Well, it’s almost that time again. Only two months separate us from the Celtics first game of the season so here is my season preview. You probably already know that we are not going to be in any playoff race this year but it is still going to be an important season for the team, so without further ado, here is how the season is going to happen. My prediction is the Celtics will finish the season with a record of 32-50 (+/- 3 games). So why are they going to do better than last year? This year they have much more potential.
Rondo is healthy and will start the season with the Celtics. Marcus Smart will be his backup or start at the two spot (probably not with the contract that Avery Bradley just signed). Either way the Celtics defense will be able to do a much better job on the front court. Smart, Rondo, and Bradley are all excellent defenders. If I am not mistaken I believe Avery Bradley led the league in points scored off of turnovers last year (or at least for a portion of last year). Marcus Smart showed off his defense well during summer league play averaging 2 steals a game. Rondo also led the league in steals back in the 09-10 season and he is certainly capable of doing it again.
We also have the addition of big man Tyler Zeller, who hopefully can provide more rebounds and blocks even though his play style isn’t necessarily that. Hopefully he can be coached to play a better defensive role with the Celtics.
Brad Stevens is also now a 2nd year head coach in the NBA. Let’s face it. Last year he could do all the experimenting that he wished because the team had no intention of making the playoffs. This year he is a bit more seasoned, he has more of an idea of how basketball is played in the NBA, and he also understands how to handle egos in the locker room much better. Stevens can lead this team in the right direction and he’ll be a very integral part in doing so. Hopefully he can help transform a lot of the young men on this roster into better basketball players and make sure that the team gets a good chemistry to it.
This year, I think that the Celtics really don’t need to tank. Another top 10 draft pick is always a nice thing to have but I feel like the Celtics have enough assets that if they wanted a good player they could get one. Rondo, Green, and Bass seem to be three guys that could get traded (which you can get good things in return) and they also have a plethora of draft picks they could use in a trade. That being said, I feel like there will be more pressure from the front office to do better this season.
They have something to prove this year about how good they can do with this team and in order to keep the fan base still attentive and cheering, a slightly improved record will do the trick (nothing against Boston sports fans because we are very loyal but we would all be happy with improvement).
Overall this year should be an improvement of last year. This team is looking to build off of what they accomplished last season, which while that wasn’t much, was still somewhat impressive with the given roster. This up and coming season needs to be the building block for next year (2015-2016), which is definitely where the Celtics look to be in the playoff hunt.