As most Celtics, and even NBA fans for that matter probably know that the Boston Celtics did not quite live up to expectations during the first half of the season. The C’s finished up the first half of the season losing two in a row and with a 32-18 record. That’s good enough to have them at the #4 spot in the Eastern Conference. Not horrible, but not what we expected from a team that Rasheed Wallace guaranteed 70+ wins for.
Going into the second half of the season the Celtics face one big problem; finishing basketball games. The number of games the C’s have blown so far this season is mind-boggling. For the first time since the preseason this squad is in full force and there are no longer excuses for failure. With all this being said I thought it would be good to go through and make some predictions for the second half of the season that are sure to go wrong.
Keys To Success:
Staying Healthy: If the Boston Celtics want to go any farther than the first round of the playoffs they are going to need to stay healthy. This means every single guy included in the 10-man rotation that Doc Rivers seems to be running. Of course there are the guys we really can’t afford to lose (Rondo, Garnett, Pierce), but there are also guys off the bench that would create huge holes in the roster if injured.
Staying Focused: A term that a lot of people have tossed around in regards to the Celtics “failures” during the first part of the season is focus, or better yet the lack of. The Celtics have lost games they should have won against the Lakers, Magic, Hawks, Warriors, 76ers, Pacers, Pistons, and probably one or two I forgot to name. Not only do they have to be completely focused during games, but also off the court in practice and preparation.
Best Player During Second Half of Season:
I think most of us would agree that Rajon Rondo was by far the best player on a nightly basis during the first part of the season. On a nightly basis he brought us things we have never seen from him before, along with all the regular things we expect from the future of our franchise. With that being said I”m going to try to predict who will be the best player during the second half of the season. So who is it? It is going to be the captain, and the truth, Paul Pierce. Following his three point contest victory I truly believe Pierce is going to come out gunning during the second half of the season. So far this season he has yet to be that great scorer we expect and knowing how determined he is to succeed I believe he will have a great second half to the season.
Most Improved Player:
There is something that makes me truly believe that Ray Allen is in Boston to stay, not only for this year but also years to come. Ray has a relationship with Boston that cannot be replaced and for the age that he is at Ray is in very good shape. This season we have seen Ray change his game up from a knock-down three point shooter to a guy who can score in multiple ways. To me this is great because once all of this trade talk is put behind Allen should be able to totally focus on his game and become a bigger threat from downtown. Truly I have no evidence to back up what I am saying here, but I have this gut feeling that Ray Allen is going to improve following the break.
Prediction for remainder of the year:
This record seem reachable and easy to tackle if the Celtics play to their potential. They are finally healthy and as long as everyone stays healthy we should see a much more efficient C’s squad. Of course they are still going to lose games, but there is no reason to have losses occurring like they did in the first half of the year. The longest winning so far this year is eleven games and the guys in green need another strong run like that to prove they are the real deal. As for the playoffs I think the sky is the limit for this team. They are loaded with talent on paper and can matchup hand in hand with any team in the league. They know how to get it done, it is just the matter of whether or not they do get it done.
Here’s to a good second half of the season and Banner 18. Go Celtics!!!!