Team Name: Boston Celtics Last Years Record: 33-49 Key Losses: Ricky Davis, Key Additions: Wally Szczerbiak, Sebastian Telfair, Rajon Rondo
1. What significant moves were made during the offseason? Ainge and Co. did the best they could this offseason. In fact, we really got something for nothing. It's safe to say this is not a championship team...yet. But with Telfair and Wally we should have a backcourt that will razzle and dazzle us to the playoffs. The addition of Telfair provides us with a PG that we have not seen, dare I say *gulp*, since Kenny Anderson. Not comparing the two as we have not had a PG like Telfair since I can recall, maybe even ever.
Along with Telfair came packaged Theo Ratliffe. Theo would have been nice to have 6 years ago when he was at his peak. Unfortunately for us, we have Theo on the tail end of his career. All his numbers are down, but he is still and will be the best force to grace Boston in terms of hustle and rebounding in along time. I would think Theo and Perk will put us atop the rebounding and shot blocking. I hope.
The biggest moves we did were in the draft. I'm sure a lot of C's fans were baffled by Ainge giving up our pick. But the chain of events led us to selecting Rojon, Powe, and Ray. All solid picks, however, I would be surprised if any made it All-Star. Role players is my projection, but solid role players nonetheless.
2. What are the team’s biggest strengths? Right now I think we will be strongest in athletecism. We have young and hungry youths waiting to draw our awe. Offense will obviously most benefit from this. I will expect to see higher scoring numbers. Then, I feel rebounding/shotblocking will be the most improved. The addtion of Theo with Perk and Jefferson adds tons of beef and size. Powe and Ray also will get their share. This could be the biggest (most powerful) lineup we've had since the Big Three.
3. What are the team’s biggest weaknesses? Some say we should have better defense now, but I am not so sure. Telfair is not The Glove or anything close and I am not expecting much from Green. However, with Perk, Theo, West, and Gomes, we should see better D than previous seasons. Also with addition of Rojon, we should at least have a defensive presence off the bench. Still I would think the better teams will be able to find a way to break us down due to the inexperience. Lets face it we have a ton of Rooks and 2nd, 3rd year players.
So, then, inexperience will be our other achillies.
4. What are the goals for this team? I think our biggest goal this year should be our bigs, specifically Jefferson, making an impact on offense and defense. We will need to improve our record to at least .500 and to make the playoffs. These are things that are to be expected. Doc and even Ainge's reputation are at stake. I mean we've all been waiting patiently now and we need to see a marked improvement in order to not become what the Bulls/Magic were/are.
The only other important goal will be to have a team that works as a team. I think some of this may be hard as we will need to break some selfish habits. Gerald for instance will need to play within a team or he may end up another Ricky Davis. All hops and no chops.
Predicted Record: 40-42
All signs point to an improved team and a better season than the 33 win mark of a year ago. It'll be pretty easy to cap the 33 win mark, presuming we remain relatively injury free.
Defensively, we don't need to be a shut down defensive team that holds opponents to 68 ppg, though of course that would be great. Our players don't need to be the next Ben Wallce, Ron Artest, and Bruce Bowen. As long as our players do a better job of getting up in the face of their opponents and not allowing them so many easy shots (like we did last year), we will see a big difference in wins. We were so terrible defensively last year and we gave up so many uncontested shots that even if we a smidge of improvement defensively, we will be a better team.