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Red's Army

Your Morning Dump… Where history could be made this season (and not the good kind)

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) September 2, 2013 The Morning Dump 18 Comments

celtics lakers

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump. 

The Summer of 2013 will be remembered in Boston and Los Angeles for Celtics and Lakers fans long after this upcoming season is over—whether they want to or not. That’s because it included the end of an era out East, as beloved Celtics players Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were traded to Brooklyn and coach Doc Rivers—who helped deliver banner No. 17 in 2008—left as part of a trade with the Clippers. Out West, the Lakers watched as coveted, tabloid-friendly center Dwight Howard left for Houston via free agency. This coming after a season in which Kobe Bryant suffered a season-ending Achilles injury, Mike D’Antoni replaced the fired Mike Brown after a 1-4 start and a group of aging starters began showing signs of slowing down.

What that leaves us with are two franchises that have combined for 33 NBA titles and just 21 combined missed playoffs (Lakers-5, Celtics-16) with their 2013-14 postseason eligibility in jeopardy. Both teams were seventh seeds last year, and both will need to fight through some growing pains in the upcoming campaign.

There has only been one season since 1948-49 in which both the Lakers and Celtics have both missed the postseason. That’s a span of 64 years. Will this season be the second?

Timberwolves.com: Could we see history made this season

Yeah, you read that link right…

The Timberwolves official site gives us this little nugget today.  And I’ll answer the question for you:  Yes, yes it will be the second season the Celtics and the Lakers miss the playoffs at the same time.

Don’t kill the messenger here.  I’d prefer they were a 60 win team just like you, but this is what it is.

Of course, I could be wrong (though there’s no history to support that, especially if you take my word for it and don’t search the archives for any evidence to the contrary).  And it would be up to the Celtics to make sure that doesn’t happen.

The Lakers are NOT making the playoffs this season.  No chance.  Not even close.  The Celtics probably aren’t either, especially if Rondo doesn’t come back until December.  Remember, the C’s will have played 19 games by the end of November, including six back-to-backs and a five-games-in-seven-days stretch in the second week of the season.  I tweeted this out a few weeks ago…

And I stick by it.  They play Orlando and Charlotte twice… plus Toronto in the opener, but even those aren’t guaranteed wins if Rondo isn’t around and this squad is trying to learn a new system.  We could be looking at 2-17 or 5-14 to start the season.  With 63 games left after that, the Celtics could go a respectable 33-30 and still finish the season with 35-38 wins.

If the Celtics can somehow manage a few other wins without Rondo and then play at their best for the rest of the season, then maybe they can squeak into the playoffs.  They have some talented players, and they have a coach whose analytics team will do everything mathematically possible to maximize the efficiency of their lineups.

But even that takes time.  This talent is young and new.  You will see plenty of turnovers in these early games where guys turn and look at each other, then explain to one another where he thought the other guy was going to be… gesturing and pointing interpretations of the plays as they jog back up the floor.  The analytics guys will need data to make their assessments, so the small early sample sizes won’t mean a whole lot.  It will take them until Christmas, especially if Rondo isn’t around, to come up with a solid enough set of numbers to make good conclusions.

It’s September now, which means training camp opens in a few weeks.  We’ll get our answers to a lot of these questions soon.  In the meantime, prepare yourselves mentally for a history making season… and not the good kind.

I’m giving you guys a little tip this morning:  Put a Celtics logo on anything important you might own.  If you lose it, give KWAPT a call.  He can sniff out anything Celtics no matter where it exists.

Image via LA Times

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  • Bob

    Celtics will NOT miss the playoffs .. They have too much talent to miss the playoff but not enough talent to be great … U r wrong … Celtics will finish as the 7th or 8th seed!!!

    • Raoul

      Preach it COUSY!

  • Ryan Noseworthy

    We’ll have to wait and see, realistically things are looking pretty grim. Yes we have a team full of talent, and winners, but they need to find how to make all that combine on the floor. Remember we are going to be watching a BRAND NEW SYSTEM of basketball this season, this isn’t going to be the Doc days. I wish we could all have the same enthusiasm about making the playoffs as you do Bob, but these guys have a lot of work to do, and just need us behind them no matter what happens.

