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Celtics 2013-14 season preview: The Expendables

Chuck - Red's Army October 30, 2013 Celtics News, Previews 15 Comments

expendables

We always search for a theme to our season preview. Last year we went with The Walking Dead and pegged the aging Celtics as unstoppable zombies who would march to Banner 18. Unfortunately, the Celtics proved to be quite stoppable and I’m convinced zombies devoured all rational thought from our brains the night before we wrote that blog.

There are no championship aspirations this season. Most fans don’t even have playoff expectations.

That’s because your 2013-14 Celtics are… The Expendables.

Is it fair to say Danny Ainge would let two-thirds of this roster walk away without receiving anything in return? Kris Humphries, Vitor Faverani, Gerald Wallace, Brandon Bass, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans, Courtney Lee, Jordan Crawford, Phil Pressey and Jeff Green are expendable.

Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jared  Sullinger and (maybe) Kelly Olynyk are the only guys with real value. And that doesn’t mean they’ll be here all season. They still might be traded!

This entire season is one big experiment. Danny Ainge is in full-blown mad scientist mode looking for ways to acquire the right players. The first part of that plan is a high draft pick in 2014.

Do yourself a favor and embrace the mediocrity.

Best case scenario

Chuck – For me, best case scenario translates into finishing with one of the worst records in the league and a Top 3 lottery pick in a coveted draft class. It’s possible because  the Celtics will have to face a grueling November schedule without their best player, Rajon Rondo.

John – The best case is the Celtics get their “tanking” (I don’t know what else to call it at this point) out of the way with that ridiculous November schedule and the Rondo-less (most of, probably) December.  By the time January rolls around the Celtics will have lost so much, that their hold on one of the five worst records in the league would be pretty solid.  From there, the Celtics then start to find some cohesiveness under the newly 100% Rondo, and they put together a solid second-half run that blows away their first half with barely any effect on their draft status.  If opposing announcers are saying in March “forget about this team’s record, you don’t want to be playing them right now,” then this scenario will be achieved.

Worst case scenario

Chuck – 1) This team gels, wins 35 games and sneaks into the 8th playoff spot. Aside from some extra playoff revenue, exactly how does that help us moving forward? 2) Rajon Rondo is traded. Unless Ainge gets back an elite player, I want Rondo on the Celtics for the next 5 years.

John -I’m not so worried about success as a “worst case.”  I’m worried about utter, abject failure as a worst case.  And by that, I mean these guys being SO bad that our “decent pieces” become totally un-salvageable.  In this scenario, Jeff Green regresses, Kelly Olynyk becomes a “summer league has been,” and Rondo drifts off into that part of the either that allows Mike Felger to bleat “I told you so” on the radio.

Who will surprise us?

Chuck – Gerald Wallace. I loved his attitude this preseason. While most fans were refusing to criticize player performances because “it’s only preseason,” Wallace was blasting his teammates for lack of effort. He showed real leadership. If Wallace can stay healthy, he can be productive enough where another team might consider the 2 years and $21 million remaining on his contract at the trade deadline.

John- Vitor Faverani.  He’s got the right attitude and some polished skills.  He seems unfazed by the NBA stage, and he has impressed Brad Stevens, all of which adds up to some starting time at the 5, and some minutes to get out there and do some good things on the floor.

Who will disappoint?

Chuck – Brad Stevens. Just a gut feeling that surfaced when I read that he wants his big men shooting threes. I really, really, really hope I’m wrong here.

John – Jeff Green.  It’s not really his fault.  Part of it is our own expectations, and part of it will be the fact that he’s got almost no help out there.  He’s not Kevin Durant or LeBron James, yet I feel like we expect him to do KD and LeBron things.  If he’s got some good players around him that can stretch the floor and give him some room, he can be pretty good.  He’s not, however, going to carry a team with his 1-on-1 play for very long.  Sure, he can maybe do it for a game, or even a week or two.  That makes him good.  We want him to cross over to elite.  He won’t.

Who is most likely to be traded?

Chuck –  Kris Humphries. He’s a big with an expiring contract. I guarantee there will be a playoff contender with a need for rebounding. Whether they can offer Danny Ainge the right deal, who knows. Ainge can always let Hump walk at the end of the year and watch $12 million come off his books.

John –  Yup, Humph is the guy.  In a year full of questions, Humphries is the obvious #1 trade possibility.

