Boston Celtics: 3 bold predictions for the 2021-22 season

The Boston Celtics Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
The Boston Celtics Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /
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Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics forward Aaron Nesmith (26) Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

3 bold predictions for the Boston Celtics 2021-22 season

No. 3: Aaron Nesmith will be in the starting lineup by the start of 2022

Aaron Nesmith is probably the person who has benefitted the most from a full offseason to work on his game. Nesmith initially struggled to get himself up to NBA speed in his rookie year, but once he did, he made sure he didn’t relinquish his role. Nesmith profiles as a knockdown three point shooter who also plays a highly energetic style of defense, and he could see a major boost in his role if he can come out and perform this season.

Nesmith has shown flashes of what he can become throughout the Celtics Summer League program and the preseason action. Nesmith was one of the Celtics top players during the Summer League, and had one of the most impressive performances of the tournament when he dropped 33 points against the Denver Nuggets. He followed that up with an impressive opening performance against the Orlando Magic in the preseason.

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In essence, Nesmith is battling with Romeo Langford for wing minutes off the bench. Despite being a year behind Langford, Nesmith has shown a lot more potential than his fellow 14th overall pick. Langford was really billed as a Marcus Smart type of player, and while he’s solid defensively, Nesmith has been as well, while also offering more upside on the offensive end of the court.

Nesmith is already ahead of Langford, and the prediction here is that he will end up in the starting lineup at some point this season. While he could light things up off the bench, the main reason I think he makes this jump is because of how well his playstyle meshes with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. The goal all offseason long has been to make Tatum And Brown’s lives easier, and Nesmith does just that.

He’s a tenacious on ball defender, which would allow Tatum to play his preferred style of defense, which involves lurking off the ball and intercepting passes. And if you leave him open at the three point line, he’s going to knock down a high percentage of his shots, which could be vital in taking some pressure off of Tatum and Brown. Nesmith should be one of the first names off the bench, and by the time the new year rolls around, he will be a regular in the Celtics starting lineup.