    • Raoul

      The Doc days? I’ve always been a Doc fan, but Doc’s system wasn’t some super consistent system or anything. Our consistency or lack thereof seemed to always be solely based on the consistency of our players making shots or not. This “new” system may be a better system; one that would have been instantly effective last year, as it is a system in-which anyone can get the opportunity to play, all-star or not.

  • CallingBatman

    I’ve been a Celtics fan all my life, which is to say…well let’s just say that started in the 50′s. Sure, I far prefer watching the Celts play for the championship, but I’m also going to be really interested in seeing how this first rebuilding season goes. Win or lose I’m in. Honestly, I’d rather see the youngsters going full tilt (and yeah, probably losing a lot) than watching a once great team slowly but surely wear down with a predictable offense and a slowly degrading defense. So yeah, count me in this year to follow the team start to finish. The way I look at it, this team is talented enough to pull off an upset here and there and won’t those be sweet to watch.

  • Raoul

    “Don’t kill the messenger here. I’d prefer they were a 60 win team just like you, but this is what it is.”

    60 wins? WTF? The 8th seed last year had 38 wins. Then you go to a 35-38 record prediction. So you’re basically saying the only way, as a fan, to expect the Celtics to make the playoffs is to expect a 60-22 record and that rational thinking would be more along the lines of a 35-38 record; having the Celtics miss the playoffs by 3 games, during a non-tanking season?

    This is SUCH an opinion and I’m glad it comes with this portion, to basically say that you could be totally full of it.

    “Of course, I could be wrong (though there’s no history to support that, especially if you take my word for it and don’t search the archives for any evidence to the contrary).”

    • http://redsarmy.com/ John Karalis

      I think you misunderstood. When I said “I’d prefer they were a 60 win team”…. I meant “I’d prefer they were a really good team rather than a rebuilding team”

      • Raoul

        Mmm not buying this one John. The statement before that was this….

        “And I’ll answer the question for you: Yes, yes it will be the second season the Celtics and the Lakers miss the playoffs at the same time.”

        It looks more like you made a statement, and then gave your reason of why you have to feel the Celtics will miss the playoffs. I may have misunderstood what you were trying to say, but it was said in a way where I understand it as it was structured. Just sayin’.

        • Raoul

          Essentially what I’m saying is, if that’s what you were trying to convey, you should have said “I’d prefer they win over 60 every season, but even if I lowered my expectations, I don’t think they will even meet the 35-win season it took last year’s 8th seed to make it. I think they will fall 3 games short of playoff seeding”

      • Ryan

        I don’t get what is so confusing to people…..your predictions/opinions seemed pretty straight forward to me. I think it will be close this year, with the Celtics fighting for the 8th seed. However, just like you and many other celtics fans, that 8th seed will be tough to get if Rondo is out until Dec or longer. If he is gone, you are looking at a team that not only doesn’t have a superstar, but also doesn’t even have an all-star(I do believe Jeff Green will eventually be an all star, as he displayed mental toughness/confidence last season to go along with his physical talent). I love our even younger talent in Sully and Olynk(won’t be surprised to see them eventually make an all star team, especially Sully, but not anytime soon), as well as Bradley who has finally had a healthy off-season. When Rondos back, Bradley will really shine, and Lee will be able to come off the bench as a defensive replacement(not that he’s a bad offensive player), and we will still have talented players in Bass, Wallace and Humphries, who are all better than your average role player. I like our size, youth, defensive abilities(Wallace locking down players on the wing and Humphries and Sully banging down low) and our coaching staff/GM/ownership. With all that said, many of these players are going to need Rondo to maximize their talents, by controlling the pace, getting guys easy buckets to get them going, and just taking a lot of the pressure off them so they can play to their strengths. There aren’t really any guys that can create shots for themselves aside from Green(who teams will focus on without Rondo) and Marshon Brooks, but the latter may not do enough of the other things to stay on the court. A lot of our offense depends on our PFs, but without Rondo, getting the ball down low will be harder than you think, never mind Bass who is mostly a pick and pop guy. Then you have a new coach who is going to need some time to get going, and again without the floor general, the Celtics may put themselves in too big of a whole come Dec to even make the 8th seed. Also, if our record is that bad, the organization may decide to keep Rondo sidelined even longer to ensure he is 110% healthy. Even if Rondo is ready to play the 1st game of the season, this team seems like its going to be competitive enough to hang with a lot of teams, but fall short in the 4th quarter. The NBA is filled with talent and as much as I like the direction the Celtics are going, look at the young talent on some of the other teams in the East who didn’t even make the playoffs last year, but have some experience under their belt to make that transition to a playoff team. If everything goes our way, I think we will be an 8th seed, but thats a big IF. Either way i’m excited to watch this team and happy with the direction they are going. Next year Danny will be able to make some moves after evaluating this season, and they will def be a playoff team IMO, but its year 3 under Stevens where I really expect big things.

