The Boston Celtics are undoubtedly the NBA's most historic franchise, dating back to the 1950s. "Celtic Pride" has passed from generation to generation; from Russell to Havlicek to Bird to the BIG 3. Now what? The Celtics are simply in a rebuilding phase. With Ray Allen, KG, and Paul Pierce all gone, the city of Boston is definitely not considering the new Celtics to be contenders for a championship. The Eastern Conference is starting to become a tougher and tougher Conference: LeBron, D-Wade and the Heat have won the leagues last 2 championships; KG, Pierce, and Terry join a deep Brooklyn Nets team; Derrick Rose will return to a physically tough Chicago Bulls team; the Indiana Pacers showed last season that they can compete with the best; the New York Knicks should be good too. If Celtics history has shown us anything is that rebuilding is not the way to win championships. What wins championships for the Boston Celtics is getting great players together. The Celtics were fair before Bill Russell came along; but when he joined them they immediately became contenders, and proved that by winning 11 championships in 13 years. Same with Bird; he transformed the Celtics. The BIG 3 did the same thing in 2008. I don't see these players transforming the Celtics. But they need to win a championship before the Lakers win their 17th.
The Boston Celtics are the most historic franchise in the NBA. They are one of the first organizations in the NBA (founded in 1946 as a part of the BAA) and have won a league record 17 NBA Championships out of 21 NBA Finals appearances. They also have retired the numbers of many legendary and all-time great players. They are a franchise that embodies winning championships. They don't celebrate division championships. They don't even celebrate conference championships. They only celebrate NBA CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Big 3 era is officially over in Boston. With KG and Pierce on the Nets and Ray Allen on the Heat, Rajon Rondo is the only remaining member of the 2008 Championship team. Rondo will have to lead the Celtics in more ways than he has ever had to before. He challenged the Big 3-amazing hall of famers-to do their best, so he has a good idea of how to whip the young guys into shape and make sure that they play a vital part of the system. Coach Brad Stevens replaces Doc Rivers, but should do a good job in coaching and working with Rondo. This is becoming like Larry Brown and Allen Iverson, a point guard trying to get along with his coach. When they succeeded, the Sixers made it to the Finals. If Rondo and Stevens succeed, they should become a top seed in the east. This will not happen this year, but maybe 3 or 4 down the road the Celtics will be back! Jeff Green, Avery Bradley, Brandon Bass, and the newcomers will have to follow Rondo's lead if they want to win.
This is the role Brad Stevens is going to fulfill.
The 2013-14 Boston Celtics are probably one of the most underrated teams in the NBA during this offseason. Rajon Rondo is the only lasting member of the 2008 Celtics Championship team currently on the Celtics. The challenge for Rondo will be trying to find which players on this young Celtics team play like KG, Paul Pierce, Ray Ray, and even Perkins. His biggest challenge going forward will be trusting his teammates and new coach, Brad Stevens. MarShon Brooks and Kris Humphries bring a new energy to this young team and should play well. Veteran shooter Keith Bogans will hopefully be more of a promise than Jason Terry last season, though Bogans is no Ray Allen. The big men (Kris Humphries, Kelly Olynyk, Brandon Bass, and even Colton Iverson) will give Boston a strong advantage in the post. This will also go hand in hand with the pick and roll play with them and guards Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, or MarShon Brooks. Expect to see a lot of lobs to those guys this season. The perimeter play will not be amazing, but it will be solid. I expect to see this Celtics team finish 6th in the Eastern conference in their first year together, but lose in the first round of the playoffs.
Jeff Green gettin dirty, serving up a facial on Chris Bosh
The Celtics should always think big. But with rebuilding underway they should aim for 44 wins this season. This should set them up for a low seed in the NBA Playoffs, and give them some playoff experience. The young core will continue to grow, and the Celtics will be making the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals by the third year together. They will make the Eastern Conference Finals in 2017 and should make an NBA Finals appearance between the 2018 and 2022 seasons (not necessarily all of them).
The Celtics have a generally solid history of having good owners, GMs, and an active front office. Danny Ainge may have made some unpopular and debatable moves, but he is right in focusing on the long term Celtic goal: win a championship. True, the Celtics would have a better chance winning a championship next season if they hadn't made a trade, but the probability that they would in the future would decline. The Celtics players themselves are good players and people, so there won't be any issues with that.