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Boston Celtics 2013-14 Season Preview

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No Doc Rivers, no Kevin Garnett, no Paul Pierce, no problem? After losing some of the past decade’s most polarizing NBA figures, the question is can these new look Celtics still make the playoffs?

2012-13 Record: 41-40, 3rd in Atlantic Division, 7th in Eastern Conference
2012-13 Finish: 1st round loss to the New York Knicks

Key Losses: Kevin Garnett, Fab Melo, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, Terrance Williams

Key Additions: Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Kelly Olynyk, Gerald Wallace

The Celtics have totally reshaped their roster and coaching staff after “trading” Doc Rivers to the Clippers and actually trading Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Nets. Replacing them will be former Butler University head coach Brad Stevens, veteran guard Keith Bogans, forward Kris Humphries, and guard MarShon Brooks. Added to all that, Celtic All-Star Rajon Rondo suffered a devastating ACL tear midseason and now it’s looking like he will not be back till after opening night. Safe to say that the Celtics will be looking towards a more disappointing season than recent history, but don’t tell them that this is a tank job.

“We are not tanking. That’s ridiculous. This is the Boston Celtics.” – Danny Ainge

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(Photo Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

Backcourt

The Celtics still possess one of the better backcourts in the Eastern Conference behind their leader Rajon Rondo. Rondo has come a long way in his career and now has been given the keys to one of the most storied franchises in all of sports, it’ll be up to him to continue the Celtic success. He will have a familiar face as a running mate in Avery Bradley who should blossom this year given his bigger role. Bradley struggled to deal with a nagging shoulder injury that kept him out of 32 games, but saw his minutes, assists, and points all increase last season. This year he will look to be the starting point guard while Rondo is out and may see himself as the starting shooting guard once Rondo returns. The blockbuster trade with the Nets might have sent away legends but it definitely gave the Cs depth at the guard positions. Bogans and Brooks will join Courtney Lee and Jordan Crawford as reserves in the backcourt, these additions definitely give Boston reliability off of the bench with a combination of veteran presence and youth.

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(Photo Credit: Bleacher Report)

Frontcourt

The front offices moves might have helped the backcourt but it depleted the frontcourt. With starters and legends Pierce and Garnett wearing Brooklyn jerseys, the Celtic frontcourt will look completely different. One familiar face will be Jeff Green who will need to embrace a star role for this team if they are gonna have any chance to compete for a playoff spot. If Green can capitalize on Rondo’s playmaking and maximize his potential, then the Celtics might overachieve this year. Another familiar face will be Brandon Bass. Bass has been Mr. Reliable for the Celtics in the past and he will need to improve his production a bit to be able to help Boston win. Lost in the shuffle with all the offseason moves has been the drafting of Gonzaga legend Kelly Olynyk. Olynyk was one the best players in the summer, as he led the Orlando league in scoring and was the star of the Celtics summer league squad. Humphries and Wallace are still getting acclimated with this new team but from Ainge trying to shop them around to Wallace not getting along with his new teammates, it’s not looking like a good honeymoon

“(Our)Guys are out there being selfish, and their opponents are playing with effort, giving their all regardless of how the night is going,” – Gerald Wallace

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(Photo Credit: gazettenet.com)

Season Outlook

The Celtics are good enough to compete for a bottom end playoff spot behind Rondo, Green, and Bradley, however whether or not the Celtics WILL tank, they SHOULD tank because this team they currently have is not good enough to contend for a championship now or even in the future. Also it isn’t certain whether Danny Ainge wants to have Rondo as a franchise star as he has shopped him around in consecutive off-seasons. With guys like Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, Marcus Smart, and Willie Cauley-Stein waiting to go to the league and the mega free agency class approaching, the Celtics may be better off clearing cap space and trying to get a high draft pick and strike it big next year.

Prediction: 32-50, 11th in Eastern Conference

Biggest problem the Celtics will face is their offensive production. Losing the top two scorers won’t help improve last season’s 18th best offense, and having a star who has a big problem shooting the ball doesn’t help either. Stevens will have his hands full on offense and even though the East is weak, it is much improved while Boston has declined

This video basically sums up this season for the Celtics

 

Follow Albert Nkansah on Twitter @AlbertN_5

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