In anticipation of opening night against Philly, the Red’s Army staff writers will make their predictions for how the 18-19 season will transpire. Yesterday we discussed players who we think will exceed their expectations this season. Today, we go the other way, and look at those most likely to disappoint, and one name comes up more than once — Ojeleye? More like Nojeleye (amirite???)
Ben Mark: Gordon Hayward
Man, I hope I’m wrong about this… I’m not saying Hayward is going to suck, or that people will be calling for him to be traded by mid-season, but I don’t want to name a bench-warmer, and given his year-long absence, the severity of his injury, and the cohesion of the other guys on the roster, I think it takes Hayward some time to figure out how he fits. Disappointment is relative on a team as deep and talented as the Cs, but whereas the other Celtics wings are on the rise, I’m worried Hayward might have nowhere to go but down.
John Karalis: Semi Ojeleye
I’m a believer, but he’s had a rough preseason and that shooting touch just hasn’t come around yet. I kind of wish he wasn’t a “thick jacked frame” because then we’d let him develop at a normal pace. The fact that social media is constantly peppered with his name raises expectations to an unreasonable level. His progression is well behind his popularity.
Mike Dynon: Semi Ojeleye
The preseason games have been a disaster for Semi. His shots aren’t just missing, they’re barely catching rim. Even good D won’t make up for going 0-7 from the arc. If he can’t be at least (ahem) semi-effective as a shooting threat, he’ll be buried behind all the depth.
Liam Green: Jabari Bird
Some things are bigger than basketball. By “disappointment” I don’t mean Bird personally as much as the whole situation, but given what it looks like he did, he needs to take responsibility for the part that is his fault and get treatment for the mental-health stuff that isn’t, and then maybe he can have a second chance.
Jeremy Stevens: Semi Ojeleye
I had my hopes up after the summer league, but he’s been awful in the preseason. The Celtics have more than enough wings to soak up those minutes.