The NBA season is upon us, and the Celtics, by virtue of their NBA Finals appearance last season, have been tagged as one of the favorites to win it all this season.
Here’s how Globe reporters and columnists who cover the Celtics and the NBA see things playing out this season:
Chad Finn, columnist
Celtics: 53-29, second seed in East.
Eastern Conference: Celtics over Bucks in seven. Giannis Antetokounmpo picks the exact wrong time to talk trash to Al Horford yet again.
Western Conference: Warriors over Grizzlies in five. As long as Draymond Green resists punching any teammates who are better than Jordan Poole, the Warriors will roll.
NBA Finals: Celtics over Warriors in seven. Revenge! Jaylen Brown is the Finals MVP, and Jayson Tatum couldn’t be happier for him.
Adam Himmelsbach, Celtics beat reporter
Celtics: 54-28, second seed in East.
Eastern Conference: Nets over Celtics in seven. Brooklyn adds Ben Simmons, Joe Harris, and Royce O’Neal to a talented group that can now focus on basketball, and the talent finally outweighs the inevitable dysfunction.
Western Conference: Warriors over Clippers in six. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George lead Los Angeles to the top seed in the West, but the Warriors prioritize health during the regular season to pounce when needed.
NBA Finals: Warriors over Nets in six. Young players such as Jordan Poole, Moses Moody, James Wiseman, and Jonathan Kuminga take another step to give the dominant but aging core the support it needs to win another title.
Dan Shaughnessy, columnist
Celtics: 60-22, top seed in East.
Eastern Conference: Celtics over 76ers in seven. They overcome Joel Embiid the same way Russell beat Chamberlain.
Western Conference: Warriors over Nuggets in five. Splash Brothers too much for Nikola Jokic.
NBA Finals: Celtics over Warriors in seven. Joe Mazzulla Magic is all the rage. Parade in Johnston, R.I.
Gary Washburn, columnist and NBA reporter
Celtics: 58-24, second seed in East.
Eastern Conference: Celtics over Nets in six. The Nets turn things around and stun the Bucks in the semifinals but aren’t strong enough for the Celtics.
Western Conference: Warriors over Clippers in seven. Experience wins again for the Warriors as they best the surging Clippers in seven games.
NBA Finals: Celtics over Warriors in seven. Celtics, with more experience and a revamped roster, win No. 18.