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

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…