Enthusiasm for a season hasn’t been this high since the Big 3 came to town, but with some young studs, proven veterans and our second free agent in as many seasons, we have plenty to be excited about.   A lot of people feel that tipping the scales at 53 wins and the #1 season was an over achievement – so if the Celtics simply’ achieve’ how much more can we expect?  I hit the streets, Twitter, and my fantasy football league (they like the Celtics too) to find out fan predictions for the 2017 season.

New York Knicks v Boston Celtics - Game Six

BOSTON, MA – MAY 3: Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics and Kevin Garnett #5 exchange words in the final moment in the 4th quarter in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs on May 3, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics lost 88-80. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Survey says…

“I don’t see them eclipsing last years total in wins and am going to keep them at 53 wins.  The battle will be similar to last year between Toronto and Boston for the Atlantic Division with the April 4th contest between the two being deciding factor for who will see first Cleveland in the post season” – @JoshBeRube

“Celtics last season’s record was 53-29. The question everyone asks, though, did they improve that much this off season? The loss of Avery Bradley certainly hurts as he was one of our defensive bulldogs . With the addition of Gordon Hayward and another year of being with the Celtics for big Al , I can only see our record improving to what could possibly be a nice 58-24 record improving us by 5 wins. 60 is a big chance especially with how weak the East has become.  For the number one seed it’s a two-horse race between the Celtics and Cavaliers. As long as Lebron James is at Cleveland, he will continue to push and fight. In terms of playoffs, we look ready to reach the Conference finals in a replay against the Cavaliers. The Celtics look stronger, and our bench depth will become a big factor when we bring in the second unit and need scoring from the likes of Tatum, Rozier, Brown and Smart. We may be able to take Cleveland to a seven-game series but sadly going down 4-3 if the Cavs’ roster stays intact. Hold tight though, Bean town! The future is ever so bright and we can only look forward to what we have to come with the likes of rookies and even Boston being a popular destination for free agents to sign here.”  -@mitchphillipsbc
2017 Las Vegas Summer League - Portland Trail Blazers v Boston Celtics

LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 09: P.J. Carlesimo (L) gets ready to interview Jayson Tatum #11 of the Boston Celtics after the team’s 70-64 win over the Portland Trail Blazers in a 2017 Summer League game at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 9, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“57-25(53-29) +4 wins . The addition of Gordon Hayward gives the Celtics the scorer they need. Then a bigger starting lineup will give them a better chance to win the rebound battle. I imagine they will start off slow but their talent and having a more equipped bench than most teams – will allow them win while learning to play together.   Once they get on the same page, you will see short runs and flashes of what the team will be come playoff time. It may take a while, but once they are up and running they will be fine.” – @BlaiseG1991
“I’d like to be 52-30.  We’re a better team this year but getting some of the younger guys more minutes and time to develop is in the best interest of the team in the long run.  I think Stevens will play to that and we’ll be a better team come playoffs because of it.”  – Adam K
“I think the entire “net” will be three more games than last year.  Good for 56 wins, second seed.  They get to the ECFs and lose in six.  Not buying all the dysfunction in Cleveland.   Cavs are shooting for the best record and home court throughout the playoffs.” – Chris R
“They may struggle a little to start the season, as half the team has turned over, but will get hot late.  They will finish 51-31, to earn 2nd seed.  Brad Steven’s will experiment will different line-ups early, knowing that the team will have time to make up ground in an extremely weak Eastern Conference.  They will reach the Eastern Conference Finals, but lost to the Cavs in five games.  LeBrown is just too much to handle, ITs defense will again be an issue and three of the four Cavs wins will be by four points or less.”  – @williesteegz
“Celtics will be 56-26 and another 1 seed.  Got better adding Hayward and Jaylen Brown will take a leap forward with more minutes.  Tatum will provide instant scoring.  Teams also can’t focus on IT the whole time which will open up the paint and allow for him to get to the rack and either put it up or dish it to the shooter.  Cavs are in disarray and Kyrie is most likely gone.”  – @MatthewKusch1
I tend to agree with the folks expecting about 55 wins.  The team is more talented than last year, but as @Williesteegz said, half the team has turned over.  You can’t argue that the acquisition of Gordon Hayward and having one of the deepest benches in the league with overcome much of the “first-day-in-a-new- school syndrome” but it’s there.  All in all, the team has the talent, but we’ve seen talented teams underachieve in the past if they lose their identity.  Don’t forget, the C’s have one of their more difficult schedules in recent memory with 25 nationally televised games (If Rondo was still here, he’d probably have his best season) – for more schedule analysis keep an eye out for @JoshBeRube’s article later this week.
 Brad Stevens has his most exciting roster, but it’s on him to ensure the pieces don’t just fit, but overachieve (again).