NBA
The Celtics Report 12/13/14
Category: NBA
Tags: NBA BostonCeltics RajonRondo JeffGreen MarcusSmart KellyOlynyk TylerZeller MarcusThornton

 

The Boston Celtics found themselves in the midst of a four game week between last Sunday and Friday night. It started out quite nicely but by the end of the week, the team had once again crashed and burned.

Between the shuttling of some combination of Dwight Powell, James Young and Marcus Smart off to Maine again during this week and the injuries sustained by both Young and Smart, you have to start wondering if this is turning into a bit of an individual lost season for those players.

As for the game action...

In the first of a back to back set of games against the Washington Wizards, the Celtics saw an 18 point lead at the start of the fourth quarter cut to just 2 points as the Wizards staged a rally that saw Boston nearly helpless to stop from happening.

The situation nearly got worse as Avery Bradley took and badly missed a three point shot. But the Wizards got nothing out of their proceeding trip down the floor. Showing a gunslinger mentality, Bradley took another three from essentially the same spot on the floor he'd just missed from and buried the shot. It was a back breaking type of basket and the Celtics went on to win 101-93 for their third win in a row.

Jeff Green (shown below) led the team with 25 points and Marcus Thornton had 21 points off the bench.

When you include that devasting three pointer Bradley made, he finished the game with 11 points and Jared Sullinger had 10 points and 10 boards. Rajon Rondo (shown below) had himself another triple double performance with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

Unfortunately, aside from some incidental action, the good news for the Celtics kind of finished after this game.

The next night, Boston was on the road for the second game against Washington. While a vastly entertaining game was to be had for those who watched the game purely as a basketball exercise, the Celtics 133-132 double overtime loss was irritating on a number of fronts.

The Celtics trailed by as many as 23 points in the game before a huge rally by the reserves put them back into the game. Rajon Rondo was benched for the last 27:51 of the game (including both overtime periods). You can read what you want into it but neither coach Brad Stevens or Rondo have been saying much in the way of a detailed explanation as to why the arguably best player on the team got benched.

Maybe it was a message to the rest of the team to raise their games instead of relying on one particular player to bail them out. Or maybe Rondo was playing so badly that Stevens HAD to get him out of the game. I don't know. But it will be interesting to see how this plays out. If the benching was a one time only move of "shock and awe" to get attention of team on a night when they were playing as if they shouldn't be on an NBA roster, it might be a good thing. If it is something Stevens feels he has to do on a number of occasions, it will almost certainly alienate his point guard and lose effectiveness in motivating the players on the court.

More depressing than the loss itself (something that is bad enough) was the fact that the Celtics had a 7 point lead in both overtime periods and still couldn't close out the game. I know that the other team has the ability to make great shots just as much as the Celtics do, but blowing that kind of lead once is bad, doing it twice is a result of some truly shameful team defense.

As it was, Jeff Green once again led the team wtih 28 points. Marcus Smart (see below) was back in action for the game and he had a career high 23 points. Kelly Olynyk was huge with 19 points and 11 boards. Brandon Bass scored 19 points of his own. Evan Turner scored 18 points, had 8 assists and grabbed 6 rebounds. Tyler Zeller hit for double figures with 10 points.

 

In their game against the Charlotte Hornets, the Celtics led by 5 points at halftime but saw their momentum (and lead) evaporate in the second half as Charlotte got a huge game from former Celtic Al Jefferson. He finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds.

Once again, the Celtics had a chance to win this game. But instead of their defense letting them down, this time it was their offense. After they got within 2 points in the fourth quarter, Boston missed their next four shots and had four turnovers in a stretch of game action that killed any hope of a victory.

Jeff Green and Marcus Thorton had 16 points apiece to top the scoring chart for the Celtics. Brandon Bass added 15 points and Tyler Zeller finished with 13 points and 7 boards. Rajon Rondo (shown below) was back from his benching and went for a 12 point, 10 rebound and 10 assist triple double.

