CSN recently ran a Twitter poll asking Celtics fans to predict how many games the C’s will win this season. After combing through the data, we’ve come to some startling conclusions. Of the 2,262 people who voted, 23 percent are haters (3 percent voted for 40-45 wins, 20 percent for 46-50 wins), 58 percent are afraid of failure (played it safe with 51-55 wins) and just 19 percent are true believers in the Brad Stevens doctrine (56+ wins).
How many games will the Celtics win this season?— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) August 17, 2016
As Tom Hardy’s character in Inception said, “You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling.” He was obviously referring to this specific poll, and the man has a point; however, you don’t need to go eight dreams deep to get it. This is pretty basic stuff.
With the edition of Al Horford, we can all agree the Celtics definitely aren’t worse than the team that won 48 games last season (although one responder wrote in a vote for 20 wins or fewer). Assuming that, the Celtics have all the markings of a team primed to take a substantial jump.
A look at how the Celtics have fared against teams with winning records and teams with losing records over the last three seasons shows the kind of growth young teams make before breaking out. Over the last 10 years there have been nine teams that won 56-plus games a season after winning fewer than 50. For our purposes, let’s remove the teams that added transcendent superstars in the offseason (2007-08 Celtics, 2010-11 Heat) and call it seven teams.
Six of those seven teams had a .600-plus winning percentage against teams with losing records the season before their spike in wins. Despite a few painful losses to terrible teams, the Celtics trashed bad teams last season, finishing the year 25-9 (.735) vs teams under .500.
You see, it’s science!
And finally, the Celtics are coached by Brad Stevens, the Optimus Prime of NBA coaches.
Need we say more?