Prior to the 2013-2014 NBA season the Celtics traded head coach Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers for a first round draft pick. In addition, Paul Pierce; undoubtedly the best Celtic to wear black and green in my life time, Kevin Garnett; a fan favorite and an absolute monster on both end of the courts, and Jason Terry were traded to the Brooklyn Nets for a slew of players and three first round draft picks(2014,2016,2018). It was clear at this point that the Celtics were in for a long season.
If you even caught a glimpse of SportsCenter during the 2013-2014 NBA season last year you knew just how horrendous the Celtics were. In the 68th season of the most successful franchise in the sport, the Celtics managed to win only twenty-five games while dropping fifty-seven games to opposing teams. Of course, the painful 2013-2014 season was largely due to the major changes made to the foundation of the franchise. Changes, that in my opinion, had to be made one way or another as the Celtics team aged and its chances of defeating powerful teams like the Heat in playoff battles decreased more and more year by year. The Celtics head coach last year Brad Stevens, whom they aquired after a few solid years at Butler, was a first year NBA head coach who was adjusting to a new team. To put it simply, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to realize the Celtics would accomplish very little last season other than Coach Stevens learning to play with his team, and chemistry building among teammates.
With the 2014-2015 NBA season tipping off in less than twenty four hours many Celtics fans are wondering what this season will turn out like. In a city that has almost zero patience for being irrelevant, it is important for Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens that their are some major improvements this season. Fortunately for them and Celtics fans the will have a better season than last, and here’s why.
Rajon Rondo, although battling a hand injury and uncertain for tomorrows start, is becoming a free agent at the end of this season and will be looking for a big contract. Rondo also has a reason to play meaningful basketball again for the first time in two years, and last time he did that he took over and came damn near close to taking down LeBron with a tattered Celtics team. Rondo has all the incentive he should need to have the best season of his career to date, and help some of the young players on the team to play smart NBA style basketball. Ha. Marcus Smart the Celtics 1st rounder out of Oklahoma shows a great deal of promise with his aggressive and explosive style that should fit nicely with Stevens new system, as well as great vision with the basketball getting the ball where it needs to be quickly in pre-season play. Evan Turner is another asset to the Celtics who on the other hand plays at a much slower speed but has great handles and plays a nice pick-and-roll game. The duo to really look out for though is Jeff Green and Rondo. Now that Rondo is healthy and can take some of the weight off of Jeff Green’s shoulders I expect that Green will have a better season than last even if he is not scoring as many points. With that being said, if Rondo and Green can not produce and the Celtics are sucking I expect they will be bundled together and traded out of the bean for a big name player sooner rather than later. Celtics have a much better season than last year and if they really click could even have hopes of a playoff run, unlikely, but crazier things have happened in this conference.
Heard it here first.