This is a new series I’m beginning, called the “NBA Team Trigger”. Normally, you can’t just pick up a gun and shoot it. You have to load it, you have to cock it, and then you have to fire. That’s the same with a pro basketball team. You have to load your “ammunition” in the offseason, hoping that when the regular season comes, it kills your opposition. *waits for Barack Obama to shut the site down for not being a #GunFreeZone*
Last Season: 40-42 (projected wins at 26.5) and 7th seed (lost to Cleveland in 4 games)
Key Additions: David Lee, Amir Johnson, Terry Rozier (rookie), RJ Hunter (rookie)
Key Losses: Brandon Bass
2015-16 Vegas: 35.5 projected wins and 125:1 odds to win NBA Championship
This is a very interesting team. Nobody, not even Celtics fans, expected last year’s squad to make the playoffs, even with being in a weak Eastern Conference. Now they’re faced with a difficult task, and that is duplicating their success, and perhaps succeeding last year’s exit in the postseason. They have last year to build on, along with the additions of David Lee and Amir Johnson. Someone could point out the subtraction of Bass’ contributions of 10.6 PPG and 4.9 RPG, but Lee and Johnson combined had 17.2 PPG and 11.3 RPG, so that more than well makes up for Brandon Bass exiting. I feel if David Lee can be healthy (he only played 49 games last season) then he can be a contributing factor, to perhaps, another postseason run for the Celtics.
I believe a couple things stand in Boston’s way. One, is head coach Brad Stevens. Many love him, however, I have never been a big fan of his. You’d expect for a franchise that has its golden rich history (note it’s leprechauns), it wouldn’t accept a guy with a 65-99 record in two years (39.6%). Since they did make the playoffs last year, if Stevens doesn’t make it back, I believe the Celtics would need to at least consider looking somewhere else…. I guess this is the price you pay for letting Doc Rivers walk to Hollywood.
The second issue I take up, is their strong point guard game. I thought Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Smart was good enough. Then Boston goes out to acquire Zoran Dragic from the Heat, as well as use their 1st-round draft pick on Terry Rozier. I’m not as strongly opposed to the Zoran deal, as I am wasting a 1st-round pick on a point guard. With men like Hollis-Jefferson, Harrell, and Portis still on the board, yes, they take another point guard. I wasn’t high on Sam Dekker, but I would probably suggest Dekker over Rozier at 16, considering the Celtics need shooting.
Do I see this team as a playoff contender once again? No. I feel they miss out on it, probably as the 9th or 10th best team in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics are humbled after the 2014-15 season, and begin to realize what they are and will be capable of moving forward unless they shake things up.
What do you think the Celtics can do this season? Let me know in the comments below your expectations!