The 2013-2014 Boston Celtics look a little different than in years past. There is no Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce or Jason Terry who were all traded to the Brooklyn Nets. There is no Doc Rivers roaming the sidelines, he is in LA coaching the Clippers. There is no Ray Allen because he left last year in free agency and won the NBA Championship with the Miami Heat. I can’t even say that there is Rajon Rondo because the talk out there is he could be back from his ACL tear anywhere from Thanksgiving to Christmas and rumor has it that if the Celtics are struggling Rondo may not come back at all. So what do the Celtics have?
The Celtics hired ex-Butler head coach Brad Stevens to replace Doc Rivers.
“Stevens, 36, joins the Celtics after coaching Butler University where he boasted a 166-49 record, four league regular season championships, three league tournament titles and six trips to postseason tournament play. He has the top two single season win totals in Butler and Horizon League history, and he became the only coach in school history to lead a team to the NCAA Division I national championship game which he did twice. Stevens owns two Horizon League Coach of the Year awards and has rewritten the NCAA record book for Best Coaching Starts by Wins. During the 2012-13 season, he moved into the top spot on the six-year list with 165 victories. He captured the five-year record (139), moving ahead of Everett Case of North Carolina State (1947-51) in 2011-12, and he owns the three-year (89) and four-year (117) records. He is second on the two-year list with 56 wins.” Boston Celtics Website
This is Stevens first year coaching in the NBA, we all remember what happened the last time the Celtics took a well known college coach they brought in Rick Pitino and we all know what happened there. Can Stevens coaching style translate to the NBA game? We’ll figure that out quickly.
The roster of the Celtics is not intimidating by any means. There are a lot of non-NBA talent on this team and that is going to show early on this season. The Rajon Rondo injury loom large on how this season goes. I can see the Celtics trading off Rondo or others to start the rebuilding process. The incoming draft class is extraordinary and it could be wise for the Celtics to take advantage of a down year. Jeff Green and Gerald Wallace play the same position and probably shouldn’t be on the floor together. Brandon Bass always plays hard, but is over matched because of his size. To be honest the entire team is small and will get over powered on many nights. The only way this team has a chance is by playing strong defense. Avery Bradley is back so he helps in that situation, but Garnett is not there to defend the rim anymore. A bright spot for the Celtics is Kelly Olynyk. Some people have compared him to a raw Dirk Nowitzki, although I think that is probably a stretch the good news is he is going to get every chance to prove that he is.
Vegas has the Celtics over/under line at 28 wins. I think they get over, but only to 32-50 and miss the playoffs. The Eastern Conference is going to be tough. Derrick Rose is back, the Nets stocked up, the Detriot Pistons are better and the Washington Wizards made a trade for Marcin Gortat that makes them a playoff contender. I hope I am wrong on this, but brace yourselves Celtics fans it could be a tough winter!
BRING ON THE RAPTORS!!!!!
- Celtics Coach Brad Stevens: Adjusting to the NBA Level Is a Matter of Time (bleacherreport.com)
- Assigned Reading: An inside look at Brad Stevens’ decision to leave Butler (collegebasketballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- Why Rajon Rondo Is the Key to Boston Celtics’ Season (bleacherreport.com)