Here's how many games ESPN predicts Celtics will win next season originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The last time the Boston Celtics earned the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed in the NBA playoffs was the 2016-17 season. ESPN is projecting the C's to do it again during the upcoming 2022-23 campaign.
ESPN's NBA insiders have revealed their win/loss projections for the East, and they predict the Celtics to finish 54-28, barely edging out the Milwaukee Bucks (also projected to be 54-28) for the top record in the conference.
"Boston, after struggling to score in what became a six-game loss to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, sought to change that this offseason when it landed guard Malcolm Brogdon in a trade with the Indiana Pacers and forward Danilo Gallinari in free agency -- all while keeping its top eight players from last year's postseason run intact," Tim Bontemps wrote.
"The Celtics are now arguably the NBA's deepest team and should have the ability to withstand the rigors of the 82-game season -- particularly given stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are only just beginning to enter their respective primes."
Finishing as the top seed has its perks, with the most important one being homecourt advantage.
The Bucks found out the hard way last season when they tried to avoid the No. 2 seed and a matchup with the Brooklyn Nets in the first round. By doing so, Milwaukee let Boston get the No. 2 seed. When those teams met in the second round, the Celtics held homecourt advantage, and it played a factor in the outcome as Boston fed off its home crowd with a blowout win in Game 7.
The Celtics haven't won 54 or more games since 2017-18 when they reached 55. It's the only season since 2010-11 in which Boston has won 54-plus games.
But after adding Brogdon and Gallinari over the offseason, it would be pretty surprising if the Celtics failed to win at least 54 games in 2022-23, assuming Brown and Tatum are healthy for most of the campaign. This team is loaded at just about every position.