The Boston Celtics are the Most Intriguing Team in the East

The focus in the Eastern Conference this season is clearly pinpointed on Lebron and the Cavaliers and Derrick Rose’s Bulls, however, I find myself much less interested in the teams expected to lead the pack, and intrigued with the teams looking to rattle the cage.  In this case, I’m talking about the young Boston Celtics squad.  As a lifelong Celtics fan, I may be a bit biased here, but the point is still valid.  Obviously the Wizards are reeking havoc on the league right now starting out 6-2, but the C’s provide a much more interesting narrative.

Opening the year at 3-4, the Celtics are considered by most to be mediocre at best.  ESPN’s resident list maker, Marc Stein, still has the C’s sitting at a pathetic 22nd in his sacred power rankings; he obviously hasn’t watched a Celtics game this year.  Let’s go game by game for a second.

First game- easy win over Brooklyn- they’re sneaky one of the most terrible teams in the league, look out for a collapse from them. Then, a loss to one of the best teams in the league in Houston where the Celts shot 1 for 25- I repeat 1 FOR 25 from behind the arc and an overall 37% from the field.  Bad shooting performances happen, but that does not define a team- the fact the Celts could still jam with the best for most of the game was impressive.  A late comeback at Dallas that came up 5 points short against another Western Conference powerhouse where Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, and Jeff Green proved that together they can serve as a youthful big three and carry a team (35 points for Green, 32 for Bradley, and 15 dimes from Rondo).   A nail-biting 3 point loss against a rising force in the East in Toronto proved the C’s can hang with the best.  Two wins against the Pacers and a Rose-less Bulls- games I actually view as non-factors in viewing the state of the C’s.  And finally a late loss to the Thunder at the hand of Anthony Morrow’s astounding 19 fourth quarter points.

My point is this: the Boston Celtics are showing all the symptoms of a young team finding their identity.  The intriguing part is, they’re doing it very quickly.  Rondo is playing at an All-Star level, which clearly doesn’t hurt.   But when you see supporting pieces stepping up and making a difference, that’s when the NBA should take notice.  As mentioned before, the two most notable overall performances have come from Jeff Green who is putting up the points the C’s need him to put up and proving he can be a threat on every play, and Bradley who is continuing to be a lockdown defender and also a serious scoring option.  Kelly Olynyk, Marcus Smart, and Evan Turner have also been bright spots, each elevating their game when called upon.  Usually young teams like this take months to define roles and mesh as a unit, but this Celtics team is clearly showing signs of this already.

All the pieces are there for Brad Stevens to meld together.  Despite the under .500 record thus far, it is very early in the season and it’s almost scary to think of the potential of this group and the level they could be playing at in a few short months.  My bold prediction- a 6 seed in the East for the Celts including wins against the Cavs and Wizards, and a win in the first round of the playoffs.  Do not doubt the fire of this team.


Thank you for reading. You can follow me on twitter – @SportsNews_More and @blakegrubbs as well as my site, for more sports news and opinions. Support LWOS by following us on Twitter – @LastWordOnSport – and “liking” our Facebook page.

For the latest in sports injury news, check out our friends at Sports Injury Alert.

Have you tuned into Last Word On Sports Radio? LWOS is pleased to bring you 24/7 sports radio to your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. What are you waiting for?