5. Are there enough shots to go around for Boston?
Every fall, one team falls prey to plenty of concern trolling about how shots and touches are going to be distributed, with “there’s only one ball!” as the permanent rallying cry. Last year, it was the Rockets, with skeptics worried about how James Harden and Chris Paul would coexist. The year before that, it was the #ThreeAlphas Chicago Bulls. That one was pretty spot on.
Normally, these concerns are unfounded because the best basketball players on Earth are usually pretty capable of figuring it out when the rubber hits the road. That said, this season’s Boston Celtics are going to put this axiom to quite the test.
Between Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris, odds are someone is going to be disappointed with his role in the offense. The first six on that list are extremely talented offensive players, Smart is a vicious competitor and Morris will be playing for his next contract.
Brad Stevens will have quite the job managing this rotation, but we haven’t seen anything in his tenure so far to make us think he’s not up to the challenge. That said, Gordon Hayward has taken about 15 shots a game each of the last three seasons he’s played. Those have to come from somewhere.
My guess is that those shots come from Horford, Smart and Morris rather than Tatum or Brown, who should take further strides this season on both ends of the ball. Having a lot of mouths to feed is a problem every NBA team would love to have, but it’s something Boston will have to figure out if they want to make the Finals.