The Boston Celtics are considered one of the most exciting young teams in the NBA this upcoming year. They have a surplus of young, exciting talents along with a head coach who is viewed as one of the best in the league. Last year, the Celtics finished with a 40-42 record and the 7th seed in the playoffs. They were swept in the first round by the eventual Eastern Conference Champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers. While it was an early exit, it was still viewed as a success because they exceeded the expectations of many. Most thought that the team wouldn’t win over 25 games, let alone make the playoffs. Now, people know that the Celtics are not a joke anymore.
The Celtics had four draft picks this year, three of which have been signed and will make the team. They added March Madness star RJ Hunter and Louisville starting point guard Terry Rozier; along with athletic forward Jordan Mickey. This summer, they re-signed Jae Crowder and Jonas Jerebko and brought in Amir Johnson from Toronto. Celtics fans have already seen how Crowder and Jerebko can produce and they hope that they can receive the same from Amir. Another big move that was made was a trade with the NBA Champions, the Golden State Warriors. They traded Gerald Wallace for former All Star David Lee. Wallace was nothing more than a bench warmer for Boston, so getting anything in return should be classified as a win. It appears that Lee could compete for a starting role and will most definitely get significant minutes this year.
The Celtics have one of the deepest rosters in the entire league. There are only so many minutes that can go around and there may be an issue with some of the budding young players not getting enough time. This is a good problem to have because a surplus of talent is always better than having a lack of talent. In the backcourt, Marcus Smart, Isaiah Thomas Avery Bradley are all players who are highly capable of starting. Not to mention you have Hunter and Rozier on the bench who also need to see the floor along with 2014 first round draft pick, James Young. These players are all capable of contributing now and there is no way to tell which way head coach Brad Stevens will choose to go; but as a Celtics fan, I have faith in his decision making. We have a similar logjam in the frontcourt. We have Tyler Zeller, Kelly Olynyk, and Jared Sullinger, who all performed very well last year for the Celtics, not to mention the additions of Amir Johnson and David Lee, who look to be as good if not better than the players mentioned above. All five veteran forwards will be fighting for a spot in Stevens’ rotation. Mickey appears to be the odd man out in this situation. He does have age on his side though; he is a young, athletic, forward who will only get better with time.
I am going to make some predictions for the Celtics. First off, I predict that Danny Ainge will address the logjam in the frontcourt and will trade at least one of the players listed above. Next, I predict that the Celtics will finish with about 46-48 wins and make the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. There are many other budding young teams in the East so it should be an exciting race to watch. The Celtics have a talented young core and should be turning some heads as they continue their journey back to title contenders and Banner 18.