BoxScore Geeks' 2014 Boston Celtics Preview

The Numbers

  •  Average Seed
  • 📉 Pessimist
    17.9 wins
  •  Realist
    25.2 wins
  • 📈 Optimist
    32.6 wins
 First Seed
⋆ Division
 Top 4
👍 Over (27.0)
ğŸ‘Ž Under (27.0)
ğŸŽ€ Playoffs

The Brief

On June 28, 2007 after a tanktastic 24-58 season and a miss in the Kevin Durant/Greg Oden sweepstakes, Danny Ainge went all in by trading first for Ray Allen and then for Kevin Garnett. One banner, two finals and five years to the day later, Ainge pressed the reset button again on an aging roster for a bevy of draft picks and the promise of a better tomorrow. Sadly, the immediate present, as evidenced by last year's terrible 25-57 record and this year's probable monstrosity is not so good.

The Story

The Celtics currently have:

  • Two 2015 guaranteed first rounders (their own and the Clippers)
  • Three almost guaranteed first rounders in 2016 (their own, the Nets and a top ten protected Cavs pick)
  • One first round pick swap with Brooklyn in 2017
  • Two first rounders in 2018 (their own and the Nets)

As a Celtics fan, it is this ridiculous bonanza of first round picks and the possibilities inherent in them that keep me cool, calm and collected in the face of such terrible basketball from my beloved team.

The banners also help.

Hard to fit them all in one picture

As terrible as last season was and as terrible as I expect this season to be, Danny gets a free pass from me for bringing back the Celtics to the top of the basketball pyramid. He also gets a pass for cashing in his aging stars for a gold mine in rebuilding assets. I also think Brad Stevens can be a good coach (even though the shot selection and shot selection allowed data from last year does not reflect that but that may have been by design).

The Celtics were not a good team last year. They might be the worst team in the NBA this year. However, in direct contrast to our longtime rival the Lakers, the way out is readily apparent.

Last Year

  •  Actual Wins: 25
  •  Expected Wins: 27.1
  • ⚅ Lucky Wins: 2.2
Player Minutes Age WP48 Wins
Jeff Green 2,805 27 0.005 0.3
Brandon Bass 2,266 29 0.091 4.3
Jared Sullinger 2,041 22 0.028 1.2
Avery Bradley 1,855 23 0.020 0.8
Gerald Wallace 1,416 31 0.162 4.8
Kelly Olynyk 1,400 23 0.042 1.2
Kris Humphries  1,376 29 0.202 5.8
Jordan Crawford  1,198 25 0.082 2.1
Phil Pressey 1,132 23 0.048 1.1
Jerryd Bayless  1,036 25 0.057 1.2
Rajon Rondo 998 28 0.125 2.6
Courtney Lee  504 28 0.130 1.4
Vitor Faverani 488 26 -0.008 -0.1
Joel Anthony 149 31 0.060 0.2
Chris Babb 132 24 0.005 0
MarShon Brooks  73 25 0.058 0.1
Keith Bogans 55 34 0.194 0.2
Vander Blue 15 22 -0.240 -0.1

 Indicates that the player is no longer with the team.

  • 27.1 total Wins Produced
  •  5 players leaving
    (4187.0 minutes, 10.5 wins)

Winning with a top four that bad is actually impressive! Jeff Green has always been mediocre. Jarred Sullinger was playing out of position. Avery Bradley may be a defensive specialist, but he can't do much else. And, of course, Bass is no KG, not even an 85-year-old one. Add to that Rondo's annual wheel of injury and the fact that the Celtics haven't had a real Center on the roster since they traded away Perkins and last year was exactly what you'd expect. In fact, the leading Wins Producer for the Celtics for last year was Kris Humphries, who only played limited minutes but was outstanding in those. Of course, he's on the Wizards now. 

This year does not look any better.

This Year

  •  Projected Wins: 25.2
  •  Conference Rank: 14
  • % Playoffs: 11.6
Player Position Minutes Age WP48 Wins
Jeff Green 3.0 2,343.8 29 0.039 1.9
Avery Bradley 2.0 2,130.4 24 0.069 3.1
Rajon Rondo 1.0 2,105.3 29 0.097 4.2
Jared Sullinger 4.0 1,943.6 23 0.060 2.4
Kelly Olynyk 5.0 1,883.9 24 0.011 0.4
Evan Turner  3.0 1,372.0 26 0.018 0.5
Brandon Bass 4.0 1,227.0 30 0.071 1.8
Marcus Thornton  2.0 1,184.1 28 0.079 1.9
Marcus Smart  1.0 945.9 0 0.098 1.9
Tyler Zeller  5.0 888.2 25 0.110 2.0
Gerald Wallace 3.5 743.4 33 0.114 1.8
Joel Anthony 4.5 670.8 33 0.078 1.1
Vitor Faverani 5.0 605.6 27 -0.039 -0.5
Phil Pressey 1.0 520.4 24 0.074 0.8
Erik Murphy  4.5 456.8 24 0.030 0.3
James Young  2.0 332.4 0 0.062 0.4
Dwight Powell  4.0 326.3 0 -0.020 -0.1

 Indicates that the player is new to the team.

  • 📅 24.3 WP last year
    by these players
  • 🔀 -4.1 WP (roster changes)
  • ⏲ 1.7 WP (age/experience)

Oh, boy. The major Celtics offseason moves were:

  • Drafting Marcus Smart (I loved that) and James Young (I didn't love that). I gave them a C+ for that.
  • Acquiring Tyler Zeller (0.125 WP48 in 1049 minutes for the Cavs last year) and Marcus Thornton (career 0.084 WP48). Let's call this ok.
  • Extending Avery Bradley for 4 years/$32 million. Which under the new tv deal is not terrible. It's not great, but it's not terrible.
  • Letting Kris Humphries walk to the Wiz for 3 years/$13.5 million. This is terrible. Humpries is a bargain at this price.
  • Trading Keith Bogans (career 0.081 WP48) to the Cavs for the pu pu platter of Dwight Powell (47th pick in the draft, rated a 6 out of a 100 in the NCAA) , Erik Murphy (all of 62 nba minutes in two seasons) and the since waived John Lucas and Malcolm Thomas. Hinkie and the Sixers called to complain to the league for patent infringement after this one.
  • Signed Evan Turner to a 2 year/$6.7 million dollar deal under the MLE. Evan Turner has shown flashes before, and I might be willing to take a flier on him on a good team with a strong core. Indiana was not this last year. The Celtics aren't this either. Starting to sense a pattern.
  • Traded Joel Anthony to Detroit for Will Bynum. They're waiving Bynum. Straight dump.

Much as people point to the Sixers and accuse them of putting together a terrible roster, Boston is no slouch in that department. Vegas thinks the Celtics are the third worst team in the NBA at 27 wins and 12 wins better than the Sixers. I love the under and think they'll give the Sixers a run for their money for worst team in the NBA.

Of course, the caveat for this team is that with all the assets at hand and Riverboat Danny at the helm a blockbuster trade is only a phone call away. In fact, the big question for this team isn't really playoffs, it's if they trade or keep their star. Rajon Rondo has at times played like a top five player in the NBA. He has also gone five seasons (including the upcoming one) without playing the entire year. I would keep him at his current price but trade him if someone (hi New York!) is willing to overpay for him.

The Wrap

As a Celtics fan, I don't expect a lot out of this particular season from a basketball standpoint. I have, in fact, embraced my ongoing affair with the team from Texas in black, white and silver (KAWHI!) to keep me entertained. I do however look at the moves, the assets, the front office and feel a great deal of hope for the future of the franchise.

Suck it Laker fans. Schadenfreude!