Kelly Olynyk (photo below) started off well in the game, scoring 8 points in the first half. But he faded in the second half and didn't score again.

Finally, last night (Friday) against the New York Knicks, the Celtics saw the positive vibes from their three game winning streak evaporate completely as they lost for the third straight time. Despite the 101-95 loss, Brad Stevens was quoted as being happy to see Jeff Green (shown below) growing more as a scorer. Green had 28 points and 6 rebounds as he led the scoring for Boston yet again.

During the game, Marcus Smart was injured again. He was forced out of the game with what was reported as an Achille's strain. It is certainly better news than if it was a tear, but as I mentioned at the start of the post, this is another injury for him (the second notable one of his rookie season). You have to wonder if the team is going to get any sustained looks at him without Smart winding up hurt.

Tyler Zeller (see below) scored 19 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Marcus Thornton and Evan Turner dialed up 13 points apiece. Kelly Olynyk added 11 points. Rajon Rondo scored just 2 points but had 10 assists and 7 rebounds.

So with their record now at 7-14, the Celtics once again are faced with the opportunity to figure out a way to come together as a team that finishes out everything from an individual play to a full game. Or they can once again head towards an epic collapse. While you hope for the best, it is just so hard to figure out which team might show up on a night to night basis, you can't blindly believe that the Celtics fortunes will turn around.

And as the losses pile up, you can only wonder how long it will be before the trade rumors that are constantly swirling around Rondo get turned up on the high flame once again.

But the overall faith in the Celtics remains, no matter how frustrating their performances have been.

GO CELTICS!

 

 

The Celtics Report 12/6/14
Category: NBA
Tags: NBA BostonCeltics TylerZeller JaredSullinger KellyOlynyk RajonRondo JeffGreen

After taking last week off from writing The Celtics Report because there wasn't really much to write about the team, this week there's four games to recap and perhaps rant about.

It should be noted that Dwight Powell, James Young and Marcus Smart rode the back and forth shuttle to the Maine Red Claws this week. Down for a game, then recalled. The Yo-Yo Express could be a new nickname.

This week's installment starts with last Sunday's game against the San Antonio Spurs. The defending champions came in to Boston and found themselves down by four points at halftime. But the Spurs blew the doors off the Celtics in the second half, outscoring them 66-40 and going on to win 111-89.

I can't say that I was surprised by the result but given that Boston was actually leading at half-time, I would've hoped they'd remained competitive during the 2nd half. Instead we saw another defensive collapse.

Five Celtics scored in double figures during the game led by Jeff Green's (pictured below) 16 points.

Evan Turner had 12 points and Avery Bradley (shown below) scored 11 points. Brandon Bass and Marcus Thornton each finished with 10 points. Meanwhile, Rajon Rondo dished out 10 assists in the game while Tyler Zeller continued his recent streak of solid contributions with 7 points and a team high 10 rebounds.

As Boston headed into their game against the Atlanta Hawks, the media was writing about how the team was headed into a soft part of their schedule. They were basically implying (saying) that the next few teams the Celtics would play were weaker than Boston and the Celtics could be seen as the easy winners. Well, someone forgot to tell the Hawks that little nugget. Or given how the Hawks came back to slap Boston around like a redheaded stepchild, perhaps Atlanta did get told that information. Whatever the cause, the Hawks came back to win 109-105 as Boston spiraled to a 4-11 record (and their 7th straight loss) after the game was over.

The Hawks are coached by former San Antonio assistant Mike Budenholzer. I think it is not much of a stretch to say that he's going about building the Hawks in the say "Way" that the Spurs have been run for years now. And while the team may not be all that good now, this is one of those laying the groundwork years for future payoff.

The Celtics led by 16 points at half-time (after leading by as many as 23 during the first half) and by 5 points after three quarters. But once again, they collapsed in the fourth quarter and saw an entirely winnable game slip out of their collective grasp. This in spite of 25 points from Jeff Green and 22 points and 9 rebounds from Jared Sullinger. Avery Bradley scored 18 points and Evan Turner finished with 12. Rajon Rondo's scoring was negligible in the game but he finished with 12 rebounds and 19 assists (though he did turn the ball over 7 times).

