Great Expectations

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Great Expectations Empty Great Expectations

Post by dboss on Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:59 pm

Well here we are again.  A new season filled with high expectations and a lot of excitement.  My hope is that the Celtics make it to the EC finals and then compete for a banner this year.  That is a lot to ask for but the rankings are not a fluke.  Boston has become a contender.  Since the playoff loss against Atlanta, a lot of changes have occurred.  The question is, Have these changes addressed weaknesses with this team?

That playoff series showed us that Boston could not compete if Bradley and KO were not able to play.  There simply was not enough quality depth to absorb their absence.  We also were resolved to the fact that Jared Sullinger was no longer a core player and that coach Stevens had little confidence that he would be able to affect the Atlanta series in any meaningful way.  

Last year the Celtics won 48 games but their playoff seeding was rather poor.  Toronto remained atop the standings and has been a tough out for the Celtics for the last few years.  The big dog in the East remains the Cavs and I have seen nothing that tells me they have lost their edge.

The Celtics added Green and drafted Brown to sure up the wings and Rozier has developed remarkably well and is set to have a break out year.  He has been the most impressive player on the team through pre-season.  He appears ready to challenge for some significant floor time and provides the flexibility to play the 1 or 2 spots on the floor.  

The big acquisition was getting Al Horford.

On defense he provides the type of back line help that we have not had since KG was patrolling the lanes.  On offense he can play inside and out and appears to be a perfect fit.  It is hard to believe that he has not been playing on this team for a long time.    Brad likes to run the offense through his bigs and Al fits well into that scheme.

Sullinger and Turner are gone and therefore our 3 point shooting percentage will increase.  My expectation is that Boston can increase that percentage into the mid 30’s this year.  The Celtics should play faster because Rozier and Brown and green can get up and down in a hurry.  Our rotation should be better overall.  

The one concern that I have is rebounding.  While Horford is solid we do not have a stud rebounder on the team as Sully was our best rebounder.  That means that our rebounding issues must be addressed by rebounding better as a team where our guards and wings pound the glass to eliminate offensive rebounds from our opponents.

With KO out to start the year Jordan Mickey should see some early rotation minutes.  He was pretty solid during pre-season and may be ready to take the next step.  Jonas will also get the majority of KO’s minutes although Jonas was not very impressive during pre-season.

Zeller may be our x-factor this year because he is the only pure center on the team.  Zeller plays well overall and will need to anchor the second unit.  The weakest position on our team continues to be at the 5 spot and no rim protector has been added.  

We should expect to see multiple lineups and rotations.

It looks like the starting 5 will be IT, AB, JC, AJ and AH.  That could change depending on how well Zeller. Jerebko and Mickey play off the bench.  I can envision a scenario where Amir goes to the bench and Boston plays small ball with Crowder moving to the 4 and brown getting a few stars at SF.  Mickey may even get a few stars at PF alongside AH.  I think Brad will continue to tweak things in an effort to achieve an inside and outside threat from our bigs at all times.

I expect to see Marcus as the first guy off the bench followed by Rosier and Brown (guards and forwards) and Zeller will be the primary backup 5.  Until KO returns Jonas will need to fill the stretch 4/5 role off the bench.

The team has a lot of quality depth over last year’s team.  Now it is just a matter of getting everyone to play together and figuring out what pieces work best together.

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Post by NYCelt on Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:22 pm

dboss,

Nice summary of the team going into the season.

Regards
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Post by dboss on Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:52 pm

NYCelt

The kids Jackson and Young will get a chance to play at some point during the season. Given the length of the season and the normal injuries that always occur, those guys will get a chance to play.

I did not think DA would keep Jackson but it is good that he will have a chance to develop. The Celtics and their D-League team do a great job in coaching these young guys up. Jackson is more ready to play now than Young especially since he shots the ball very well.

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