NBA preview: Celtics with ear-muffs on when it comes to expectations

Avery Bradley Celtics
Avery Bradley will be one of the few familiar faces for the Celtics this season. Credit: Getty Images

The Red Sox are in the middle of the World Series, the Patriots just moved to 6-2 on the year, and the Bruins are playing like early Stanley Cup contenders once again. Heck, the Revolution just made the playoffs, too.

And then there are the Celtics.

The hype surrounding the C’s for the last six seasons is no more, replaced by the visions of ping-pong balls dancing in some fans’ heads. Not all, of course. There are plenty of diehard C’s fans that will cheer the team on no matter what. But expectation-wise? You’d have to find a fan wearing some pretty thick green goggle lenses to hear the word “playoffs” when talking about this season.

With the preseason a thing of the past – the C’s finished 2-6, FYI – they kick off their 2013-14 regular season in Toronto Wednesday night (7 p.m., CSN). It’ll be the first time in a decade-and-a-half that Paul Pierce’s name won’t be called over the loudspeakers when the team is introduced. While that’s a big change for fans, players know that they’ve got to move on with the current roster and keep the right attitude.

“Only thing that’s different is personnel,” Courtney Lee said. “We have a couple guys that are not here that were here last year. But going in this year it’s the same mindset, to go in and try to win every game, one game at a time.”

At 0-0, that’s not a hard mindset to have. But assuming every other NBA team is also trying to win one game at a time, talent alone will probably prevail.

Are the Celtics ready?

“We ain’t got no choice,” Gerald Wallace said. “Ready or not, the season is here. Regardless of how we feel about ourselves individually, the team, regardless, we have [until Wednesday night] and then it’s tip-off.”

And opening night brings lots of questions. The starting lineup isn’t quite set in stone, as head coach Brad Stevens continues to tinker with a few things. And specific player roles aren’t established yet either – nor should they be with a roster like this.


“It’s going to be exciting to see how the season starts off,” said Wallace, who already called out teammates for lack of effort in the preseason. “See how guys are going to respond, especially if it’s your first game, a situation like that. To see Coach Stevens in his first real NBA game, and how he’ll react, and how he’ll respond. It’s going to be intriguing and interesting to watch.”

In a season where wins may be few and far between, basketball fans might have to settle for “interesting.” But don’t tell anybody on the team they can’t be more than just that this season.

“Just block out whatever anybody is saying about us or any expectations, and just fight for the man that’s in this room with you,” Lee said. “We’re not going to go in there and give up just because outside people that aren’t playing in the game are writing us off.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Drive charged in fatal hit and run, police…

The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for a fatal hit and run in Manhattan last weekend. Doohee Cho, 33, was hit…

Local

Mayor de Blasio raises minimum wage for some…

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday morning that will raise the minimum wage for workers employed by private companies that receive more…

National

3 myths about the working poor

Linda Tirado works to debunk some common stereotypes about the working poor in her new book, "Hand to Mouth."

Money

Lawsuit funding advances: friend or foe?

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Many plaintiffs awaiting resolution of their lawsuit or legal claim often find themselves in a tricky financial…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

Entertainment

Interview: Metro chats with filmmaker Meir Kalmanson, man…

A New York filmmaker hands out smiles to its residents.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 30: 'Selfie,' 'Utopia'…

'Selfie' This modern day take on the "My Fair Lady" story stars John Cho in the Henry Higgins role. Perhaps instead of "the rain in…

Music

Can't-miss weekend events continue to attract the masses

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Earlier this summer, the Firefly Music Festival drew crowds of tens of thousands of people to Dover, Delaware.…

MLB

Mets 2014 report card

The Mets wrapped up their eight straight season without a playoff appearance last weekend. Needless to say, they fell a bit short of general manager…

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL

Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.

NFL

3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…

Style

Products that support breast cancer awareness and research

Asics GT-1000, $100 Asics’ third pink collection in collaboration with Christina Applegate’s Right Action for Women includes this pink-accented version of its best-selling GT-1000 3…

Wellbeing

Dr. Marisa Weiss: Where we stand on breast…

As an oncologist and a survivor herself, Dr. Marisa Weiss knows the urgency felt by those diagnosed with breast cancer. Genetic testing has accelerated the…

Wellbeing

Bees' stingers hold new hope for cancer cure

A promising new lead in the search for a cancer cure has turned up in a place that most people naturally avoid. A team from…

Home

Emily Henderson on small space design

Design expert Emily Henderson shows us how to upgrade our cramped quarters.