Closing scene

Chuck – I predict Rajon Rondo will return to his pre-ACL injury form and stay a Celtic for the entire season. I also predict plenty of losses. How does 26 and 56 sound? The C’s will get themselves a prime spot in the draft lottery.

John –  As this site’s resident optimist, I’m going with my best-case scenario as the way this season plays out.  It won’t start great.  We could be looking at the team getting its 10th win sometime in January.

So let’s say they get 9 wins before the new year.  That means they’ll start January with a 9-22 record. January is another tough month with 17 games .  I see 3 win-able games there on paper, with the possibility of a couple of more upsets.  So we start February with at 14-36.  With 32 games left, I say the Celtics rip off a 14-18 run… an almost .500 clip over the last 3 months of the season that shows that they’ve gelled, and that they’ve got some good pieces to work with.

The final result will be 28-54 record, good for one of the five worst in the NBA, which puts them in solid position for a top 3 pick while still feeling good about how the season ended.

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  • Curt Hays

    Best case scenario, Kris Humphries and Courtney Lee are traded to the Nets for Kevin f***ing Garnett.

  • Jester00

    The Stouts are Gone + 9 sam Adams Just watched the larry Legend Video on to the meats and cheases more beer and about to Watch him Drop 49 14 12 in 1992 full game vs the BLAzers GO CELTICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Love the Photo SHOP

    • eddysamson

      You’re a champion Jester, true Celtic spirit.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Best Case Scenario :

    –Celtics become the most “fearsome/winless” team in sports history…they wind up going 0-82, but never lose any game by more than 2 points. They just as easily could have gone 82-0.

    –Sully averages 23 pts./15 rebs…Olynyk averages 18 pts./18 rebs….AB shoots 3`s at a .468% clip…RR fully recovers in late March

    –Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez all go down with season ending injuries on opening night. PP and KG remain healthy, but are “out of gas” by Xmas. Nets finish with the second worst record. Boston owns their 2014 pick.

    –Ping pong balls finally show the Celtics some love…Celtics get to select 1 AND 2 in the 2014 draft.

    –With cap space cleared, Ainge is bombarded by phone calls from elite free agents.

    –Donald Sterling fires AND sues Doc Rivers.

    • eddysamson

      This is hilarious hahahaha.

    • KGino

      I like it for once, Red. Although sprinkle in a couple wins… like 8-10 or so… maybe against the Heat/Clips/Lakers… No one will do worse than that and we still get best lottery odds.

      Also you forgot to mention Lebron is suspended for the year for excessive flopping violations. And Pierce / KG return for veteran minimums in the off season.

      • RedsLoveChild

        I understand….but, the winless season will be long forgotten when the Celtics raise banner # 22 in 2019.

        • Curt Hays

          THIS

    • Tommy_Heinsohn

      lmfao I loved this… I’d be pumped if just one of those things happens

  • Lee in Oregon

    I hope Brad Stevens can make the adjustment to the pros and not end up like most college coaches. I’m bot making any predictions, I just hope the C’s play hard every night.

    Speaking of “playoff contender with a need for rebounding”- it only took Doc 1 game to turn the Clips into just that.

  • bill_nair

    Best Case Scenario: Celtics get a top 5 pick without trading Rondo (and Rondo keeps himself out til after all-star break), The Nets and Hawks dont make the playoffs but are close enough to where the Hakws dont get a great pick and we still get another lotto pick. Sully, KO or Bradley proves to be more than just a role player.

    Worse Case: Facing Miami in the first round. I dont care if we make the playoffs I just dont want to be swept by the Heat.

    Green will surprise us by being exactly who hes been his whole career and is nothing more than an inconsistent super athlete. Not having high hopes no more for him.

    I think everyone could be traded except Rondo, KO, Bradley and Sully. They’re not safe but Danny will look to move the others. I have a feeling Humphries, Crawford and maybe Green are the ones going.

    29 wins and a top 10 pick. I think we’ll be a young, tough, scrappy team similar to last years Hornets. They played very tough but still weren’t good enough. Got themselves the #6 pick and are sitting pretty right now in the West.

    Go Boston!

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  • Jester00

    int0 the Miller Light and Going strong about ready to watch bird score 60 in 85 on hawks Danmages so far

    movies seen
    CEltic Pride
    Larry Legend
    92 bird vs Blazers

    lots of foods

    beers that drank
    4 stout
    12 Sam Adams
    3 Miller Lights

    Let’s GO CELTICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Jester00

    torn dwn waiting on tip off she saying best