NBA 2013-2014 Season Preview: Boston Celtics
Last Season: 41-40 (Finished 7th in the Eastern Conference)
Notable Free Agent Signings: SG Marshon Brooks, PF Kris Humphries, and SF Gerald Wallace
The Boston Celtics have had an extremely active off-season as they begin the process of reconstructing their team. The price of rebuilding this storied franchise? The loss of their heart and soul, Paul Pierce, and future NBA hall of famer Kevin Garnett.
“The Truth” has worn the Celtic jersey with pride for all 15 years of his career and it came as a major shock to all Bostonians, and NBA fans alike, that the Boston captain was traded to the Brooklyn Nets at the beginning of the offseason.
Considering the years he put in with the Celtics, through thick and thin, you would have thought that he would remain a part of the home team at the TD Garden for the rest of his professional career. However, Celtic front office executives didn’t think they could rebuild with Pierce’s large salary so he was sent to Brooklyn.
Pierce’s fellow teammates, Garnett and Jason Terry, were also traded as well, and while the loss of Terry isn’t too substantial, the intensity and leadership that Garnett brought to the table will be sorely missed.
Known for his trademark physicality and passion for the game, Garnett would often invigorate his team with his play and act as a mentor to less experienced players. At the height of his career, he was unquestionably the best player in the league, but now, after turning 37 in May, many considered Garnett’s presence in the locker room to be more important.
Regardless of his age, Garnett is still an above-average NBA player and his departure is certainly a loss for the Celtics.
So, why do I have the Celtics pegged to do better next year?
By trading away Pierce, Garnett and Terry, the Celtics gave up three of its oldest players on its roster. While the loss of these three, plus the departure of coach Doc Rivers, will certainly hurt what chemistry the Celtics had, I believe the arrival of Marshon Brooks, Kris Humphries, and Gerald Wallace from the Nets will benefit the Celtics more than people think.
Boston still has its all-star point guard, Rajon Rondo, as well as decent, well-rounded players like Brandon Bass (elite mid-range shooter), Avery Bradley (classic “3 and D” player), and Jeff Green. Green played at phenomenal level towards the end of last season, and many expect the 2013-14 campaign to be his breakout year.
Sophomore Jared Sullinger also became a fan favorite, as he impressed Bostonians with his hustle and effort on the boards before he suffered a season-ending back injury. If shooting guards Jordan Crawford and Courtney Lee can lock up their inconsistencies on offence and defence, they could be quality players who would be starters on any other teams.
Even without the additions from the Nets trade, Boston would remain a threat to teams in the Eastern conference, even if it was just a small threat. With the additions however, Boston becomes a much larger one.