The Celtics don’t have a legitimate 7-footer on their roster and the only player with pure center size is a Brazilian import with no NBA experience (6-foot-11 Vitor Faverani). It’s fair to wonder where the rebounds will come from, even as lineups across the league seem to be getting smaller. Boston’s rebounding issues were a bit overblown in recent seasons given coach Doc Rivers’ philosophy to essentially ignore the offensive glass. Boston’s indifference on that end often dragged down its total rebound rates. We’ll find out soon if coach Brad Stevens will put more of an emphasis on crashing the glass and creating second-chance opportunities, but the bigger question mark lies on the defensive end. If you’re handicapping the field for the team’s rebound leader, it’s likely a two-horse race between Kris Humphries and Jared Sullinger. Even in a down season with Brooklyn last year, Humphries’ rebounding rates (18 percent overall; 23.5 percent defensive) would have been better than any returning Celtics player this season.
One reason for the NBA lockout two years ago: Owners wanted more parity. They wanted to level the playing field so smaller markets would have better chances to win (and make oodles of money). A new revenue sharing program quadrupled the amount of money previously shared between teams. A stiffer luxury tax system was implemented. More rules were adopted to limit the power of the rich. As the league prepares to begin its third season with a new CBA, the changes have obviously made an impact. Not every team has stopped trying to spend its way to a title — see: Brooklyn — but the strategy is now more expensive.
Avery Bradley recently lost his mother, and he is expecting a baby “any day.” Things are pretty hectic for the fourth-year guard, which is why he could miss the start of training camp with the Celtics. Bradley is “day-by-day” and uncertain for the start of camp, which opens with media day on Sept. 30, CSNNE reports. Rajon Rondo is already expected to be sidelined as he rehabs from surgery on his right ACL, which means the Celtics could be without their starting backcourt when they begin camp.
Jeff Green is the most gracefully gifted athlete I can remember seeing in a Boston Celtics uniform. He has said and done all the right things since joining this franchise, is a good basketball player and appears to be a generally good guy. With everything he brings to the table, it is very hard to say that Green can’t succeed because he is going to succeed. Having a great 2013-14 season is close to the most obvious call one can make for Green at this point. The question isn’t whether he can put up career numbers. The question is whether he is a real building block for the Celtics’ upcoming restoration period. For that to be the case, Green has a lot more to prove than an ability to score 20 points a night. Monta Ellis and J.R. Smith averaged north of 18 points per game last season, but are either building blocks to anything?
With the departures of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn this offseason, and beloved coach Doc Rivers moving on as well, most Celtics fans have jumped ship on the upcoming season. Eighth-year point guard Rajon Rondo is now the undisputed leader and face of the franchise, but his need for an attitude-adjustment and questionable leadership qualities have been the talk of the town for the past several years. Rookie NBA coach Brad Stevens will have to learn how to manage Rondo, and the NBA, on the fly. As the dominoes fell one after another, most Celtics fans landed on the Andrew Wiggins fan bus. A word to the wise, though: Don’t count your Ping-Pong balls just yet.