Opening night has finally arrived. As the Celtics look to get revenge on Miami tonight and begin the season on a good note, its time for us here at Causeway Street to make our predictions for the upcoming season.
What will be the Celtics regular season record when its all said and done?
Josue : Celtics Record 52-30
Due mainly to the emergence of Rajon Rondo
Joel : Celtics Record: 58-24 Given all the adversity this team had to go through last season, and all the new pieces added this season (only five players are returning from 2011-12 squad). Doc Rivers and CO where only 48 minutes away from a third trip to the NBA finals in five years. With that being said, I’m looking at this season as similar to the 2007-2008 year where everyone had Detroit Pistons (had five straight ECF appearances prior to 08’) not only as the favorite to come out of the East but a good chance to win it all. Obviously the Heat are defending champs, but who gave them the most problems in the playoff this past spring? I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t OKC!
Heenehan : 66-16
I have very high expectations for this 2013 Celtics team, however the Eastern Conference is loaded with talent rich teams that I suspect will take games down to the wire. Expect the C’s to have an impressive home stand and maybe run into some trouble while out on ever-grinding road stretches.
The Celtics will still be the most impressive team in the Atlantic Division. However, it looks like these teams will beat the crap out of each other all year. Yes, the Celtics are better than they were last year but I do not think whatsoever that the emphasis will be on the regular season. Rest is key especially for the veterans.
Who will be the Celtics MVP?
Josue : Rajon Rondo
This will be his career year. He will lead the the league in assists and will be an NBA MVP candidate. Rondo now feels more comfortable than ever about his scoring ability and his confidence is through the roof.
Joel : Rajon Rondo
When the smoke has cleared every postseason since 2009(16PPG/10.2APG/7RPG), who is everyone talking about as the Celtics best performer? Rondo knows what it takes to get this team to the top and its time for everyone to be let in on his little secret; he is the best pure guard in this league, period. He makes players like Leon Powe, Greg Stiemsma, and even Tony Allen look good. He knows how to get you the ball and where you want it (Good luck #34 on those touches in M.I.A.). Bottom line he affects the game without having to score much, imagine when he starts hitting those 15-footers and free-throws constantly this year? It’s scary, but yet comforting at the same time. League MVP is not so far fetched, when you realize his time is now.
Heenehan: Rajon Rondo.
His floor leadership and mutual trust with Doc will never be stronger. Any success that this team will have starts and ends with Rondo.
Dutra: Kevin Garnett
We saw it last year. When Kevin Garnett is on the floor for the Celtics they have the ability to keep up with any team in the league. Yeah, Rondo may be the most talented player on the squad but they will only go as far as KG will take them. Check out the ridiculous plus/minus from last years playoffs. +138. Ridiculous for a 36 year old power forward playing center.
What or who will be the biggest surprise of the Celtics regular season?
Josue: Jared Sullinger
Joel: Darko Milicic
Sullinger will be a great rebounder who will give the Celtics lots of second chance opportunities. He will also surprise people with good one-on-one defense.
Let’s give it a rest for the labeling him the biggest # 2 draft pick bust in history already. I’ve seen worst players, trust me (anyone remember the Candyman?). Detroit would have two more rings right now had they gone with Carmelo. But what’s done is done, and 10 years later the Celtics have exactly what they need; a quality big man who can rebound and block shots, and score when asked to. The best part aside from the fact you can rest KG more and he was signed relatively cheap, he is 27 folks. How many big men were actually available this off-season under 30?
Heenehan: Jared Sullinger
Well it might not be “surprise” but I think Jared Sullinger will be a stand-out rookie that will have more of an impact on this team then we know at this point. His ability to play strong around the glass can provide much needed relief to Garnett and the other bigs.
Dutra: Jared Sullinger
A rookie making an impact on the Celtics his first year???? Boston hasn't seen that since Paul Pierce came to town. On top of that, there is talk he could crack the starting line up. Sullinger has to be the biggest surprise this year if he comes in and produces. A lot for a guy who was viewed as damaged goods in the draft. Good gamble on this pick Danny, now Fab Melo.....eeeehhhhhh time will tell.
Make your Bold Prediction for the upcoming Celtics season.
Josue: Seven players will average double figures in scoring.
In this order: Pierce, Garnett, Rondo, Terry, Bass, Green & Lee (he'll average 9, count it)
Joel: Celtics will finish with a better record than Miami.
Believe it or not Miami has not been the favorite to come out of the East the last two years. It’s been Chicago. Who knows what would have happened with a healthy Rose. Then again who knows what would have happened with a healthy Green, Wilcox, Bradley, O’ Neal, Paul and even # 20. See where I’m going with this? The Celtics are by far the deepest team in the league, better than San Antonio was last season. They have legit depth at every position, so health in my opinion should not be the Celtics kryptonite like has been the previous four years. Plus Boston has won the season battle between them the last two years combined. If Miami is the only thing standing in the way of being able to play for a ring, I like their chances. If it comes down to a game seven again, trust me you won’t see the bench scoring 19-2 in favor of the Heat!
Heenehan: Jason Terry will win his second Sixth Man of the Year Award
Mainly due to his outstanding play and Doc’s clever use of the bench throughout the year, Terry will thrive in Boston and the experts will notice.
Dutra: Jeff Green, not Jason Terry will be the NBA's sixth man of the year.
We've seen what he is capable of this preseason and it truly wouldn't surprise me if he takes home this award by the seasons end. I think he will be a definite spark off the bench bringing an aspect of athleticism that the Celtics haven't seen. If Green can keep up his production from the preseason and the hunger to show the league he is back from all his setbacks, Green will win the 6th man of the year award this year.