Zach Lowe, a staff writer for Grantland.com, recently power ranked the entire NBA. As I read through the article I had my fingers crossed that maybe he saw something that every single other NBA writer/blogger missed. Something that Celtics fans the world over are hoping to see. With each scroll of the mouse my hopes were dashed.
I can understand not being ranked with the Contenders... but being ranked BELOW the Eastern Swing Teams? Worse than the Wizards, Bucks, and Raptors?! Am I delusional to think Bill Simmons getting his entire staff to reverse-jinx the Celtics?
Boston has the veteran talent and potential defensive chops to stay in a lot of games, but the idea that these guys are going to challenge for the no. 8 spot is way overblown. The C's have been a bottom-10 scoring team for two straight seasons with Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett (and Ray Allen in 2011-12). Every single basket is going to be an unwatchable grind, and the season will probably end with Boston around 25th or worse in points per possession.
They'll be solid defensively on the perimeter, and Brad Stevens will have them executing precisely on both ends, but they're severely lacking rim protection. It's going to be ugly, and if the Celtics do somehow find themselves in the race for no. 8 at midseason, they'll happily trade themselves out of it if they can find any useful assets for Courtney Lee, Brandon Bass, Kris Humphries, and others. A Rondo trade is the sexier angle — and not implausible — but a trade involving one of those names is much more likely; dealing Lee or Bass would allow Boston to get serious cap room in July.
As a lifelong Celtics fan, I refuse to call it quits before mid-April when the last game of the season is looming. As someone who stuck around through the end of Game 6 in 2012, I emotionally, spirtually, and physically can't quit on this team.
I'm a season ticket holder. It's taken me 30 years to get there. Let me tell you, these tickets cost a lot of money and despite my requests, the Celtics ticket office will not take hopes and dreams as payment. Even if this piece did break my heart, my wallet is keeping me in the game with my giant foam finger pointed at the 17 championship banners.