After the first two games of the season, it’s easy to jump to the quick conclusion that the Celtics will not be championship contenders this year. They blew a 22 point lead against the Bucks. It’s hard not to be frustrated at that as a Celtics supporter. A superb first 3 quarters were overshadowed by a poor 4th, where they were outscored 34-15 in the 4th quarter.
This is really hard for Bostonians, a city that’s so used to winning so I am glad that I am all the way here in Sydney. Danny Ainge brought in the Big 3 together in 2008 with the hopes of winning 3 championships, he only got 1. Before the ’08 title, the last time the Celtics won was back in their glory days in 1986. That’s a 22 year drought. Looking at our current team, I’m hoping our next title won’t take that long. The team the Celtics have right now is going to change several times within the next couple of seasons. No one’s position is safe – not even Rajon Rondo. He is an All-Star point guard but his one weakness is his jump shot. I love Rondo and I would love him to stay at the Celtics, but if Ainge can get a sweet deal for him I don’t see him staying.
The other player is Avery Bradley. He’s a great defender but other than that there’s nothing else you can say. His best offensive season was 2 years ago before he had double shoulder surgery. The guy does have talent – he did take over the shooting guard position from future hall of famer Ray Allen back then and he did make the All Defensive Second Team last season. His point guard skills however is a whole different story. The main question with Bradley is – has he peaked? Will his offence improve? Maybe he’ll be better with Rondo back? He struggled immensely last year and he’s not off to a good start this season too, shooting only 29.6% from the field.. Bradley and the Celtics were also unable to come to an agreement with a contract extension earlier this week. My speculation is that the Celtics are reluctant to give Bradley a big contract unless he improves his offence. If he does this season, there will be other teams in the picture willing to give Bradley what he wants – the Celtics however can match that offer. We’ll just have to wait and see how that pans out.
The highlight of these two games so far is of course Vitor Faverani. He’s proving to be a great acquisition after going undrafted in 2009. The Brazilian has been impressive racking up his first career double-double for the Celtics grabbing 18 boards, blocking 6 shots and scoring 12 points in the loss against Milwaukee. That’s pretty impressive. The Celtics struggled on the board last year and Faverani’s presence is slowly changing that as the C’s grabbed 52 boards in last nights game, of which 18 were offensive. The Sullinger-Olynyk combo is also great to watch!
Now if only the Celtics can play consistently for the whole 4 quarters then we’ll see some difference in this squad and a more positive outlook for the season! If the Celtics don’t get their act together, it’s going to be one long heck of a season.