        • Raoul

          There’s nothing confusing. John doesn’t feel it’ll be close. According to him, we’re not making it… period. We will be 3 games worse than the Bucks were last year.

  • Vincent Mullings

    I agree with bob. Celtics pride is too strong for us to do bad now. We have an all-star in rondo, the grind house in Avery Bradley, a soon to be one in Jeff green we have rebounding and some scoring from Jared sullinger, and kris humphreys, and a good rookie in olynk. Plus some decent role players, and your telling me we are only going to win 5 games more than when we went 24-58……come on with this team that’s crazy! We will make playoffs and lose in 2nd round!

  • RedsLoveChild

    News Bulletin : The Celtics will NOT be in the 2014 playoffs. Danny Ainge will make damn sure they won`t. Ainge did not trade KG & PP {while making little effort to replace them} because he`s hoping to make noise in the `14 post season.

    Ainge knows the draft is Boston`s ONLY hope for the future. History proves it. Twice before the Celtics have crashed & burned, but were able to turn their fortunes around due to “seismic” draft picks….the selection of Cowens a year after Russell`s retirement, and the selection of Bird in the late `70`s. Both picks quickly transformed the Celtics from doormats to a team you do not want to face.

    Pierce was a great pick, but he was not a “game changer”. It took a decade of misery before McHale sent us KG. That was a fluke situation, and DA knows nothing like that will happen again.

    Ainge wants a “seismic” pick….he feels he can get one…and, when he sets a goal, he is not the type who lets outside forces get in his way.

    DA will NOT allow the Celtics to win more than 20-25 games this year.

    • Raoul

      “Ainge knows the draft is Boston`s ONLY hope for the future.”

      You must have been away for a while. Most Celtics fans or at least Red’s Army followers know by now that tanking for the draft is a fruitless direction.

      1. Even if you are the worst team, you’re guaranteed nothing in the lottery.

      2. We have enough picks; and enough talent for that matter.

      “DA will NOT allow the Celtics to win more than 20-25 games this year.”

      That statement is borderline mental. This is what the Lakers SHOULD do as they have no picks and a terrible roster for 2013-2014, but they won’t because Kobe won’t let that happen. So to say Ainge, Rondo, or even Brad will allow that is stretching… like waaay stretching.

      • Bob

        There are 5 (or so we hear) great franchise altering players in this upcoming draft… The celtics will not be one of the worst 5 teams in the nba … It is not possible … Rbee we have a 13 million trade exception to use .. So I this team is doing well and contending for the playoffs Danny can use this exception and get a decent player at te trade deadline … Why is nobody talkin about this?

        • Raoul

          We’ve already talked about exceptions… about a month ago.

          As for franchise altering… there is maybe only 1 instant franchise-altering player for the 2014 draft. The other 4 may have an impact in 4 years, and that’s if it happens.

  • Celticsfanatic

    It’s funny how the comments are arguing that a squad of Jeff Green, sophomore and rehabilitating Sullinger and Avery Bradley can carry the Celtics at a .500 pace for a quarter of the season until Rondo comes back, then for the remaining 3/4 of the season, that same core plus a rehabilitating Rondo can play .500 ball. If that was to happen, the team would have to realize their full potential, which NEVER happens. Even though I don’t see either team making the playoffs, I’d take old Bryant, Gasol, Kaman and old Nash over Bradley, 80% sophomore Sullinger, Green, and 65% Rondo (considering he’s out for 25% of the year, then another 10% off to account for the uncertainty as to whether or not he’ll immediately have full impact).

    • Raoul

      The only argument is that Milwaukee had a .463 season last year, and made the playoffs. To your argument though, I’ll put the current Lakers against our squad any day, and expect a Celtics W. At this point you’re just pointing out individual players, which doesn’t hold much weight (Sully/Olynyk will run circles around Gasol right now). Looking at the entire teams though the Celtics has depth, contract years, youth, and vets. Lakers only have vets and all youth after that.