Instead of going through a usual roundup of predictions, let’s spice things up a little bit with some over/unders on key categories and players for the Celtics play in seeding games over the next three weeks.
20 Point per Game Scorers in Bubble
This comes down to three guys really since Kemba Walker’s minutes limit should preclude him from hitting 20 points per game before the postseason. Jayson Tatum should be a lock for this as the No. 1 scorer on the team for the year but after that it’s hard to envision both Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown both pulling off this hefty feat on a nightly basis. I’d expect Brown to have the inside track early on in this category based on how good he has looked during camp and the C’s scrimmages with Hayward clocking in at the 17-18 ppg range.
Seeding Games Played by Kemba Walker
There are a couple of gimmes in this category when it comes to games missed. Walker will sit out the back-to-back against the Nets presumably (since the C’s will want him for the first leg against the Heat). I’m also going to presume that the C’s final seeding game against the Wizards will be relatively meaningless when it comes to the East playoff standings, making that a candidate for Walker to rest (perhaps with other Celtics starters). So the question is now will Walker’s knee hold up over the other seeding games? Based on the limited minutes plan the Celtics training staff has him on, my answer is yes. They are playing it safe and that tactic should pay off with no setbacks. The one wildcard factor: If C’s get locked into the No. 3 seed extra early with 2-3 games left, there may be some incentive to rest Walker for multiple games. However, I think at that point the C’s would be better off getting his minutes load closer to where they want it to be during the postseason so he’s ready to go. I’m sticking with him playing six games.
Romeo Langford non-garbage time appearances
At first glimpse, it’s tough to figure out exactly where Langford is going to get consistent minutes within a fully healthy C’s rotation. Walker’s limited playing time should help out of the gate but Kanter/Wanamaker/Ojeleye seem like locks for their bench spots, leaving very few left for Langford and/or Grant Williams. However, it would be wise for the coaching staff to make getting Langford minutes a priority based on the impending situation this postseason where Hayward could miss several games upon leaving the bubble due to the birth of his son. Brad Stevens needs to find who he can rely on upon spreading around Hayward’s minutes in that scenario and giving Langford some run in these seeding games will be a good test on that front.
3-point shooting percentage from Celtics supporting cast
Over/Under: 35 percent
A big part of rotation choices this postseason involving players on Boston’s bench will come down to two things for