The decade officially ends on Wednesday at 12:00 AM. There have certainly been some ups and downs with our beloved Boston Celtics. The Celtics are coming off seasons where they’ve reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals and Eastern Conference finals. They also have come off seasons where they were one of the cellar teams in the NBA. This year’s Celtics are currently 22-8 and the three seed in the Eastern Conference. They have one more game this decade before playing their first few games of 2020 toward the end of the week. Let’s preview the week, shall we?
Tuesday 12/31 @ Charlotte Hornets
Let’s face it, this Charlotte Hornets team really isn’t that good. That’s why Kemba Walker was so willing to leave once he had the opportunity to go elsewhere. But enough about that. The Celtics end the 2019 year with a game in Charlotte against the Hornets. Old friend Terry Rozier is having a good season with more minutes as he’s averaging 17 points a game. A bigger surprise has been guard Devonte Graham, as he’s leading the way for Charlotte 19 points a game. On paper, the Celtics have way too much talent for the Hornets. I think in this one the Celtics finish off the decade with a convincing win.
Friday 1/3 vs. Atlanta Hawks
The Celtics open up the new year/decade with a game at the T.D. Garden against the currently 6-27 Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks are still years away from being taken seriously again in the Eastern Conference. The one big name they have is rising superstar Trae Young. The 2018 number five overall pick out of Oklahoma has been making headlines this season, as he has been averaging 28 points per game. However, he suffered an ankle injury just a few days ago. So, we don’t know if the guard will play in this game. Without Young, the Hawks are a ragtag bunch that have some interesting names on their roster. How interesting, you may ask? Jabari Parker, Evan Turner, and Vince Carter are a few names that stand out. The point is that without Young the Hawks will struggle mightily to keep up with the Celtics. With four prominent scoring options ,plus the combination of speed/athleticism that the Celtics have, it will be too much for the Hawks to handle. Give me the Celtics in a blowout to kick off the New Year!
Saturday 1/4 @ Chicago Bulls
The Bulls are an interesting team to me. After the Atlanta game, the Celtics take on the Bulls in Chicago on the second night of a back to back. The Bulls are currently 13-20, but do have some nice young players. Zach LaVine is having a nice season, averaging 24 points a game. They also have a young core with Wendell Carter Jr., Lauri Markkanen, and Coby White. This is a game that usually the Celtics take care of no problem. But in a back to back, with the second game being on the road, it feels like a bit of a trap game. I still think the Celtics win, but the Bulls will make it harder than it might usually be.
This team could win all three games. They need to rack up wins right now before having to play in Philadelphia and Milwaukee later in January. Win these three games and set up for next week, when you have to travel to Washington, play at home against San Antonio, and then play Philly in Philly. Happy New Year to all, stay safe, and go Celtics!