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
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.

Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

NFL

Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.

MLB

Jets 2014 regular season schedule

The Jets will play three prime-time games — against the Bears, Patriots and Dolphins — as well as a CBS national game in Week 2 at Green Bay.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."