Celtics Season Preview
Five Things To Watch For in 2013-14
The last time we saw the Celtics, Paul Peirce had 14 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists while Kevin Garnett recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds as they, along with Doc Rivers endured an 88-80 Game 6 loss to the New York Knicks in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Oh how much can change in an offseason.
KG and Pierce now have a Brooklyn State of Mind while Doc Hollywood is now the head coach of the Clippers.
What about the Celtics, the team left behind, what is in store for them? With a flurry of new players and a new head coach leading the way, it is a new era in Boston Basketball and unfortunately, things look like they are going to get worse before they get better.
Here are the top five things to watch for this 2013-2014 NBA season.
1.) The Rajon Rondo Injury
When will Rondo return? Do the Celtics even want him to return?
These questions pop up every time Celtic fans mention Rondo’s torn ACL. Many speculate that whenever he comes back the Celtics will showcase him for 15-20 games then trade him to the highest bidder.
Others, who see Rondo as a part of the future, suggest the “Derrick Rose Method.” Have him sit out the entire season, make sure his knee is 100% healthy and at the same time watch his Celtics play themselves into the lottery.
Whatever happens, the Rajon Rondo situation will be fascinating to keep an eye on since it will show us how the Celtics front office views him as a player and how they will handle this entire season.
The Celtics shocked everyone when they named Bulter University’s Brad Stevens as their next head coach and what was even more shocking was the six-year $22 million dollar contract they handed him.
Now Celtics fans know all too well that coaches don’t necessarily always see the end of their contracts, but still a six year contract says a lot about how the Celtic brass feel about Steven’s ability as a coach.
As a college coach, Stevens led the Butler Bulldogs to consecutive NCAA Nation Title games and was quickly becoming one of the best young college coaches in the game. Despite the tremendous success in the college game, what remains to be seen if he can translate his system into the NBA .
3.) Will Jeff Green become a super star?
In that playoff game against the Knicks mentioned above, what ‘s left out is the fact that Jeff Green matched Carmelo Anthony shot for shot. Because of that, Green is one of the few exciting storylines going into this 2013-2014 season.
With Paul Pierce gone and his heart problems behind him, Green will now have the opportunity to have consistent minutes at his naturally position.
This Pre-Season, Green has made some eye opening plays that shows this kids potential but now the question is if the Georgetown Forward can handle the pressure of being the number 1 weapon in an NBA offense.
4.) Youth Movement
The Celtics traded up in last June’s NBA Draft to select Gonzaga 7 footer Kelly Olynyk. After lighting it up in the summer league, the Toronto native was named “the steal of the draft” in a poll of all the 30 NBA General Managers earlier this offseason. With Olynyk’s size and his ability to hit from outside, the Celtics may have stumbled on something special.
Along with Olynyk, 22, the Celtics have Phil Pressey, 22, Jared Sullinger, 21, Avery Bradley, 22, and newly acquired MarShon Brooks who is 24 years old.
This team is young and that is part of the reason why they are no longer looked as one of the Eastern Conference’s elite teams, but be patient Celtics fans. Before Danny Ainge was able to trade for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, he had to stockpile draft picks and young talent for him to have the flexibility to make a move.
The base is there and when the right deal comes along, Ainge and the rest of the Celtics front office will be ready to pull the trigger.
5.) Will they actually play?
Tanking has been on the minds of Celtics fans a lot going into this season especially since the 2014 Draft could be one of the greatest classes in our lifetime with Andrew Wiggins, widely viewed as the best player since Lebron James, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and Marcus Smart at the head of the class.
Danny Ainge has publicly said that he is asked the “tanking question” just about every time he goes out and states that he doesn’t get it. Ainge is on record saying he does not view this draft class as anything too special and dismisses the notion that his team will “Tank for Wiggins” as the trending twitter hashtag indicates.
This is why Danny Ainge is one of the best GM’s in the NBA.
Instead of building a winning team like most GM’s do, Ainge built a losing one with a rookie head coach driving the bus.
So, sure Boston Celtics will not tank this 2013-2014 season but only because they don’t need to.