CBS Sports has been looking ahead to the 2016-2017 NBA season, and compiled the rankings of each team's starting 5 as well as their bench. Positioning was determined by a composite score of the rankings given to each team by a panel of CBS Sports analysts.
The Boston Celtics fared pretty well, with their starters coming in at #7 in the NBA, and their bench sitting at the #3 spot.
Here is CBS Sports' take on the starters:
7. Boston Celtics
PROJECTED LINEUP: Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, Al Horford
Jae Crowder is uber confident in Boston's potential this season and he has every right to feel that way, especially after the Celtics signed Horford. Horford gives the Celtics an All-Star presence to pair with Isaiah Thomas and those two should be a nice one-two punch offensively, especially in the East. The Celtics also have one of the best defenders in the league in Avery Bradley (First Team All-Defense last season) and Amir Johnson is a quality rim protector. They definitely have one of the best starting units in the league.
Number 7 is probably right around where the Celtics should be, and this doesn't take into consideration that Danny Ainge might have a few more moves up his sleeve. In addition, it's been mentioned that coach Brad Stevens might want to toy with lineups a bit to "fly around" the court, so the starting 5 might look somewhat different during games that Stevens wishes to employ this tactic.
As for the bench, #3 in the league is quite a favorable ranking for the C's. Sitting behind the Utah Jazz (ranked #1) and the Golden State Warriors (ranked #2), CBS Sports applauds Boston's deep and versatile second unit, and that is without even mentioning Summer League stand-out Terry Rozier and the return of Gerald Green in their analysis:
3. Boston Celtics
PROJECTED BENCH: Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jonas Jerebko, Tyler Zeller, Kelly Olynyk
The versatility on Boston's bench is pretty exciting. Jerebko and Olynyk can both play multiple positions, are fine defenders and can stretch the floor with their shooting. Tyler Zeller is rugged and smart. Marcus Smart could be a starter for several teams and his tenacious play has become a hallmark of Brad Stevens' Celtics. Even Jaylen Brown should be able to make a difference in his rookie season. The Celtics are one of the deepest teams in the league and their bench will likely carry them at times this season.
Another item that could possibly interest Celtics fans is the ranking of the Brooklyn Nets (since we own their draft picks and their souls), whose starters and bench rank 29th and 30th in the league, respectively. Visit CBS Sports to view the full rankings for every team's starting lineups and second unit.
Where do you feel that the Celtics' starters and bench rank among the rest of the NBA? Did CBS Sports get it right? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Photo: Ken Blaze, USA Today Sports Danielle Hobeika 8/03/2016 11:05:00 AM Tweet Edit