Once again, Loy's Place is participating in the blog previews that are organized by Jeff Clark. We will be bringing you the links to the preview for the other teams as they are posted and hope you will enjoy reading them. Now, without further delay, here is our 2009-10 Boston Celtics preview.
Team Name: Boston Celtics Last Year’s Record: 62-20
Key Losses: Stephon Marbury, Leon Powe, Mikki Moore (not so sure how key the losses of Mikki Moore and Stephon Marbury are, though)
1. What Significant Moves were made during the off-season? The most significant move that the Celtics made in the off season was to sign Rasheed Wallace. Last season, they were thin in the front court, even before the injuries hit. Signing Sheed, and Shelden Williams, along with bringing back Big Baby address that weakness. Also, the signing of Marquis Daniels gives them a versatile player who can fill the void that was left by James Posey when he left and wasn't filled last season. He can also fill in at the point and the shooting guard positions. These moves make the Celtics' roster one of the deepest and most versatile in the league.
2. What are the team’s biggest strengths? Once again this season, the Celtics biggest strength will be its defense. With a more mobile Kendrick Perkins, a more muscular Rajon Rondo, a healthy Kevin Garnett and a rejuvenated Rasheed Wallace and the return of Tom Thibodeau, the Celtics' defense should be one of the best in the league. Defense wins championships and the Celtics will have one very scary defense this season.
3. What are the team’s biggest weaknesses? The biggest question for this team will be health. With the Big 3 and Rasheed Wallace all getting up in years, there are questions as to whether they can stay healthy through the 82 game season and a long playoff run. KG's health especially is crucial to the team's success. Also, there still is a hole behind Rondo at the PG spot. It's possible that the House/Daniels combo will work, but then the question becomes 'Who will back up Paul Pierce?' 4. What are the goals for this team? The only goal for this team is to win the championship. Anything short of that will be a big disappointment.
5. Other thoughts. In spite of the fact that the Celtics are deeper and stronger than they were last year when they went 62-20 and also than the 2008 championship team, they are getting no respect from the so called experts. I have seen them ranked anywhere from 3rd to 5th in the preseason rankings. The Celtics not only signed Rasheed Wallace, Marquis Daniels and Shelden Williams, but they also are bringing back their own players who look to be much better this season than last. Kendrick Perkins and Big Baby both come in lighter than they were last season. Both came on strong in the playoffs last season and worked hard all summer to improve their conditioning and their games. Rajon Rondo took a leap forward in his development in the playoffs last season and over the summer has put on 11 pounds of muscle and will be poised to be even better this season. His one weakness has been his jumper and he also worked all summer with Mark Price to improve his shooting. The Celtics will be one of the strongest and deepest teams in the league and yet they are considered to be the underdogs. Being the underdog has its benefits, though. While teams are gunning for the "favorites" night in and night out, the Celtics will be quietly going about their business on their way to Banner 18.
Projected Finish:62-20. (Even though they are a better team this season than the one that finished 62-20 last season, their competition has also improved, so I predict another 62-20 finish.) Eastern Conference Champs NBA Champions