By: Travis Thayer (@TheTravisThayer)
2012-13 Record: 41-40
Projected 2013-14 Finish: 3rd in the Atlantic Division
Projected Starting Lineup
Doc Rivers gone, Paul Pierce gone, and Kevin Garnett gone. The Boston Celtics have committed to rebuilding, and it’s possible Rondo may be next out the door. New head coach Brad Stevens hopes that’s not the case, but if your going to blow up the team, you have to completely blow it up. The Celtics would likely get a king’s ransom for Rondo, and that could set them up nicely for the future. It’s more likely that Rondo would be traded in the offseason, or sometime next season (free-agent after 2014-15) because he is still battling back from an ACL injury. Nobody is sure when Rondo will return, but he has stated he won’t be taking the Derrick Rose route to recovery. Avery Bradley will assume Rondo’s position until he returns, but the replacements of Pierce and Garnett will be far more intriguing. Jeff Green will fill Pierce’s void, and he is coming off a nice year. Green averaged 12.8 PPG while shooting .46 percent from the field. Green will see increased scoring with increased shots. He only shot the ball ten times a game last season, and that will likely increase as Boston’s number one scoring option. Green is a fine player, but there is no way he will be near the player Pierce is. Brandon Bass steps into the starting lineup for Kevin Garnett, and while Bass is a solid contributor – he lacks the intensity that Garnett instilled in this team for six seasons.
The 2013-14 Boston Celtics are made up of a bunch of really nice role players, outside of Rondo. Humphries and Bass aren’t solid in the front-court, but they would be backups on any contending team. The same goes for players such as Courtney Lee or Avery Bradley. Having said that, I still think the Celtics will be better than most think because Brad Stevens is a great coach. His Butler teams weren’t the most talented, but he was able to get them to the Final Four twice. If there is anyone who can do more with less its Brad Stevens.