Boston Celtics

This 2023-24 Celtics regular season simulation was spot-on

We knew this year's Celtics would be good ... but *this* good?

NBC Universal, Inc.

The Boston Celtics entered the 2023-24 season with sky-high expectations. And to date, they've managed to meet or exceed essentially all of them.

The Celtics' win over the Washington Wizards on Sunday put the finishing touches on a 64-18 regular season, which ranks as the fourth-best campaign in franchise history and the best season among all NBA teams in the past five seasons (tied with the 2021-22 Phoenix Suns).

While Boston securing the NBA's No. 1 overall seed isn't exactly surprising after president of basketball operations Brad Stevens added Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday to an already loaded roster, few could have predicted the C's would be one of the best teams of all time ... right?

Well, it's time for one simulator to take a bow. Our partners at Strat-O-Matic simulated the entire 2023-24 NBA season back in October 2023 and had the Celtics winning the East -- at 64-18.

In fact, Strat-O-Matic exactly predicted the records of two East teams -- Boston and the Indiana Pacers -- and was within three games of correctly predicting four other squads in the East playoff picture. Strat-O-Matic's simulation even had the Minnesota Timberwolves winning the Western Conference with 55 wins, which seemed like a bold prediction at the time, but the Wolves backed up the hype by racking up 56 wins en route to the West's No. 3 seed.

Here's a full breakdown of prediction vs. reality in the East:

The real-life 2023-24 Celtics rolled to 64 wins on the strength of an excellent defense (the league's second-best defensive rating) and a historically great offense (NBA-record 122.2 offensive rating). They scored 120 points or more in more than half (42) of their 82 games and surpassed 140 points six times.

Strat-O-Matic's simulation actually predicted an even more prolific C's offense with 54 games of 120-plus points, 27 games of 130 or more and eight games of 140 or more.

Those gaudy numbers led to some lopsided victories for the Celtics, who won a remarkable 42 games by double digits. Again Strat-O-Matic's simulation had an even loftier projection for Joe Mazzulla's club, projecting the C's to have 48 wins of at least 10 points and 28 wins of 20 points or more.

Here's how prediction compared to reality in the "margin of victory" category:

Strat-O-Matic clearly was very bullish on this season's Celtics, and the simulation's boldness was justified, as Mazzulla's squad put together one of the best regular seasons we've seen in recent memory.

But if you're a Celtics fan, there's only one prediction you care about -- and we'll note that Strat-O-Matic's preseason simulation also had Boston winning the 2024 NBA Finals in a four-game sweep of the Timberwolves.

Contact Us