In anticipation of opening night in Cleveland, the Red’s Army staff will make their predictions for how the 17-18 season will transpire. Yesterday, we made our picks for the Celtics MVP, and today we’ll make our picks for which non-star on the Celtics roster will be the biggest surprise. I’ll admit, it’s a pretty vague question, but all five of us picked different players outside of the Cs “Big Three” that we believe will contribute in more meaningful ways this season.
John Karalis — Jayson Tatum
Rookies are typically bad, and I don’t think Tatum will be bad. I think he’ll find a groove and do alright. It may be an irrational confidence in his offensive game, but I just like what the kid brings. I think he’ll get some buckets out there. His confidence seems pretty high.
Mike Dynon — Aron Baynes
The Big Down Under has already been a surprise. At first glance, he appears to be just a banger who will mash people down low — but he actually has game. This new “AB” is a competent scorer with a midrange jumper and a solid defender who takes charges. (Daniel Theis is also a candidate in this category, but Baynes should play more minutes and make more impact.)
Ben Mark — Terry Rozier
Terry Rozier has Leandro Barbosa on the mid 2000s Suns potential on this team. While Marcus Smart will quarterback the second unit and make loads of #winningplays, TRo is going to impact big games in 5-10 minute bursts. On the offensive end, I think this third year in the league is when he finally starts finishing at the rim with consistency, hitting more and more corner 3s, and warping opposing defenses with his speed in the half-court. On defense, Rozier and Smart should team to pick up opposing guards at half-court and raise hell. Rozier had to carve out his roll last year, sometimes logging DNPs. There’s a clear niche for Rozier on this team, and it includes him being an indispensable part of the second unit.
KJ Kourafas — Jaylen Brown
Liam Green — Marcus Smart
I should say that he won’t surprise Celtics fans as much as he’ll surprise the rest of the league. His shooting looks to be genuinely improved, by a significant margin. Adding that to his existing toolbox makes him a truly remarkable 6 man.