Saturday, August 31, 2013

My contributions to ESPN Boston's "Celtics Summer Forecast" (Part 2)

Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston has just finished publishing a two week long series of columns making a number of predictions for the upcoming Celtics season. He asked several writers from various websites to contribute their thoughts as well.  Here is the content of mine that he used in week one, and below is my stuff from week two (with links to each article):

Who will be the team's MVP?
"This is a no brainer. If you're among those who believe the Celtics will battle for a playoff spot (and I am), you know there's absolutely no way this can happen if Rondo isn't the MVP."

What are your expectations for Jeff Green?
"I think Green will lead the team in scoring, probably averaging 17-18 points per game. It will be interesting to see if he takes over the Paul Pierce last-shot role. With Rondo as the veteran leader and primary ball-handler/distributor, I expect the C's to have a fairly balanced offense overall, and that may actually keep Green from really busting out the way some people might expect."

What are your expectations for Avery Bradley?
"Celtics fans have yet to see a full season of Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo together in the backcourt. Last year Bradley's game suffered dramatically when he was forced to takeover ball-handling duties when Rondo went down. Rondo's presence on the floor alone also makes Bradley better -- a lot better. When both of them are healthy I expect to see many more of those great back cuts and wide open layups we were treated to back in late 2012 when Bradley first stole Ray Allen's job."

Which game on the schedule are you most looking forward to?
"Jan. 26 vs. Nets: I've been a season ticket holder since Game 1 of the new Big Three era, and the second that Pierce and Garnett were traded all I could think about was how emotional it will be to be in the building on the night they come back. Honestly, the game itself won't even matter that much, just the starting lineup announcements and the tribute videos on the big screen. I get goosebumps now just thinking about it."

What will be the most intriguing training camp story line?
"What if Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace can actually play? Everybody assumes they are just contracts the Celtics took on in order to acquire all those first-round draft picks from Brooklyn (and that's probably true). But Wallace was a very good NBA player not that long ago, and Humphries can, without a doubt, be a solid big man/rebounder when he works hard. If the two of them act and perform like they want to be here it will take just about everyone by surprise."

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