When a team (even a not very good team like the Celtics are right now) finds themselves playing a team that is clearly worse than them, you'd think they'd know enough to not be caught in a trap situation of playing down to the level of their opponent. The Detroit Pistons came into their game against the Celtics this week having lost 9 games in a row.

But the Celtics were clearly not interested in making things easy on themselves for even one night. They blew an 11 point fourth quarter lead and they had to eventually get the 109-102 win in OT. They very nearly wasted a huge 32 point performance from Jeff Green (shown below).

Another positive sign to come from this game was the sudden re-emergence of Kelly Olynyk. He's been struggling as of late and those struggles have seen him demoted from a starting role with the Celtics. While coming off the bench he hadn't found his offensive stroke before this game, but something clicked for the night because he had a big day with 20 points and 7 rebounds.

I don't know if it is simply that he's in a shooting slump or if there is some kind of mental block to factor into his struggles, but Olynyk (shown below) hasn't looked like the contributor he's been in the past for the past few games. Taking him out of the starting lineup was probably the right thing to do as he looks to regain his form.

As an aside, the local factory outlet store in my area held another Pro Team Tent Sale this weekend and while they didn't have much that I wanted to buy, I did pick up a new Celtics T-shirt with Olynyk's name and number on the back. I like the guy and hope that he gets back on track soon.

The biggest positive coming out of Olynyk's demotion has been the emergence of Tyler Zeller. At the beginning of the season, Zeller was one of the odd men out in the rotation. Coach Brad Stevens had a hard time finding regular minutes for him. But to his credit, Zeller stayed ready for when his number might be called.

The last four games has seen Zeller in the starting lineup and it all came together for him on Friday night as the Celtics played the Lakers. As the Celtics ended up cruising (not a term associated with a Celtics game much this season) to a 113-96 victory, Zeller (shown below) had a career high 24 points while grabbing 14 rebounds.

Jeff Green scored 19 points (though he led Boston with 7 turnovers as well). Jared Sullinger added 17 points and 13 boards while Avery Bradley hit for 16 points.

Rajon Rondo made news before the game after being spotted having breakfast with Kobe Bryant (see below). It was much ado about nothing of course, but everything is news these days so it was story with legs for a few hours.

During the game however, Rondo helped eat the Lakers lunch as he scored 12 points, dished out 16 assists (7 of those came on baskets by Zeller) and grabbed 8 rebounds.

The Celtics shot 51.1% for the game and outrebounded L.A. by a hefty 68-44 margin.

Once the best rivalry in pro basketball, the Celtics-Lakers clashes don't have the same fire and brimstone quality these days as both teams are on the wrong side of the talent field. The Lakers are basically Kobe and a cast of "Are you kidding me?" players. I highly doubt their season will go down as a successful one.

As I've said before about the Celtics, they have a lot of really good individual players, but are lacking that one cohesive player to tie all the individual parts together. While they have a chance to be a halfway decent team if they'd learn how to play 48 minutes of quality defense and stop playing crappy offense for one half of a game, they aren't a threat to contend for the title either.

But for a night, the old "Beat L.A." theme is great to see and feel all over again.

The Celtics have won two games in a row now and improve to 6-11 on the year. They play the Washington Wizards tomorrow afternoon looking for a third straight win.

Overall, the Celtics are a mediocre team with a poor record right now. But unlike gawdawful teams like the Sixers (still trying to purposely lose despite actually winning their first game this week) and the Pistons, they have enough talent to at least give rise to hopes of being a quality team this year.

Given their periodic offense and defensive lapses, I don't know if those hopes will come to fruition or not. But perserverance furthers, no?

GO CELTICS!

