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.
Let’s face it, there’s no shortage of potential areas this team can take a step forward in while coming off a 25-57 season. One look at Boston’s advanced numbers from the 2013-14 campaign produces plenty of eyesores. The most egregious?
• The Celtics ranked 27th in offensive rating and 20th in defensive rating.
• Boston finished 28th in turnover percentage.
• The Celtics ranked 28th in effective field goal percentage and 28th in true shooting percentage.
• Boston finished 25th in free-throw attempt rate.
That’s really just the tip of the iceberg, particularly when you hone in on more specific areas. And while it would seem the Celtics should improve on the offensive side of the ball — with lots of room for potential growth — this writer’s vote falls on the opposite side.
Celtics guard Avery Bradley boldly declared last week that he believes Boston can be a top-10 defense next season. That might be a tad ambitious, but you can understand Bradley’s enthusiasm. The Celtics will potentially have their desired backcourt of him and Rajon Rondo healthy for the start of the season and plan to infuse 2014 draft pick Marcus Smart to that backcourt, giving the team a potentially tenacious three-guard rotation.
ESPN Boston – Summer Forecast: Biggest Improvement
Let’s face it, when you had a rebuilding season like the Celtics did last year, there is never just a tweak here or there to fix it. No, this team is in serious need of some re-engineering on the floor. While I tend to agree with Forsberg about improving the defense, a big part for me that can be improved upon easier is the turnover department.
Jay O., Red’s Army (Turnovers)
Not only are the Celtics getting a fully recovered Rondo for a full season (barring a trade) but their prize draft pick, Smart, should be able to help shore up this area, where the Celtics were ranked near-dead last in turnovers (27th) and turnover percentage (25th). With another year of seasoning from the younger guys, plus Rondo directing the offense, this should be improved.
That was my contribution to the post on ESPN, and while I realize Marcus Smart is a rookie PG and they tend to make a lot of mistake while learning on the job, a full season from a healthy Rajon Rondo (depending upon if he gets traded obviously) will easily improve this area. But as you can tell from the many responses in the post, there are so many various answers that it just magnifies how bad they were last year. Amazingly, the C’s were actually pretty good at opponent PPG, in contrast to where they finished the season record wise and were better than LAC, HOU, POR, PHX, ATL.
Page 2: So you’re saying there’s a chance?!?!
Now that the Love deal is officially complete, online betting site Bovada has Cleveland as the favorite to win it all with the odds currently at 5-2.
Behind the Cavaliers are defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs (4-1), the Chicago Bulls (11-2) and perennial Western Conference power Oklahoma City Thunder (6-1).
Not surprisingly, the Celtics are among the longest of long shots to bring home a title this season with the site setting the odds for Banner 18 at 100-1.
The sports betting site Bovada currently gives the Green a 100-1 shot at winning the title, tied with the likes of Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans and Phoenix. Just ahead of them with a 66/1 chance are the Hornets, Nets and (AHEM) Lakers. I assume this is mainly due to Kobe Bryant’s return. I’m not a betting man but those odds aren’t well, great. If you’re one of those eternal optimists that wears green colored underwear and worships at the altar of Pope Heinsohn then go ahead and make that bet.
And Finally… the Celtics are barely more popular than the Revs
The Patriots were chosen as the favorite team by 42 percent of those polled. Despite their dismal year, the Red Sox came in second, scoring with 30 percent of the respondents, while the Bruins grabbed 21 percent. The rebuildingCeltics took just 6 percent to the Revolution’s 1 percent.
Boston Herald – Here’s how fans score Boston sports
Oof, just a five percent difference between the Revolution and our beloved Celtics. I’ve told people for years (especially fans that aren’t from here) how wildly unpopular the Celtics are in Boston compared to the other four teams. Boston on the whole isn’t all that different from other cities when it comes to paying more attention to the winning teams, but the core popularity has, and always remain this way. The Bruins and Celtics may fluctuate a little, but even when the Celtics were dominating the NBA in the 1960’s they couldn’t sell out the area while the Bruins were horrible and had standing room only. Perhaps the peak of their popularity was in the 1980’s, but even the Red Sox still were tops.
The Celtics have as many titles (17) as the Red Sox (8), Bruins (6) and Patriots (3) combined, but are the least followed/attention given team within the city limits. They are far more popular outside of Boston than they are inside. It makes you wonder, doesn’t it?