2014-15 Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics finally acknowledged Father Time last season after arguably taking a season or two more than they should have with an aging roster that did win a NBA championship but was proving incapable of holding up through the grind of the 82 game NBA season. With such mainstays as Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and head coach Doc Rivers having left the scene the Celtics pretty much did as expected as they finished 25-57 but with better than expected betting value as a team that the odds makers had to enhance with extra points to get public action drawn their way.
Boston is in the midst of the process of rebuilding through draft picks and with the curious hire of second year head coach Brad Stevens, who made his fame in college basketball with the Butler Bulldogs and had no prior NBA experience. Stevens had to struggle to learn the NBA game with a young roster lacking NBA experience as their top player, assist machine PG Rajon Rondo, was out with injury. Rondo returns for 2014-15 however and with a year under his belt Stevens may be poised to lead Boston out of the wilderness in the woefully weak NBA Eastern Conference.
2014-15 Boston Celtics odds to win the 2015 NBA Championship: 75/1
2014-15 Boston Celtics Depth Chart
PF-Jared Sullinger, Brandon Bass, Dwight Powell, Erik Murphy
C-Kelly Olynyk, Tyler Zeller, Vitor Faverani, Joel Anthony
SF-Jeff Green, Gerald Wallace, Evan Turner
SG-Avery Bradley, Marcus Thornton, James Young
PG-Rajon Rondo, Marcus Smart, Phil Pressey
Marcus Smart, Marcus Thornton, Evan Turner, James Young, Tyler Zeller
The 37 year old Brad Stevens arrived at Boston as a boy wonder that took Butler to within a shot of a national championship and as the 2011 college coach of the year. He was highly regarded for winning at Butler with inferior talent which is what the Celtics are asking him to do, at least for the immediate. The hiring of Stevens must still be considered an experiment, if not a crazy reach, until proven otherwise with wins on the court. Other top shelf college coaches such as John Calipari and Rick Pitino found the NBA far different and difficult than the college game.
The return of Rondo is a significant improvement as he is among the top floor generals in the NBA with 11.1 points and 9.8 assists per game for his career. Rondo has averaged no less than 9.8 assists per game since 2009-10 and is a four time NBA All Star. The question is whether or not Rondo gets traded during the season if the Celtics decide to raise the white flag of being out of playoff contention.
Jared Sullinger showed significant improvement in his second NBA season last year with 13.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game and looking very much like the first round pick that he was in 2012.
Marcus Smart was the Celtics top draft pick this past summer and is slated to take over for Rondo in the expected event that he leaves the Celtics for free agency. Smart is touted as a bona fide future star that the Celtics can build their offense around.
Center Kelly Olynyk is another member of the Boston “Kiddie Corps” that bodes well for the long term future but not necessarily the immediate season.
For Boston the long range future looks promising but whether Stevens will be around by the time the raw talent blossoms remains the ultimate over under proposition!
Boston Celtics 2013-14 Statistics
Straight Up: 25-57
ATS Overall: 39-41-2
ATS Home: 17-23-1
ATS Away: 22-18-1
ATS Favorite: 10-12
ATS Dog: 29-29-2
O/U Overall: 39-43
O/U Home: 20-21
O/U Away: 19-22
Offense Points per Game: 96.2 (26th)
Offense Field Goal %: 43.5 (28th)
Offense 3-Point%: 33.3 (28th)
Offense Free Throw%: 77.7 (10th)
Offense Rebounds PG: 42.5 (18th)
Defense Points per Game: 100.7 (13th)
Defense Field Goal%: 46.5 (23rd)
Defense 3-Point%: 34.7 (5th)
Defense Free Throw %: 76.1 (21st)
Defense Rebounds PG: 42.3 (13th)
2013-14 Boston Celtics Team Leaders
Points: Jeff Green 16.9
Assists: Phil Pressey 3.2
Rebounds: Jared Sullinger 8.1
FG%: Brandon Bass 48.6
Steals: Phil Pressey 0.9
Blocks: Brandon Bass 0.9
2014-15 Boston Celtics Roster