 

The Celtics Report 11/22/14
Category: NBA
Tags: NBA BostonCeltics MemphisGrizzlies PhoenixSuns Philadelphia76ers JaredSullinger BrandonBass KellyOlynyk

 

 

 

The week began with the Celtics sending both Dwight Powell and James Young down to the Maine Red Claws to get them some game action while they sit at the end of the Celtics rotation. It appears this will be a regular plan with the two players as the season progresses.

As for the on court actions of the Celtics, it was a hit and miss kind of week.

Boston stands at 4-7 now after three games that were a mishmash collection of moments of happiness, frustration and questions of what the hell?

Things started off against the Phoenix Suns. The Celtics were down by double digits in the game but fired back with a rally that saw them tie the score at 114. But Suns player Eric Bledsoe got a steal and a dunk in the last minute of the game that ended up being the deciding points in a 118-114 loss for Boston.

Jeff Green had a 28 points to lead the team scoring. Tyler Zeller had a huge game with 19 points and 7 boards. Jared Sullinger added 18 points and 8 rebounds. Avery Bradley finished with 16 points and Rajon Rondo had 14 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists.

But this game raised the question about what the Celtics might be able to accomplish if they stopped finding themselves down so much in games. They have the ability to score, the comebacks prove that. But their defense, particularly in late game situations has not only been question, but absolutely pilloried. They've been TERRIBLE defensively.

The local sports reporter here in town sent out a tweet referencing a Jeff Green dunk that said "For the few remaining C's fans out there..." I had to respond back that my fandom for the Celtics never fades, despite my frustration with the team." He retweeted my response. But it is a true thing and my fandom is summed up by a T-shirt I saw earlier in the week.

Things improved a little bit midweek when the 76ers were on the schedule. As most anyone knows, Philadelphia is purposely trying to lose games this year. They are tanking the season and aren't even attempting to hide it even a little bit. They were 0-10 coming into the game and everyone is teeing off on them. (You can read more about that in my Sunday Musings blog tomorrow.)

Boston ended up taking the game 101-90 for their 4th win of the year. The funny thing for me was when I read the score, I thought, "they only won by 11 points over a team trying to lose?" The Sixers were so blatantly tanking this game that they were down just 10 points with 3 minutes left and one of the commentators on the news program following the game said that they made no aggressive attempt to try and get back into the game.

But one point or a hundred, the margin of victory isn't as important as the victory itself.

Brandon Bass, the forgotten man of the Celtics, was on fire during this game and scored 23 points. Jared Sullinger added 22 points and 9 boards. The Celtics got 13 points from Marcus Thornton and 11 points and 10 boards from Jeff Green.

On Friday night, the Celtics squared off against the Memphis Grizzlies. Memphis is the best team in the NBA (record-wise) right now and they showed it against Boston. They won the game 117-100 and it was likely not even that close. This despite the Grizzlies seeing 7 players affected by a stomach virus and the team obviously not quite up to snuff in terms of physical health.

The Grizzlies outrebounded the Celtics 50-38 and the lack of a physical post defense from Boston saw the Grizzlies outscore them in the paint 66-38. They led by as many as 21 points in the fourth quarter. Marc Gasol led Memphis with a career high tying 32 points. Zach Randolph had 16 points and 16 boards despite sitting the entire fourth quarter because Memphis was so far ahead.

As for Boston's offense, Kelly Olynyk scored 18 points to lead 6 players in double figures for the Celtics. And while that is a decent point total, coach Brad Stevens wasn't totally sold on his performance, or rather the seeming lack of consistent performance from the team as a whole. He said that there were times that Olynyk showed flashes, but added, "Maybe there are some learning experiences for these guys, but they have to expedite that curve because they're playing for us. We're not showing them film and learning after practice. They're playing in games."

I think the losing or rather the way the team is losing is starting to wear a bit thin on the coach and it is nice to see that he isn't just silently stewing. I think that the team does need a bit of a fire lit under them. They have found numerous ways to lose games this year so far and they really need to start fine-tuning things so that they can be a better team in the end.

