boston two years ago, after requesting a trade out of Cleveland Cavaliers so that he could lead his own team and not play second fiddle to LeBron James. Irving was injured last year towards the end of the regular season, after playing 60 games, and missed the entire postseason. In his 60 games last year, Irving
Jaylen Brown (SG) – Jaylen Brown came in last year when Hayward went down with his injury and was forced to step up his game. Brown averaged 14.5 points per game in the regular season and 18 points per game in the postseason. Those are strong numbers for a player that wasn’t expected to be a starter last year but grew into a important part of the team.
Al Horford (C) – Al Horford may not be the biggest player on the court, he may not put up 40 points per game, but what he does bring to the Celtics is a balance of being a great defensive player and an reliable scorer. Horford finished in 5th place for the Defensive Player of the Year Award last year.
Boston Celtics Bench
In addition to a very strong starting lineup, the Celtics will have a very strong bench this year. They resigned Marcus Smart to a 4-year contract worth $52 million dollars. They also brought back Aron Baynes for 2-years and $11 million dollars.
They will also have Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris returning, which gives them some nice depth off the bench and a deep roster in case of unfortunate injuries.
2018 Predictions and Betting Outlook for Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics have a great mixture of youth and experience, as well as a great offense and one of the best defenses. There really is nothing that stands between the Celtics and a spot in the NBA Finals. This team stands out above the rest of the teams in the Eastern Conference and if they stay healthy, they should be able to cruise to another successful season.
Our friends over at GTBets have made the Boston Celtics the 2nd choice to win the NBA Finals Championship. They are currently sitting at +550, which is actually a decent return on your investment. You can also play Boston Celtics to win the Eastern Conference Title, however, the return is not as strong, coming in at -125.
I’m a fan of playing the Celtics at +550 to win the NBA Finals Championship but I can’t see betting on them to win the Eastern Conference Title knowing they are -125. I will also avoid playing them to win the Atlantic Division, due to the same factors, where they are -125.
My final suggestion on betting the Boston Celtics is on the regular season win total. GTBets has Boston set at 58.5 games. For most people, they will avoid playing this because since Brad Stevens has taken over, the Celtics have never won 58 games. That being said, there are two factors that lead me to bet the over here.
First and foremost, this team is the best squad Stevens has ever had in Boston and if they stay healthy, they are going to be really good! This team has talent and they are young, so they are going to grow together as the season plays on, and don’t forget, they won 55 games last year in the regular season, with their 2 top players on the sidelines. Winning 3.5 more games with a full roster should be a piece of cake!
Second, the Eastern Conference is a much weaker conference this year, than in years past. LeBron James is now in the West and that means Boston should dominate Cleveland this year. Add those wins to their total and this team should easily go over 58.5 wins!
- Odds to Win NBA Championship: +550
- Odds to Win Eastern Conference Championship: -125
- Odds to Win Atlantic Division: -125
- NBA Regular Season Wins Total: 58.5 games
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