This upcoming season for the Celtics is not expected to be anything close to successful. With players like Marcus Thornton and Evan Turner added to the team as potential “scorers”, Celtics fans shouldn’t be surprised if they find their team once again, at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Whether a season is successful or not, we always try and find the most improved player on a team.
Last season, that player for the Celtics was Avery Bradley. Bradley saw his PPG go up 6 points, and his rebounds go up 2. While we look for bright spots, we also see who underachieved. For the Celtics, that was Jeff Green without question. Green, who was expected by many to possibly be a 20 PPG scorer, floundered and only scored 17 a game.
This season, Kelly Olynyk will be the most surprising player for the Celtics. Last season, Olynyk had a better than expected rookie season, which found him playing in the rookie vs sophomores game during the All Star weekend. Olynyk averaged about 9 PPG last season, while only grabbing 5 rebounds.
This season, I expect his rebounds to go up significantly, while his scoring will rise slightly to double figures. I also see Kelly shooting the ball much more, especially from beyond the arc. If you watched any of the second half of the season last year (yes, I know it was hard to watch), you may have seen Oylnyk shoot right away, without hesitation. During the first half of the season, Kelly would catch (be wide open, mind you), and hesitate to shoot. The numbers don’t lie, with hesitation (pre All Star break), Olynyk shot .283% from beyond the arc. Post All Star break, Kelly shot .426%. Hope to see him start this upcoming season without hesitation.
As for this upcoming seasons biggest disappointment, what I’m about to say may shock all of Celtics nation. Rajon Rondo will be this seasons biggest disappointment. Now, bear with me, because it’s not for the reason you think. I do think Rondo will have another fantastic season, and be either an All Star or just miss, but I’m calling him the biggest disappointment because of how high expectations are for him. Now that Rondo is beginning to shoot the ball with more consistency, and hitting it, everybody believes he will become this 18 PPG scorer. Now we all wouldn’t mind that, but I just don’t think he’s that type of player. I expect Rondo`s stat line to be something like 15 PPG, 12 AST, 6 RBD. That doesn’t sound very disappointing, but with all the expectations for him to be one of the main scorers now, it may be.
Rondo now has Bradley, who has become a much better scorer, Jeff Green, who’s still an extremely athletic player, and now Marcus Thornton and Evan Turner, both in which have been 18 PPG scorers before in their careers. If Rondo is looking to become that scorer that all of Celtics nation seems to want (including myself), he would have to improve his three point shooting percentage on the road, which currently stands at .148%. (Home % was .349%).