With the pre-season officially upon us, we here at CelticsLife thought it would be fun to dish out some pre-season award predictions for the Celtics. We came up with eight awards (four positive, four not-so-positive), and will be giving out writer predictions on each of them over the next week or so.
These awards will be named after Celtics greats (and not-so-greats), and hopefully we can have some fun with this. We'll also be posting a poll for everyone to vote on, and be sure to add your two cents in the comment section.
Our first award is pretty straightforward — The Paul Pierce award for Team MVP
Mike Dyer (Follow Mike - Mike_Dyer13)
Jeff Green - Rajon Rondo is the best player on the Celtics, no one could possibly disagree with that statement. But he's not healthy, and even if he comes back full strength in mid-December he stands to miss 20-25 games this year. Green on the other hand is somewhat of an iron man (not counting his freak heart issue, Green has averaged 79 games per season over his five NBA campaigns), and I expect him to average something along the lines of 18 PPG and 6 RPG while also continuing to grow as a defender. When you also consider that the Celtics will be playing less nationally televised games and probably no playoff games — thus lessening "National TV Rondo" — I think this is Green's award to lose.
Mark Vandeusen (Follow Mark - LucidSportsFan)
Rajon Rondo - No matter how you look at it, this award has to go to Rajon Rondo. If you're in the "tank for a high draft pick" camp, than Rondo can be your MVP by doing his best Derrick Rose impression and staying off the floor as long as possible. But if you're like me and you think this team has the chance to battle for one of the final playoff spots, there's no way that's going to happen unless Rondo is the leader and best player.
Eric Blaisdell (Follow Eric - EricBlaisdell13)
Jeff Green - Rajon Rondo is far-and-away the best player on the team, but Green will be the best player to play the most games and will have a shot to be the leader and go-to guy on the court until Rondo comes back from his knee injury.
Danielle Hobeika (aka DH) (Follow DH - dhobeika)
Rajon Rondo - Common sense says this award will go to Rajon Rondo, as he seems to be the successor to Pierce's captain/leadership role. But if Rondo's ACL recovery keeps him out longer than expected, I could easily see Jeff Green taking over.
Burak Tekin (aka semioticus) (Follow semioticus - semioticusCL)
Rajon Rondo - Well, this one has to go to Rondo because, um, he's the only (borderline) superstar left on the team.
|Rondo wins our MVP with 7 writer votes|
Matty Mackay (Follow Matty - MattyMackay)
Rajon Rondo - hands down. His absence in the beginning of the season is going to be felt big time. He’s far and away the best player and leader for this team and they will rely on him more than ever before. His competitive fire and team’s reliance on him will erase the ‘national TV vs. local TV’ Rondo and he’ll make the next step into becoming one of the best players in the NBA.
Karl Dillinger (Follow Karl - karl_dillinger)
Rajon Rondo - He is going to be in the race for league MVP this year as he is pissed off at the doubters.
Shawn Cassidy (Follow Shawn - Celticstitletow)
Rajon Rondo - When it comes to the Paul Pierce award, or team MVP, there is only player befitting of this award. Despite his late start to the season Rajon Rondo is the only player worthy of this award. He's proven, and he has been this teams MVP during many playoff series, and during the regular season. Rondo's absence may hurt his chances for some people, but with his return a month or two months into the season his impact is still uncanny from anyone on the Celtics roster.
Yes Jeff Green is on the rise, and Bradley is trying to be a leader, but as it stands the Celtics already have a leader, and Rondo is already a star. If Jeff Green can conjure up multiple 30-40 point games, then maybe he's ready. If we see him play more like the Green who scored 43 points against the Heat then he's deserving, until I see that, Rondo is this teams Paul Pierce award winner.
Padraic O'Connor (Follow Padraic - padraic_oconnor)
Rajon Rondo - Rondo, dude. I don't know how anyone can not cheer for this guy. Even at his chippiest I have never been down on Rondo. Sure he can do things that are frustrating but who doesn't? All gas pedal. All attitude. No excuses EVER.
Julian Edlow (Follow Julian - BleedGreenBlogs)
Jeff Green - I think Rajon Rondo is going to play fewer games than expected, and the team may stumble to adjust to him when he returns. Green on the other hand will only improve where he left off last season, an absolute beast.
Matt Richissin (aka MattDotRich) (Follow Matt - MattDotRich)
Brad Stevens - I think the question I get most about the Celtics is what's my 'best case scenario' for the Celtics. And after the invention of the time machine, I keep coming back to this answer: What I liked about our 2006 team was that while from a wins and losses stand point they weren't very good, they were competitive every night. Guys like Delonte West, Tony Allen, and Kendrick Perkins were playing HARD every night. And I think that is not only admirable, but at least made the team watchable. That's what I want from this team. I don't need them to be good, I just want them to be competitive.
I'm thinking Stevens is going to coach this team in a similar manner. I'm interested to see the lineups he can cook up to try to overcome the huge obstacles his roster presents him. What strategies he implements to hide the team's flaws. I know he's trying to deter people from the 'nerd' talk, but he is very intelligent. He knows this team can't win fighting conventional battles, and it's the unconventional route that interests me.
Devin Archer (aka Devin A) (Follow Devin - TheCelticD)
Jeff Green - He seems to be the heir to the future hall of famer’s throne. He was the leading scorer for the Celtics in the 2013 NBA playoffs, and with Rondo likely out for a few months, a lot of pressure (especially in terms of leadership) will fall on Green’s shoulders.
Mike Saver (Follow Mike - SaverSports)
Jordan Crawford - That's right. I'm not talking about wins, I'm talking about straight up ugly losses. And lots of them.
The Celtics can talk about how they aren't tanking as much as they want, but the reality is that the worse the Celtics do, the better off they'll be in the long run. You can argue philosophy about whether tanking for the number one pick works or not. Anyway you slice it, the Celtics don't have a good team this year, and the worse your record is the better your draft pick will be. Even if its not Andrew Wiggins I'd rather get some more talented young pieces to either build the team around, or flip for talent later. If I'm looking for someone to lead the charge to a loss filled season, Jordan Crawford is the one I want hilariously leading it.
Writer poll: Rondo, 7 votes; Green, 4 votes, Stevens, 1 vote; Crawford (huh?), 1 vote
Explain your picks in the comment section! Michael Dyer 10/07/2013 02:50:00 PM Tweet