I know that playoffs are a stretch, but I would like to see them at least be in the mix for a playoff spot for a while. The Celtics have talent, that is unquestioned. But they need to play more consistently on both offense and defense. If they do that, they can win more games and be harder to team to deal with for the top flight teams in the NBA.

GO CELTICS!

The Celtics Report 11/15/14
Category: NBA
Tags: NBA BostonCeltics RajonRondo EvanTurner KellyOlynyk LeBronJames

 

 

 

When I wrote about the Celtics last week, I didn't have time to include last Saturday's game against the Chicago Bulls. Before that game, the Celtics were 2-3. They didn't look great but they didn't look entirely bad either.

With both Rajon Rondo (out for surgery on his hand to remove screws) and Marcus Smart out of action (Smart's injury turned out to be a sprain and not a break!), Boston started Evan Turner at the point guard position. Prior to the Bulls game, Turner had been seen as almost uniformly awful thus far this season.

However, Chicago got to see a different side of Turner as he helped key a big offensive rout of the Bulls for three quarters and helped hold off Chicago's furious rally in the fourth quarter. Turner led 7 players in double figures for Boston with 19 points and he added 6 assists.

I also mentioned in my last Celtics piece that Tyler Zeller had been the odd man out of the rotation through the first five games. For the Bulls game, he saw his first extended action (21:10 minutes played) and he responded with 10 points and 7 boards. Marcus Thornton added 11 points.

The Celtics evened their record with this 106-101 victory. They had been cruising along until the fourth quarter however, when Aaron Brooks (26 points overall) exploded for 19 points as Chicago rallied to make this more of a nailbiter than the first three quarters of action would've had you believing it was going to end up being.

Unfortunately for Boston and its fan base, the team's next two games would prove both a little disappointing and disheartening.

On Wednesday night, the Celtics faced an Oklahoma City Thunder team that was without both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. While you don't ever simply believe a team is going to win a game when the opposing team's best players are out of action, you would've thought the Celtics would've been a good bet to win this game.

And as the 109-94 final score will attest, you would've been wrong.

Boston started out the game in fine fashion. They built a 15 point lead in the first quarter. But anyone who follows the NBA knows games aren't won in the first quarter. Thanks to 28 points apiece from both Reggie Jackson (the ex-Boston College star added 8 assists) and Anthony Morrow, the Thunder soon took control of the game and Boston couldn't keep up.

Rajon Rondo had a good night overall with 20 points, 12 assists and 9 rebounds. Avery Bradley added 17 points. Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk each finished with 14 points.

And if the loss to the Thunder wasn't enough to curdle your milk, watching Friday night's loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers should've turned it absolutely rancid.

But before we talk about the game itself, can I just say that people or organizations who write headlines for articles or even tweets need to do a better job of editing. Seriously, the CelticsLife.com blog actually tweeted out a headline for a preview article of the game that said this game was LeBron's first game in Boston as a Cav.

Ummm....say what? Yes, I know what they ACTUALLY meant...that it was his first game in Boston as a Cavalier...THIS TIME AROUND. But the headline was written carelessly as if to say that the website was completely discounting all those years he spent as a member of the Cavs at the start of his career. It is just sloppy writing, no?

But anyway, on to the game.

The Celtics should've won this game. I know they were playing LeBron, a player they haven't held to less than 23 points in something like 33 games, but come on people. Boston led by 6 points after the first quarter, were tied at halftime, blew out the Cavs in the third quarter to take a 17 point lead and then built it up to 19 points to start the fourth.

And then it was like a cartoon character stepping on a rake as the Celtics shot themselves in the foot at the same time as Cleveland's offense woke up.

All of a sudden, Boston's aggressiveness and ability to hit shots disappeared as the Cavs won the fourth quarter 38-20 and the game 122-121. You can argue calls and non-calls all you want (Jeff Green lies on the court holding his family jewels after LeBron hooks him and yet there is no foul called? No wonder Tommy Heinsohn exploded on the telecast), but the fact of the matter is that for whatever reason, the Celtics didn't play the fourth quarter well at all.

