I've done SWAGs before, but I never could decide if they should be silly or serious. So I'm going to differentiate from those to make serious but (hopefully) bold predictions for the upcoming season.
Rondo will be an All Star (Ray Allen won't)
Ray has been borderline on the All Start team for a couple years now. My guess is that this is the year that the luck runs out for him. I don't see a tremendous drop off in production from him, but I do see Rondo stepping up and taking some of the attention away from Ray. KG will probably get voted in again, full speed or not. Pierce will likely still make the team. It is possible that the C's could get 4 All Stars, but it seems more likely that it will be limited to 3.
Ainge will trade for Nocioni sometime during the season
I'm going to predict December rather than February or earlier. Call it a hunch. I just don't see any need for Noc to be kept on the books past this season for the Kings. I do see a need for him on the Celtics. This makes too much sense not to happen. It should only take a few months for both sides to look at their rosters, look at other options, and decide that this is the best both sides can do.
Ainge will not trade for a point guard (or even pick one up mid season)
Like it or not (and in case I didn't mention it today) I don't, this team is going with a non-conventional backup point guard solution. They seem committed to it and they have good reason to. They can make it work. They can win a Championship with it. Besides, unless they pick up one of the castoffs in the next few weeks (and make a trade to free up a roster spot) then there aren't going to be a ton of good options that shake lose during the season. There is no Sam Cassell or Stephon Marbury that is going to show up on our doorstep. Those options weren't really "the answer" anyway. So I think the team will just work with what it has this year.
KG will not miss major time this year
I think he'll be less than 100% for at least a month or two. I don't think he'll play every game. But I do think that he'll play most of the season and be healthy enough for the playoffs. I don't have any inside information to back this up, but I am optimistic. With that said, let me just point out that the odds are pretty high that someone on this team will actually miss a chuck of time at some point. Age, past injuries, and simple probabilities would indicate that a fully healthy team is not likely. Bill Walker was the first to go down (if you don't count the 1 day Tony missed); who will be the next? Perk's shoulder could pop at any moment. Ray's ankles have been an underlying issue for 2 years now. Pierce has any number of issues that could progress from "annoying" to "limiting" to "out for 2 months." We haven't even discussed Scal's head or Daniels' games missed in years past. I'm not rooting for any of this by any means. Just doing my part to prepare you for the possibility.
- Sheed will win 6th man of the year
- Tony Allen will play meaningful minutes (before he's traded)
- Lester Hudson and Shelden Williams will not
- The Celtics will turn the ball over a little less
- The Celtics won't win the most games, but will win the Championship (and really, that's all that matters)