Best case scenario:
- Kemba fits in perfectly and is an instant fan favorite and locker room leader; he repeats his 2018-2019 All-NBA caliber performance but with even better scoring efficiency due to the balanced cast around him.
- Tatum steps into a larger offensive role and provides consistent 20+ ppg scoring while getting to the line more, taking fewer mid-range jumpers, and generally playing with more sustained intensity and assertiveness.
- Jaylen thrives thanks to a role that stays the same all year and relishes being the lone intellectual weirdo on the team
- Hayward approaches his pre-injury form while reprising his point forward role from last year but with much greater confidence, consistency, and assertiveness. He scores 15-18 ppg with very good efficiency and excellent defense. Hayward hits numerous crunch time shots throughout the season.
- The young guys are surprisingly polished and ready to contribute, particularly Grant Williams and Carsen Edwards
- Enes Kanter averages a double double and isn't a complete trainwreck on defense.
All of the above happens and I would guess they win 50-53 games, feasting on the weak lower half of the conference. They earn the 3 seed.
The Celts beat the Nets in round 1. Kyrie is booed lustily in every game at the Garden.
The Celts face the 2 seed Sixers in round two. The fans cheer without reservation for Al Horford at the start of game 3. The Celts upset the Sixers in 6 games, closing out the Sixers with a balanced scoring effort from Kemba, Jaylen, Jayson, and Hayward.
The Celts play really well for the rest of the playoffs but fall short of winning a title. Nonetheless, they have a really great season, defeat some hated rivals, get major redemption for last year, and regain their aura of being a young team on the rise with great things to come!