They played to not lose the game instead of playing to win.

For the Cavaliers, LeBron finished with a season high 41 points. Kyrie Irving had just 4 points in the first half but finished with 27 in all. Kevin Love added 12 points and 15 rebounds.

Despite all that, the Celtics still should've won this game. They got a team high 21 points from Kelly Olynyk. At halftime, Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix (working as a studio analyst for the broadcast) said that despite the share and share alike offense the Celtics are running, Olynyk should be seeing the ball more. He detailed that idea as not meaning more shots necessarily but also that Olynyk is a very good passer as well. Mannix wanted to see the ball in Olynyk's hands more so that he could facilitate offense for others as well.

Jeff Green had 19 points as did Jared Sullinger (he added 10 rebounds as well). Rondo dished out 16 assists in the game and had a chance to win the game. The Celtics had the ball with 7 seconds left but Rondo mishandled the ball and couldn't get a shot off before the buzzer sounded. A rather fitting conclusion to a depressing game.

So the Celtics now stand at 3-5 on the season. Still not great but not terrible either. However, after the way they lost their last two games a bit more pessimism has to naturally creep in to the overall outlook on the season. For the Celtics to be better than they were last season (25-57 record), these are the types of games they have to win.

You have to beat teams that are without their top players and you can't lose games when leading by nearly 20 points in the fourth quarter. According to the highlight reel I watched this morning, the loss to Cleveland was the first game the Celtics had lost after leading by 17 points or more after three quarters since 1988!

Those kinds of losses do seem to hang around a team's neck and bring down their fortunes.

Let's hope that isn't the case with this year's Celtics.

An Early Look at the Boston Celtics
Category: NBA
Tags: NBA BostonCeltics

 

 

 

After the Celtics opened up their season with a 16 point victory over the Brooklyn Nets last week, the team found themselves in a bit of a tailspin. They dropped their next three games before picking a victory last night. They are 2-3 on the season.

If you factor in how bad the Pacers (last night's opponent), the Lakers and the Cavaliers have started off, the Celtics aren't looking nearly as bad as observers might have thought. Of course, that's how their season started out last year and that ended up in a 25-57 record, so hopefully people don't get too excited just yet.

So far this season, Jeff Green has been a model of consistency. He's been in double figures for each game played. While he isn't quite yet lighting it up (save the game against Dallas), he's been a big source of offensive production. In the 104-90 loss to Houston last week, he led the team with 17 points. The game itself was the first of two in a row where the Celtics had to overcome a poor start on their part to try and win. The Rockets took control of the game with a 37-22 first quarter edge and never really looked back after that. James Harden led Houston with 26 points.

For Boston, Jared Sullinger scored 14 points and 9 rebounds while the walking trade rumor, Rajon Rondo, had 4 points, 8 assists and 10 rebounds.

The Celtics next faced off against the Dallas Mavericks and after another poor start saw the team down 67-41 at half-time, the Celtics woke up their offense. They staged a massive rally that invariably fell short 118-113. This was Jeff Green's big night as he led the comeback with 35 points and 7 boards. Avery Bradley scored 32 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Rondo had 7 points, 15 assists and 9 rebounds and Jared Sullinger had 14 opints and 7 boards.

And while the rally was great entertainment, the players did acknowledge after the game that they are shooting themselves in the foot when they come out of the starting gate so poorly.

Much like a two year old child, the team is likely to experience these bad start/good start mood swings given the relative youth of the players who will see the bulk of the playing time this year.

An example of this was their 110-107 loss to the Toronto Raptors. This time the Celtics came out on fire and built a 16 point lead. But they were unable to hold it and saw that lead cut down to 3 points by half-time on their way to coughing up another game to their opponent.

Green led the team with 20 points while Sullinger scored 19 points and had 16 boards. Kelly Olynyk added 18 points and 13 boards while Avery Bradley finished with 16 points. Rondo had his first triple double of the season with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists. Rookie Marcus Smart scored 12 points.

