As a site, we ranked all the NBA teams from worst to best for our release of season previews. Day thirteen’s release of a season preview ends up being the oddly built Boston Celtics. Corey Bourassa will provide a recap of their past season, an offseason recap, and then finally the season preview all of us fans are eager for.
Last Season’s Record: 40-42
Playoffs Status: Swept in the 1st round by the Cleveland Cavaliers
The 2014-2015 season, the Boston Celtics were suppose to be in a rebuilding process. Due to major injuries to other teams in the conference (Miami, Charlotte, and Indiana), amazing team chemistry, solid bench play, lead by Isaiah Thomas, and with the big trade of Rajon Rondo, the Celtic’s finished with a record of 40-42, which was good enough to clinch a playoff berth. Once in the playoffs, Boston stood very little chance of competing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland had superior talent across the board, even after Kevin Love was hurt, and out for the remainder of the playoffs. Boston ended up being swept in this series, but as bad as losing is, this loss brought many valuable lessons to the young squad for the future.
Before the draft, GM Danny Ainge was heavily invested in using his multitude of draft picks and players to try and acquire DeMarcus Cousins. Sacramento remained adamant about not wanting to trade him yet, and refused any offer for him, leaving the Celtic’s without a definitive superstar to build around. Next, Danny Ainge told Celtic’s fans there would be fireworks for the Celtics, and there was a good chance they would trade up into the top 10. Unfortunately, those fireworks got wet and Boston ended up keeping their picks. It was not if Boston did not try to move up, and a deal with Charlotte almost happened, but Charlotte wanted way more than Boston would give up. So as the draft progressed, and the Boston Celtics were now on the clock at pick 16, the Celtic’s selected Louisville combo guard Terry Rozier. Many are speculating what the plan with Rozier is, as he is a very raw point guard prospect, and possesses the same scoring abilities as Isaiah Thomas, leaving for confusing among everyone outside their organization. Later in the first round, R.J. Hunter, a shooting guard/small forward from the Georgia State University was their selection. Hunter should provide an instant three point threat for the Celtics to have at their disposal from the bench. In the second round, Boston selected LSU forward, Jordan Mickey and William & Mary guard, Marcus Thornton. Mickey is looked at to give a rim protector threat, but being only 6’8, Mickey may struggle with this at the professional level. This summer, Thornton reached an agreement to play in Australia, so he will not be making any contributions for the team this year. With the biggest need being a reliable rim protector, and not selecting one, many view the Celtic’s draft as unsuccessful, but Ainge is putting tradeable pieces all over his roster for what looks like to be a possible big trade in the future.
After the draft, questions marks were raised by analysts on how the Celtic’s were going to use their back court rotation of guards with Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier, James Young, and Avery Bradley all needing playing time. Many thought, Ainge was going to use these players to continue his quest for DeMarcus Cousins or Kevin Love. Shortly after, GM Danny Ainge talked about how they wanted to sign a marquee type player during free agency. Hoping to sign Kevin Love, Ainge tried shopping multiple players to appeal to Love, but in the end, Love ended up resigning with Cleveland. Celtics resigned bench players, Jae Crowder, who was terrific coming off the bench, as well as forward Jonas Jerebko. The Celtics then signed former Toronto Raptor forward, Amir Johnson. Boston continued their offseason moves by trading Gerald Wallace to the Golden State Warriors for David Lee. Boston also traded for Oklahoma City Thunder forward, Perry Jones, who will be looked at as a stretch four off the bench. All three of these players are athletic bigs, who can help create more reliable post offense. After all of the moves, the Celtics still have a huge need a rim protector. Boston used this offseason to improve their bench, but without the superstar they thought they would acquire, this offseason was not as successful as hoped.
Heading into 2015-2016 season, the Boston Celtics are hoping to keep the rebuilding process going, and make the playoffs again. With the recent decision to not give division winners a guaranteed spot, this will be a lot harder for the Celtics, as many people thought this was the only way Boston had a chance to make it this year. Boston will have to learn how to use their enormous rotation of guards effectively, for as we saw in Phoenix, it can be disastrous. Speaking of guards, Boston hopes second year guard, James Young breaks out of his shell this season, after injuries slowed him down his rookie year. Boston’s biggest strength going into the season is an evenly built team. There should not be a lot of downgrading when they switch their starters for their bench players, as all are about same quality. This will be a huge advantage going down the stretch, as their players should stay more well rested and not see production slip. Boston will likely be in trade rumors all season, as they have the draft picks and players to make a big trade happen. Next offseason, Boston should have a top ten pick in the draft, thanks to the Brooklyn Nets, which help speed the rebuild even faster. Although Boston’s plan A did not go according to plan this offseason, they still have a legitimate chance to win the Atlantic Division, and maybe slip into the playoffs this year.
By: Corey Bourassa
Edited By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17