The Boston Celtics fell short last season, but are returning with even more firepower than before. In 2021-2022, the Celtics were just two games away from an NBA title. This offseason, Brad Stevens and the rest of his front office did all they could to ensure that the Celtics can return this season, and go beyond the results of last year. Boston made no splashes but added two players who will contribute a great deal in the 2022-2023 season.
Boston Celtics 2022-2023 Season Preview
The Celtics big move of this offseason was dealing for point guard Malcolm Brogdon of the Indiana Pacers. The full trade is as follows:
While the Celtics have no glaring issues, Brogdon can instantly help out. The former rookie of the year averaged 18.9 points per game over his three seasons in Indiana. Before then, he played three seasons on the Milwaukee Bucks, where he was a key bench player in their playoff appearances.
As a Celtic, Brogdon will be expected to fill a similar role from the past. Brogdon has always been a premier facilitator, averaging 6.3 assists as a Pacer. This elite level of distribution will aid the Celtics’ hopes for another title this season, and will also take some of the distributing load off of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, the Celtics’ dynamic duo.
The other newcomer to Boston this season is Danilo Gallinari. The Italian forward has played on many NBA teams over his 15-year NBA career, but he has most recently played on the Hawks. While in Atlanta, Gallinari averaged 11.7 points per game, while shooting 43% from the field.
Over the summer, Gallinari played for his home country of Italy in multiple games of the FIBA World Cup Qualifier. Tragically, Gallinari sustained a torn ACL in his left knee while playing against Georgia on August 27. This is the second time he has torn this ACL. The previous occurrence kept him from playing for the entire 2013-2014 season. This injury is obviously a large setback, and could potentially result in Gallinari missing this entire season.
Boston Celtics 2022-2023 Expectations
Last year, Boston outdid their expectations by a mile. The team that many had doubts would even make the playoffs, found themselves winning big game after big game and series after series. Despite falling in the NBA finals to the Golden State Warriors, Boston’s season was nothing short of remarkable. And especially with most of the roster returning, the Celtics are ready to do it again.
But will they be able to?
On their path to the finals last season, the Celtics swept the Nets. But with a restructured roster, and the star power of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Nets could give Boston a run for their money.
The Celtics defeated the Milwaukee Bucks last season, but this series was close through the final minutes of Game 7. The Bucks have already won the title with a roster very similar to this one, and in this season, there won’t be much stopping them.
The Miami Heat also fell to the Celtics, but in a closely contested game seven. Despite missing out on both Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell this offseason, the Heat will remain difficult to beat, and could potentially thwart the Celtics’ hopes of returning to the Finals.
No matter how much Boston hopes to return to the Finals, the path will be even more difficult than last year. The Celtics want to show the rest of the league that last year was not just a fluke, and the pressure is on them to prove it.