Kevin Pelton of ESPN wrote a piece last week projecting every NBA team’s win total for the upcoming season. Pelton’s projections aren’t based on what he thinks will happen, but instead uses Real Plus-Minus(RPM), a statistic measuring a player’s impact on the floor, and is unaffected by the value added or lost by that player’s teammates.
In this case, the Boston Celtics are projected to win 49.4 games. That’s good for the top seed in the eastern conference, and the sixth best win total in the NBA behind Golden State, Houston, San Antonio, Minnesota, and Oklahoma City. Pelton provides a brief explanation to why the Celtics would decline after a 53-win year with a seemingly less talented roster.
The Celtics being the, “Worst 1-seed ever” last season was attributed to the fact that their point differential was that of a 48-win team, which is a fair observation. I don’t agree with the description about the Celtics benefitting from opposing team’s shooting poorly from three against them because they have always defended the three point line well under Brad Stevens. They’ve been top five in the NBA in that stat in every season since Stevens started coaching the Celtics.
Another part of the Celtics decline in win total could be the fact that they have six rookies on the roster. Pelton stated in the article that rookies are given projections on their offensive and defensive ratings before they are added into the win projection. These ratings are typically low, and since the Celtics have six rookies, it could be a reason for the decline.
So what do you think? RPM is a very useful statistic in measuring a player’s value, but it stings for it to underrate the Celtics like that. Will the Celtics win total for the 2017-18 season be above or below their projection of 49.4?
Will the Celtics win more or less than their projected total of 49.4 games?
More than 49.4
Less than 49.4
693 votes total