The good, the bad, and the ugly

Most would agree that winning a championship this season for the Boston Celtics would be considered an overachievement.  Danny Ainge has done a great job educating fans on realistic goals by trying everything in his power to trade for a top 5 players.  In fact, he has not stopped trying.

What are the expectations for the Boston Celtics this season?  Is an Eastern conference finals appearance good enough?  How bout if they get knocked out in the second round again, would that be considered the norm for this roster?  The uncertainty of this season, being 66 games in approximately 130 days, will cause some statistical predictions to swing either up or down.  Some teams may overachieve and some teams will underachieve due to the schedule.

Where that leaves the Boston Celtics is left to be determined. The Celtics might be able to sustain their 71.3 winning percentage over the four years since acquiring Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, they will finish with 47 wins and 19 losses.  If they have the same season last year, winning 68.3% of their games, they will finish with 45 wins.   The year they lost Kevin, they won only 61% of their games, which would have them with 40 wins and 26 losses.  

I wanted to take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly for this up coming season for the Celtics.  With many experts all over the place on where they see this team finishing out the season, I thought we should look at almost every case possible.

The Good
I will come out and say that if the Celtics win the championship, I will be surprised.  Having said that, the good for this team is to scare the crap out of the Bulls and the Heat.  Neither of these two teams would want to see a 47-19 Celtics team that will end up with either the 1st, 2nd or 3rd seed with that record.  Give the Celtics home court and they will win, plain and simple.  Making the point to achieve home court their biggest goal for playoff success.  The Celtics can give any of the higher seeds a run for their money. This will have to be constituted as a good season.  Living in New England warps the expectations on Boston sports teams.

The Bad
The bad will be a first round exit.  If this team’s winning percentage drops to under 60% then we turn into a team paying for over the hill players with no real prospect.  A winning percentage under 60% means that Rondo did not continue to raise his level of play, which tells us he is not the ideal candidate for the rebuild post Big Three.  This leaves the team with Paul Pierce for a lot of money, Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green (rfa..again), Brandon Bass, Avery Bradley and the rookies with $28 million to spend on 8 spots.

The Ugly
An injury.  More importantly, an injury to either Paul Pierce or Rajon Rondo, since they matter more for the future.  This team can not afford an injury, not only would this season be lost (although I really like the Celtics bench this year over next, but I can’t spoil that post here!), their future would be turned into a lottery team praying for ping balls.  As we remember in the 2007 lottery, the balls weren’t too kind to us., Nor in 1997. Sigh.  This is getting depressing but you see where this can get really ugly. 

I didn’t intend to rain gloom and doom on your hopes, I just like to think outside the box and take on different angles.  I hope they succeed this season, I believe they will have a good season and give us some exciting playoff basketball again.  Will they be able to pull some surprises along the way and shock the world?  Like Kevin Garnett said, anything is possible.