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No love for the Celtics by ESPN in early rankings, that's okay

Posted by shawn cassidy on July 25, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Without a doubt this season is unpredictable. What if Rondo isn't back until 2014? What if Stevens isn't NBA coach material? The Celtics won't get much love or attention this coming season, that's expected with a team heading into a reconstruction. ESPN has already put up some early rankings, and we shouldn't be surprised that the ranking isn't very good for the Celtics.


Feldman: Boston Celtics. The Celtics weren't particularly good last season, but the strong wills of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and a little coaxing from Doc Rivers pushed them to a winning record. With its two most impactful players from a season ago now in Brooklyn, Rivers in Los Angeles, Rajon Rondo not yet healthy and Brad Stevens learning on the job, Boston is bound to tumble.

Gutierrez: Celtics. The actual fall in the standings won't feel as significant as the fall from contention. No matter where the Celtics finished in the standings, as long as Rivers, Garnett and Pierce were anchoring, that team could make a deep playoff run. Now, they might still be a playoff team. But most agree they'd be better off losing lots of games. That's quite a fall.

Schmidt: Celtics, by design. Images say so much more than words, so while the Celtics will never admit to tanking, we'll see the sad-faced news conferences and lopsided scoreboards and know the real truth. Bad on purpose -- thanks, NBA!

ESPN's Tom HaberstroH-Insider

13. Boston Celtics (2012-13 finish: 7th)
As is, the Celtics figure to be in the running for not just the league's worst defense, but I struggle to see how they score enough to fight their way into the playoff picture. Remember, this was the 20th-ranked team in offensive efficiency last season, and that was with Pierce, Garnett, a healthy Rajon Rondo and Terry. Who's their No. 1 scoring option next season? Jeff Green? Yikes.

I think these guys are probably right if Rondo isn't back at the start of camp. I feel confident that Rondo has enough talent around him to get this team in the playoffs. I don't think any Celtics fan that's realistic, is saying that the Celtics will banner 18, but to totally discount Rondo, and guys like Green, Bass, Sully, and Bradley is a bit unfair. The Celtics have a new coach, and that 20th-ranked offensive stat was with a different team,and different coach. This season can go either way, and that's the fun about it all. I think have no expectations for once is odd, and weird, and I'm enjoying it actually.

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Reply paul
4:37 PM on July 25, 2013 
These guys are so behind the plot. What last season showed pretty clearly that the primary reason we were always a playoff threat wasn't KG or PP. It was Rondo. And we still have Rondo. Now an awful lot would have to gel with this team for us to not have an awful season even with Rondo, but we have a young, smart, talented and motivated team, with a young, smart, talented and motivated coach, and we have Rondo. If Rondo comes back strong things will get interesting. Count on it.
Reply jlil89
3:22 PM on July 26, 2013 
Hit the nail on the head. I completely agree with this statement. First time we enter the playoffs w/o Rondo and we get bounced in the first round. Hmm... now what does that say?

Seriously this is so laughable that these media heads can't wrap their head around this. The Big 3 and Doc really put the blinders on their eyes that a truly sensational talent has been budding right before their very eyes. Oh well... it will be fun to see the stupid looks on their faces when Rondo does what he always does, continues to be one of the top 3 players on the planet when the playoff lights start shining.

Even the blowhard Stephen A Smith sees this. His words just a few weeks ago when Melo desired Rondo to be traded to the Knicks.
"Rondo is big time man"