The Boston Celtics rebounded well from Kyrie Irving's departure by swooping in to sign Kemba Walker as his replacement. It was enough to get C's fans excited for the season that lies ahead, but a couple of computer simulations for the 2019-20 campaign point toward a rude awakening.
Marc Stein of The New York Times documented two separate simulations -- one from the "NBA 2K20" video game and one from the Strat-O-Matic game -- which point to the C's having a wildly mediocre season with Walker taking Irving's place.
With Kemba Walker in Kyrie’s place, alongside his fellow U.S.A. Basketball teammates Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart, Boston somehow finished 41-41 — and out of the playoffs — in both simulations.
Ouch. Not exactly what optimistic C's fans wanted to hear with the regular season only one month away, but these sims can safely be taken with a grain of salt. After all, the NBA 2K one had the New York Knicks finishing as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Other notes from the simulations include the Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks leading the East, LeBron James and Anthony Davis' Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA championship, and the Houston Rockets' James Harden-Russell Westbrook experiment working out in their favor.
While these computer models may be able to accurately calculate a team's talent level, chemistry is a different story. There's no question there are much better vibes surrounding the Celtics entering the new season with Walker taking Irving's place. The question is whether the C's can overcome the absence of his talent, along with Al Horford's, to make another postseason run.
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