Fans sent in their questions about the Boston Celtics upcoming season, so I will answer a few of the best ones here!
Are Tatum and Brown each going to take another step forward in the game? –Ed Mcshane on Facebook
This will be the key to their season, Ed. Tatum signed his $195 million extension this off-season and is now the biggest name in Boston sports. He will be the #1 offensive threat to opposing teams, and will need to compensate somewhat for the loss of Gordon Hayward to Charlotte and Kemba Walker‘s injury.
The good news is Tatum’s numbers have increased every season of his career. In his rookie year, he averaged 13.9 points per game. In his sophomore season he averaged 15.7 points per game and last year he averaged 23.4 points a game.
I will get into Brown more in the next question, and although he isn’t the face of the team he is Brad Stevens’ second best offensive option and after that there’s a drop off in talent. Brown increased his points per game by seven last season compared to the year before. There’s no doubt he will need to do something similar if he wants to be on a successful team this season.
What are your expectations for Payton Pritchard, Jaylen Brown, Time Lord [Robert Williams]? — @EddyBuckss on Twitter
Payton Pritchard will get some playing time off the bench and Brad Stevens has mentioned how much he likes the rookie from Oregon. If he gets in a groove, he could get the most playing time off the bench until Walker returns.
As for Jaylen Brown, he is going to be key to the Celtics success early on in the season due to Walker’s absence. Walker and Gordon Hayward (who left in free agency) were two offensive threats but now opposing defenses can focus more of their attention on Jayson Tatum. That leaves Brown as an x-factor of sorts, especially when Tatum is struggling from behind the arc. Fans should hope that Brown continues to play how he did in the last preseason game, as he scored 16 points with four assists and four rebounds.
Robert Williams lll could get more playing time and have more of an impact in the first few games if Tristan Thompson can’t play. Daniel Theis started Boston’s two preseason games at center which left Williams as the backup. He played over 18 minutes last Friday and was 4/5 from the field with three defensive rebounds.
Will Tremont Waters play a big role off the bench until Kemba returns? —Bobby Smith (@RSpatsfan on Twitter)
This is an interesting question, Bobby. Kemba Walker won’t be starting the year on the court due to a knee injury so there needs to be someone who steps up in his place. Marcus Smart will likely get most of the playing time with the rest of the starters but after him, Tremont Waters will get a good amount of minutes off the bench.
Most coaches in the league like to play their final preseason game almost like it’s a regular-season game just to get players comfortable in their rotations, so their loss to Brooklyn should be a good indicator of what we’ll see in terms of minutes and rotations for Wednesday’s season opener.
In that game, Smart played over 25 minutes and Waters came off the bench and played 12 minutes. He was 3/5 and totaled five assists. As I mentioned above, Pritchard is another guard off the bench who will get some minutes, so it will come down to who is playing better at the time to decide who gets more minutes.
(Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP)