The Boston Celtics come into the 2020-21 season with high expectations, and there are a few individual players the Houdini believes surpass their own.
Despite coming up short in the 2020 NBA playoffs and reletively underwhelming this offseason, the Boston Celtics are still seen as one of the top teams heading into the regular season, placing No. 6 overall on NBA.com’s recent power-rankings list.
When rostering the likes of All-Stars Jayson Tatum & Kemba Walker, potential 2021 All-Star Jaylen Brown, and the Swiss-Army man himself, Marcus Smart, their lofty expectations should not come as a shock to anyone.
After such a tumultuous year we’ve had, 2021 — where most of the upcoming season will take place — is filled with endless possibilities.
In regard to said possibilities, we here at HH believe there to be the potential for some surprise breakout candidates to emerge from the C’s active roster.
Today, we present to you 3 potential breakout candidates heading into the season:
Surprise breakout candidate for the Boston Celtics No. 1) Aaron Nesmith
First on our list, we have the lone lottery pick for the Boston Celtics in 2020, Aaron Nesmith.
Selected 14th overall, the former Vanderbilt star comes to a team in great need of an improved scoring punch off the pine. If there is one thing we learned from Nesmith’s two-year collegiate stint it is that the man knows how to put the ball through nylon.
During his sophomore season, the wing posted stellar averages of 23 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and just under a block per game while shooting 51 percent from the field and a whopping 52 percent from deep.
Unfortunately, his season was held to just 14 games after sustaining a season-ending foot injury that required surgery. Interestingly enough, however, Celtics fans could venture to say these specific circumstances were fortunate, as a talent that looked to be a sure-fire top-10 pick at the time of his injury managed to slide to Boston at the tail end of the lottery.
With the team’s bench unit ranking 29th in points per game (28.5), 28th in 3-point percentage (31.8), and 20th in offensive rating (53.6) by the end of the 2019-20 campaign, it was evident that coming into this offseason they needed to address this weakness and add some extra scoring talents to the rotation.
Now that Nesmith has verbatim stated he is “fully healthy” and that he is ready to get to work, he could wind up being entrusted as a much-needed offensive spark-plug off the pine.
Tabbed as arguably the best shooter coming out of this draft class, should the 21-year-old produce at even half the rate in which he did last season with the Commodores, he could be a highly-valuable rotation player for a playoff contender and, in turn, could vie for an NBA All-Rookie First Team nod should the pieces fall into place.