The Boston Celtics went from a quiet, efficient offseason, to a complete mess right before the start of Training Camp.
With head coach Ime Udoka suspended for the season, and maybe their most important piece defensively in Robert Williams now set to miss 8-12 weeks after knee surgery, the favorites to win the East (+260) and the NBA title (+500) on BetMGM suddenly have an uphill battle, even with their odds sitting the way they are.
Putting aside what we do and don't know about the Udoka situation off the court, we can at least take one solid leap of faith given the circumstances and feel pretty confident that's a major loss for this team right?
After a struggle to start his tenure as a rookie head coach last year, Udoka and the Celtics suddenly turned things on when the calendar hit 2022, winning 26 of their last 32 regular season games, and eventually losing in the NBA Finals to the Warriors.
I felt pretty confident they could get back there again this season about a week ago. But now, losing Williams for up to three months along with your coach for the season in exchange for a 34-year-old that's never coached with nearly this many expectations before in Joe Mazzulla, you can't feel as confident in Boston.
The Eastern Conference is already as deep as it's been in years, and these added wrinkles for the defending conference champs makes this season that much harder to predict. It certainly bodes well for teams like the Bucks, who lost in seven games without Khris Middleton to the Celtics in last year's second-round, and it may help them more this upcoming season.
A deep conference will make it harder for any team that gets off to a slow start, and if the Celtics have one similar to last season, it'll be even harder to dig themselves out of that hole.