It may have been the fifth loss in a row for the Indiana Pacers last night, but they sure made the Celtics work for the 101-98 victory. And it could very well be a costly victory as the team saw Smart go down with a left ankle injury. As I write this, there is no word on if it is a bad sprain or a broken ankle, but it didn't look very good as he was carted off the floor last night. The Celtics rallied themselves to clinch the victory, but given the high hopes the team has on the development of Smart, this is a body blow no one saw coming. Sullinger had 17 points to lead Boston with Green scoring 15 points. Olynyk had 12 points while Brandon Bass had 10 points.

So what are we seeing out of the team thus far? They are being competitive, but the sustained youth movement on the team finds the mix of veterans and rookies not quite there in terms of gelling as a team thus far. The up and down nature of how Boston starts games seems to determine what the final result will be.

Brad Stevens is still working on figuring out a rotation. While most of the new blood is seeing playing time, he hasn't yet been able to find much court time for Tyler Zeller. And Brandon Bass, who was a key figure in last year's team, has largely become a forgotten man. When I saw that he had 10 points in the box score from last night's game, it surprised me because I can't really recall hearing his name mentioned since the preseason. It is a shame considering how much of a presence he can give the team in the post as a rebounder.

Jared Sullinger has improved his three point shooting which gives him that extended offensive range. It takes him away from being a post presence when he shoots the three ball, but if the Celtics can get more production down low from other players, it won't present as much of a problem.

Rondo is Rondo, he's going to make great numbers while dishing out one assist after another. But the continued questions about his status with the team is going to become a distraction as the trading deadline draws near. Of course, depending on the severity of the injury to Smart, Rondo may end up staying in Boston (as both he and management have stated they want). I think this is a good thing if they can get a contract worked out. But if not, Rondo walks at the end of the year and the Celtics get nothing. You'd lose your best player and trade asset.

Marcus Smart doesn't quite have an NBA caliber shot just yet and if the Celtics are left with him and Bradley on the perimeter, opposing teams aren't going to worry about them hitting that big outside shot as much.

Kelly Olynyk has been a solid player so far this season. I like him and think he can be a valuable piece of the franchise. My buddy Brian has an opposing view and it will be interesting to see which of us is right in the end.

There hasn't been a whole of time to evaluate some of the players on the roster yet. Whether still rehabbing injuries or simply not having much playing time, I can't really say what Vitor Faverani, James Young, Gerald Wallace, Dwight Powell or Phil Pressey will bring to the Celtics this season. I know that Marcus Thornton is going to be looked at to provide some stability off the bench.

As for Evan Turner, just five games into the season and I'm already seeing stuff online saying he's absolutely horrible. His name hasn't really popped up that much in the game recaps either.

Oh, and in a bit of off the court news, the Celtics have unveiled their "Parquet Pride" alternate uniforms and memorabilia collection. These uniforms will be used 6 times this season and in those six games get ready to absolutely vomit at these gross abomination sleeved uniforms. You can read about these hideous things HERE.

The thing about the Celtics uniforms is that they didn't bow to modern trends. They were the classic basketball uniform. The Celtics or Boston on the front was all you needed. This new uniform being used 6 times this season is 6 times too many. They are ruining a uniform brand that has stood the test of time and remains better than anything that has been deemed a more "modern" uniform.

THIS IS AN EMBARRASSMENT:

But back to the team itself now...

I don't know rightly what to expect from the Celtics this year. After the failure to lure a big name free agent to Boston, I said that 25-57 might look good given the roster the team was going to have. But that same feeling I had when the Celtics started out decently (record wise) last year is mysteriously still present within me this year. If they can avoid long losing streaks and maintain their early season level of competitiveness, this Celtics team might actually end up surprising people.

The players are buying into what Brad Stevens is preaching/teaching and as they play more games, I can see the team growing up together. Will that mean more wins, I don't know. But I do like that for now, I have a sense of optimism.

GO CELTICS!

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