At the start of last season the Celtics, while old, were seen as one of the biggest threats in the league. With their constantly dominating defense and overall talent, they have been considered a constant championship-caliber team since the acquisition of the big three.
But this went downhill pretty fast. This once-great team is now on the precipice of a new season, one that looks to be the worst in some time for the Celtics.
This past offseason has been the worst in the history of the Celtics franchise. In an offseason where many teams were picking up new talent and making pushes to be playoff contenders, the Celtics had the opposite going. New coach, new players, and injuries have left the future of the Celtics in a shadow of doubt.
This offseason the Celtics lost their coach, Doc Rivers; a man considered to be one of the best coaches in the league, and one of the biggest parts of the Celtics’ success in the recent past. On top of this, the team lost two of the best players in the game in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, both of whom went to the Brooklyn Nets in a recent trade that left the Celtics with little for a lot.
Adding to the team’s list of problems is the injury status of now solo team star Rajon Rondo. With reports of his comeback being unreliable at best, without Rondo the team does not have any star talent (and I am also at a loss of not seeing my favorite athlete play). This raises a question of who will be the new point guard for the team. Avery Bradley struggled last season taking the role, and is clearly a better shooting guard and sidekick to Rondo. So whoever will assume this role will definitely have to be a trial and error situation of who best fits until Rondo can come back.
This is not all of the team’s problems however; the bow on top of all this is the recent legal troubles that future potential star Jared Sullinger has encountered in the form of domestic violence. I guess in perspective it could be worse: he could have pulled a Lamar Odom…right? Think positively! But really, not much more could have gone worse for the team this summer.
It is not all bad news for the Celtics, however. Their new coach, Brad Stevens, while new to the NBA game, is a coach familiar with winning at the college level. Former coach at Butler University, Stevens collected 166 total wins to only 49 losses, and won the Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award in 2011. He is known for his knowledge of defense and bringing in statistical insight. He is someone I’m extremely excited to see fit into the equation and lead this team as a young coach.
The team also acquired some veteran and new talent from the Nets including: Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph, MarShon Brooks and Keith Bogans. Veterans are ideal to have during a rebuilding phase because they can teach the younger, highly drafted players that will inevitably find their way to the Celtics team without their knowledge of the game. Though their current stats may not be the most favorable, it is definitely something to work with.
So what does the future hold for the Celtics and their fans? It will be a long road back to where they were even just one season ago but if any team can do it, it would be the Celtics. The biggest keys for the fans would be patience and trust. The next few seasons may not be at the same caliber as what Celtics fans have been accustomed to lately but the future is bright.