The Boston Celtics once again head into a season as one of the more difficult teams to project in the NBA.

When the Celtics face little to no pressure heading into a season, the team has typically surpassed expectations by a considerable amount, which was most notably seen over the early years of Brad Stevens’ coaching tenure. But when the Celtics face hefty expectations to be a serious contender in the Eastern Conference, the team usually fails to meet such goals, as was the case last season in the team’s underwhelming 36-36 campaign.

No one knows on just what to expect from the Celtics this upcoming season.

The team has had one notable offseason filled with changes across the board. Boston hired former Brooklyn Nets assistant coach Ime Udoka to replace Stevens as the team’s new head coach. More so, the Celtics front office made notable moves with the team’s depth, such as with bringing in the likes of Dennis Schroder, Josh Richardson and Al Horford.

In what is expected to be an unpredictable campaign for Boston, here are three notable predictions for the team this upcoming season.

Celtics rank in the top five in team assists per game

One of the more distinct critiques of the Celtics’ play last season was their lack of an urgency in moving the ball on a possession-by-possession basis.

With the team’s lack of a true pass-first point guard, the Celtics often reverted to isolation basketball when all else failed. This often saw Jayson Tatum leading the way in creating shots on his own, as he ranked eight in isolation possessions per game (4.7) last season. And as a team, the Celtics topped out at ninth in isolation possessions per game (8.6) over the campaign, which was up from the previous season (7.7).

New Celtics head coach Udoka has already made note that he plans to work on implementing more of an unselfish, pass-first system for the team this season.

“We want to have a well-rounded team,” Udoka said. “Looked at the numbers overall, sorry to mention this Brad. But 27th in assists last year. We want to have more team basketball there, but at the same time, you have to understand what your personnel dictates.”

The additions of Horford and Schroder to the team should help in accelerating this process. Horford most notably posted an 8.6 assists points created average in his previous season with Boston over the 2018-2019 campaign. Sure, Horford’s prime days are far behind him, but he can still be a formidable passing big from the low post. And one can not overlook Schroder as one of the more under-the-radar passing guards in the league.

The Celtics may not reach for the stars this year by setting a new team record for assists per game in a season. But a possible 27.5 assists per game average for the team this season is a realistic goal, which would be up from last season’s average (23.5).

Jayson Tatum leads the league in 30-point games

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Even as the Celtics are slated to become more of a pass-first team this season, it does not mean that Jayson Tatum will see a notable drop in his scoring production.

Tatum once again made a jump in his offensive play last season; he posted career highs in points per game (26.4) and field goal percentage (45.9).

The two-time All-Star has shown over the past seasons that he is not a one-dimensional scorer — and this is certainly of good news to Udoka.

Tatum can beat his defender in a number of contrasting ways. He can play a vital role off the ball, which was seen last season where he posted a formidable 64.4 percent effective field goal percentage from catch-and-shoot plays. Most notably, his length and size at times can allow him to challenge bigs in the low post, as was noted from the forward’s career-high 0.93 points per possession average in post-up plays last season.

Tatum may see a decrease in touches per game this upcoming year. But his offensive prowess will only continue to evolve, which should see him be a serious contender to be the league leader in 30-point games over the upcoming campaign, especially after he notched 20 such games last season.

Marcus Smart shows improvements with his 3-point shooting

It can be a whirlwind to watch Marcus Smart on the court at times. He is one player who can shine on the defensive end with an impact play and follow it up with a putrid shot from beyond the arc.

Last season, Smart shot 33.0 percent from 3-point land, which was his lowest percentage since his fourth season in the NBA (30.1 percent).

Smart’s sluggish shooting from beyond the arc often halted momentum runs for the Celtics, which only contributed to the team’s streaky shooting over periods of the season.

After signing a multiyear extension deal with Boston in the offseason, Smart surely comes into the upcoming season with plenty of expectations to be a pivotal contributor on both sides of the floor. On the offensive end, it would notably begin with revamping his 3-point shooting form.

For one, Smart must be more efficient when shooting from beyond the arc in catch-and-shoot situations, especially as he shot 32.5 percent in such attempts last season.

Look for Smart to at the least work to shoot 38 percent from 3-point land. This would be somewhat of a longshot for the two-time All-Defensive First Team talent, but it would certainly be a key boost to Boston’s offensive play this season.

The Celtics surely will be one team to watch over this year.