For years, the Boston Celtics were defined by their maturity and hard-nosed defense. Entering the 2013 – ’14 season, the Celtics will have a new identity – one that has yet to be defined. With the season less than one month away, let’s delve into Boston’s roster overhaul and predict how their season will end up.
Key Offseason Moves:
On draft night in late June, the Celtics sent future hall-of-famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets along with three-point threat Jason Terry for Kris Humphries, Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph and three-first round picks.
After Doc Rivers left the Celtics organization to become the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston signed Brad Stevens, former head coach of Butler University to a six-year, $22 million contract.
Questions Heading Into The Season:
Can Brad Stevens succeed at the NBA-level?
Brad Stevens has already proved himself as a very successful college coach. He went 166-49 (a winning percentage of .772) at the helm of the Butler Bulldogs and steered the program to two straight NCAA title games. It was Butler’s first two NCAA Final Four appearances in their history. The question now, however, is whether he will be able to successfully transition from college to the NBA. From Rick Pitino to John Calipari to Leonard Hamilton, many college coaches who tested the NBA waters have failed. Yet, there are a select few who have flourished at both levels, such as Chuck Daly and Bill Fitch. While it will not be easy at first with the roster given to him, Stevens can certainly bring Boston back to relevance in the near future.
Can Rajon Rondo lead the Celtics?
Rajon Rondo, who suffered a torn ACL last season will most likely be out until December while recovering. Once he is back in the lineup, though, it will be very interesting to see how he plays with his new-look team. Before going down with his injury, the 27-year-old was averaging 13.7 PPG while shooting 48.4 percent from the field and dishing out 11.1 APG. With young pieces around the point guard such as Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk, the Celtics certainly have a bright future – just not a bright season ahead.
Season Prediction: 31-51, 11th in the Eastern Conference
While many are expecting the Celtics to hardly be able to compete this season, I predict more wins than most do for the team that has made the postseason six consecutive seasons. They will be unable to contend with upper echelon teams of the conference, but can surely place ahead of teams such as the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, and Charlotte Bobcats.