Monday, October 13, 2014

Boston Celtics 2014-15 Season Preview (all you need to know in just over 37 seconds)

Boston Celtics
Last Year's Record: 25-57
Key Losses: Kris Humphries, Jerryd Bayless
Key Additions: Marcus Smart, James Young, Evan Turner, Tyler Zeller, Marcus Thornton

1. What Significant Moves were made during the offseason?

Not many.  The Celtics drafted Marcus Smart with the No. 6 pick and James Young at No. 17.  They signed Avery Bradley to a four-year $32 million contract extension.  When it became clear the Kevin Love deal wasn't in the cards, Boston chose not to play its hand for the time being.

2. What are the team's biggest strengths?

On the court, it's an abundance of guard depth.  Smart will likely be the backup to both Rajon Rondo and Bradley.  Evan Turner, Marcus Thorton and possibly Young (if he doesn't end up in the D-League) will all add scoring punch off the bench as well.  But, the Celtics' real strength is the way they're positioning themselves going forward with salary cap room and extra draft choices.

3. What are the team's biggest weaknesses?

The lack of a defensive presence in the paint (shot blocking) will be a big issue.  Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger should get most of the frontcourt minutes, but Olynyk is a perimeter player and Sullinger is generously listed at 6'9".  Who is the go-to guy/crunch-time scorer?  It's not Jeff Green.  It's never going to be Jeff Green.

4. What are the goals for this team?

To determine who fits into the club's long-term plan, and figure out how to move on from those who don't.  Ideally that would include developing Olynyk and Sullinger into an effective tandem in the post, and building a solid three-guard rotation with Rondo, Bradley and Smart.  If that happens Boston might look like an attractive location for a star to come to in 2015-16.

5a. What does the future hold for Rondo?

I don't think the Celtics will trade him; I just can't see any teams making an offer Danny Ainge thinks is good enough.  After that I'd say it's 60/40 whether or not Rondo signs a five-year max contract to stay in Boston, or goes elsewhere on a shorter deal for less money.

5b. What will the Celtics record be this season?

The same as last year, 25-57.

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