ESPN has rolled out their projected win/loss records and standings for the 2019-20 NBA season. If their model proves to be accurate, Celtics fans will be pleased.
The C's are listed as the second-best team in the Eastern Conference, according to ESPN's RPM (real plus-minus) projections. They're projected to finish with 47.2 wins while the Milwaukee Bucks come out on top with 50.7.
ESPN gives Boston a healthy 94-percent chance of making it into the playoffs.
Here's everything ESPN's Kevin Pelton had to say about the Celtics:
The Celtics are one of four teams projected by RPM to rank in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive rating, something they quietly pulled off last season despite underperforming expectations. With the departures of Aron Baynes and Al Horford, defense could be the greater challenge, but Boston has strong defenders on the perimeter, led by NBA All-Defensive first-team pick Marcus Smart.
Predicting the Celtics to finish two games off last year's regular-season pace is fair considering the departures of Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, and Aron Baynes. But the acquisitions of star guard Kemba Walker and big man Enes Kanter have sparked optimism in Boston heading into the new season, and ESPN's projections reflect that.
It'll likely be a dogfight between the Celtics, Bucks, and Philadelphia 76ers (46.8 projected wins, 95-percent playoff chance) in the Eastern Conference this year. It's a wide-open field now that Kawhi Leonard has taken his talents to the Los Angeles Clippers.
As for how ESPN projects the Western Conference panning out, the Houston Rockets (53.7 wins), Denver Nuggets (53.3) and Los Angeles Lakers (47.9) hold the top three spots.
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