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2010-11 NBA Blogosphere Previews: Boston Celtics

Posted by Neil Paine on October 26, 2010

Welcome to our 2010-11 NBA Blogosphere Previews, in which we contact the finest team bloggers on the web and ask them to contribute their thoughts on the squad they cover. What follows is their take, along with the team's depth chart (courtesy of ESPN.com), projected 2011 stats via our Simple Projection System, and polls where you get to have your say. Enjoy!

Boston Celtics

Coach: Doc Rivers

2010 Summary:
Record: 50-32, Finished 1st in NBA Atlantic Division
SRS: 3.37 (10th of 30) ▪ Pace: 91.6 (22nd of 30)
Off Rtg: 107.7 (15th of 30) ▪ Def Rtg: 103.8 (5th of 30)
Expected W-L: 52-30 (9th of 30)

2011 Depth Chart (with 2010-11 projected per-36 minute stats ... yellow = newcomer)

Pos Player Age PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV FG% 3PM 3P% FT%
PG Rajon Rondo 24 13.6 4.9 9.1 2.2 0.2 2.8 0.512 0.2 0.256 0.639
PG Delonte West 27 12.7 4.0 4.4 1.4 0.5 2.0 0.449 1.0 0.369 0.809
PG Avery Bradley 20
SG Ray Allen 35 16.8 3.4 2.7 0.8 0.3 1.7 0.467 2.0 0.376 0.916
SG Nate Robinson 26 19.1 4.3 4.9 1.5 0.2 2.2 0.440 2.3 0.361 0.808
SG Von Wafer 25 17.8 3.8 2.2 1.1 0.3 1.8 0.458 1.8 0.397 0.747
SF Paul Pierce 33 19.1 5.0 3.4 1.1 0.4 2.6 0.460 1.5 0.398 0.839
SF Marquis Daniels 30 13.4 4.6 2.6 1.2 0.4 1.9 0.463 0.4 0.232 0.680
SF Stephane Lasme 28 13.7 6.2 2.6 1.2 1.2 2.0 0.456 0.7 0.362 0.716
PF Kevin Garnett 34 17.6 9.0 3.2 1.2 1.1 1.9 0.517 0.1 0.269 0.825
PF Glen Davis 25 12.8 7.4 1.6 1.0 0.5 1.9 0.450 0.1 0.297 0.713
PF Luke Harangody 22
C Jermaine O'Neal 32 16.6 8.2 1.9 0.5 1.9 2.4 0.499 0.0 0.277 0.740
C Shaquille O'Neal 38 18.9 9.9 2.2 0.6 1.7 3.0 0.570 0.1 0.320 0.541
C Semih Erden 24
C Kendrick Perkins 26 12.3 9.8 1.5 0.5 2.2 2.6 0.591 0.0 0.273 0.600

2010-11 Blogger Outlook by Neil Paine, Basketball-Reference.com

For those not paying attention last year, here's a brief recap of the Celtics' schizophrenic 2009-10 season: Boston started the campaign with a scorching 23-5 record, tying Los Angeles for the NBA's best record on Christmas Day. They followed that with a creaky 27-27 finish to the regular season that left many observers questioning whether they could get past Miami in the 1st round of the playoffs, much less battle with Cleveland, Orlando, & the Lakers. And then they flipped the switch like few teams have ever done before, blasting through the Heat, Cavs, and Magic before finally succumbing to L.A. in the 7th game of a dramatic Finals series.

So what can Boston do for an encore after maybe the most up-and-down-and-up-again season in NBA history? Well, if all goes according to plan, more of the same. Not yet ready to close the book on this chapter in Celtics history, Danny Ainge did the only sensible thing this summer, reloading his aging roster by bringing back Ray Allen & Paul Pierce and acquiring veterans like Delonte West & the "O'Neal Brothers", Jermaine and Shaquille. Of course, this only added to Boston's problem with Father Time -- aside from Rondo, their starting five are all very much on the wrong side of 30 -- but windows like the Celtics have don't come around often, and when you get one, you do whatever it takes to keep it open.

Then again, we probably won't know for a while whether that window is actually open anymore, or if it slammed shut after Game 7. Because of their age, the Celtics will likely lie in the regular-season weeds again and pace themselves for the playoffs before striking with one of the NBA's best defenses. The big question, though, is whether an improved Eastern Conference will still be ripe for the taking when Boston does finally decide to shift into a higher gear. The Celtics believe they have another huge playoff run left in their old legs, and after last year it would be foolish to count them out. But even they know the high-wire act they played last year will be even tougher to pull off this season.

Poll Time

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11 Responses to “2010-11 NBA Blogosphere Previews: Boston Celtics”

  1. Jason J Says:

    Of all the contending teams in the East, I think Boston matches up best against LA in a hypothetical Finals. I like the additional depth up front. I like that Garnett and Pierce are no longer nursing injuries while Bryant is. I like Shaq's presence as a big palooka who occupies opposing rebounders at both ends. I like that while Jermaine may not be quite the defender Rasheed was, he's not a tech magnet, and he doesn't think he's Steve Kerr on offense. These things bode well.

  2. Neil Paine Says:

    I agree -- in fact, maybe the biggest reason L.A. won Game 7 was a total lack of size and/or rebounding ability on the part of a Perkins-less Celtics roster, and the O'Neals help remedy that. So I don't think the window is closed yet, and like you say, in terms of matchups these Celtics have proven they can play these Lakers to a virtual draw.

    But those two teams are maybe the most "known" quantities in the entire league. My biggest concern as a Celtics homer would be the unknowns: How much better will Chicago and Milwaukee be? Has Howard improved enough to put Orlando over the top? And exactly how difficult will Miami be to defend? Cleveland has dropped out of contender-ville, to be replaced by Miami, but on paper this Miami team is far more dangerous than the Cavs were the past 2 years. The East feels stronger, and more crowded, than it's been in a long time.

  3. P Middy Says:

    Prediction: KG and PP playing at less than 75% health by the playoffs, Shaq completely out and sowing seeds of annoyance in the locker-room by the time Perkins regains his starting role.

  4. Jason J Says:

    Look who thinks he's Paul Mooney!

  5. Neil Paine Says:

    "Ask a Knicks Fan"

  6. Jason J Says:

    See that's why this is my favorite blog. Neil gets my jokes. You think Dave Berri gets Chappelle Show references?

  7. Neil Paine Says:

    Yeah, and does John Hollinger know his Aqua Teen Hunger Force?

    (Seriously, does he? I have no idea.)

  8. Jason J Says:

    I could see John H being down with the Pee Pants.

  9. Neil Paine Says:

    Oh, no doubt. Lamar Odom almost always has an above-average PER, and you know he wants candy, so yeah, do the math.

  10. tommyfun Says:

    We picked up Troy Murphy, Jeff Green and Nedad Krstic. The season is getting more and more interesting.

  11. Sean Says:

    Still think the C's need Shaq for 20-25 minutes per night come playoff time. If Murphy can play himself into basketball shape in 20+ games, he'll help. He was #2 in the NBA in rebounding 2 years ago. Boston needs that. What Krstic and Murphy bring will make people forget Perkins---------IF---------Shaq is there to be the rhino on the bikepath against the other centers. No Shaq and everyone will complain that Troy & Nenad don't hold down the low block like Perk. You have to like the improved depth at #3 with Green, though.