Before we start, let’s have a moment of silence for Gino, who has probably made his last JumboTron appearance in the TD Garden for a while.
We forgive you if this season’s Celtics team doesn’t get you excited the way it has in recent years. After all, the team just did lose its two best players over the last 20-plus years in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
With Pierce and Garnett off to Brooklyn, the Celtics embark on what they hope is a quick rebuilding phase – complete with a top pick in next year’s top-heavy NBA Draft.
The makeup of next season’s team is anybody’s guess, as Boston could continue to wheel and deal throughout the season and into next offseason, but for now anyways, we know who will take the court when the regular season begins Oct. 30 in Toronto.
But we’re not going to sugarcoat this thing. The Celtics aren’t currently built to win a whole lot. They’re good enough to beat the bad teams, and bad enough to lose to the good teams. That could be a problem down the road if the C’s really do want a top-5 pick. Unless, of course, Rajon Rondo has a setback in his recovery from an ACL tear (wink, wink). Or, Jared Sullinger experiences back spasms (wink, wink), etc. You get the idea.
With all that said, here’s the Boston Celtics roster breakdown for the disgruntled Celtics fan:
Rajon Rondo – For better or worse, this is now Rondo’s team. The question: Which Rondo shows up to play? The other question: Does he show up to play at all? Rondo’s return date from a torn ACL is still unknown, but it’s already gone from “He’ll be back Opening Night!” to “Hoping for December.” We assume he’ll eventually make it “As soon as Kris Humphries is traded.” We can’t blame him…
Brandon Bass – Bass is one of 13 power forwards on the C’s roster (slight exaggeration). You know what he can do on offense, and what he can’t do on defense. While he did improve some on the defensive end, it remains to be seen how he fares without Garnett next to him. Bass does have a tradable contract and can provide an offensive spark off the bench for some contender.
Jeff Green – Looking for a reason to go to a Celtics game this season? Green is probably a big one (OK, the Celtics dancers aren’t a bad reason either). While Green still lacks consistency, he’ll have no choice but to take a bigger role on the team this year, and has shown plenty of flashes on the court. He’s freakishly athletic and is one of the better dunkers in the NBA. If he gets a clear path to the lane, take cover.
Avery Bradley – The Avery Bradley situation is interesting. He’ll be due an extension at the end of this season. He plays insanely tenacious defense. But that same defense may take away from his offense, and definitely takes away from his overall health in the long run. He’s a shooting guard who struggles at shooting sometimes. Do the C’s re-sign him?
Jared Sullinger – Danny Ainge knew what he was getting into when he took Sullinger at No. 21 in last year’s draft. Sullinger had “red flags” due to back issues. So what happened to Sullinger? His season ended early and he got back surgery. But now he’s fully recovered and should help this team for years to come. Unless, of course, he needs back surgery again…
Kelly Olynyk – He’s a seven-foot white dude who played center in college. But we promise you that he’s so much more than that. Olynyk looked great in NBA summer league. He has quick feet, he has range, and he has really long awesome hair. It should take about two games for Celtics fans to fall in love.
Those Brooklyn Nets Dudes
Kris Humphries – The man formerly known as Mr. Kim Kardashian is in the last year of his deal and it would be a surprise if he finished the season in Boston. It would also be a surprise if he didn’t get on your nerves. We’ll give him this: He can rebound.
Gerald Wallace – Gerald, we get it … you probably don’t want to be here. Wallace has been M.I.A. since the trade, not attending the press conference or showing up in Boston until, like – wait has he shown up yet? He’s got $30 million reasons left to play though – as crazy as that sounds. Wallace can actually play when put in the right role, so look for him to have a better season than last.
Keith Bogans – Bogans isn’t a guy that’s going to light up the stat sheet or “wow” you, but he’s going to be a solid locker room presence on a team that certainly lost its fair share over the offsesason. That’s all we got.
MarShon Brooks – Perhaps the only player in the deal the C’s have interest in keeping. Brooks can score in bunches. He did so at Providence College. With more playing time this season Brooks will be a nice option off the bench.
Courtney Lee – Lee had a rough 2012-13 season, and has plenty to prove this year. He might start at the shooting guard spot to start the season, with Bradley playing the point. Lee should put up better numbers this year with a bigger role on offense.
Jordan Crawford – You get the feeling that Crawford isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. The guy once actually said that he felt he’s better than Michael Jordan. Um, yeah…
Phil Pressey – The undrafted rookie point guard will get a chance to prove himself early in the season with Rondo down. Don’t get your expectations too high, but the C’s may actually have a capable backup point guard.
Vitor Faverani – The C’s are 0-1 on Brazilian big men (So long Fab Melo!), and we really don’t know a whole lot about Faverani. If he has half of a brain he’ll be an upgrade over Melo.