This is NOT a tanking article, though some will make it one. I'm just passing along the statements that Ainge is making clarifying his position on the team's goals this year.
“I don’t know, because there’s too many variables, it’s just not that simple,” he said about the postseason. “Making the playoffs is not a goal. I need to explain that a little bit. If there’s a bunch of teams that are just injured and playing and you finish five, six, or seven games under .500 and you made the playoffs just because of that, that might not be such a great thing. I’m only concerned about how our players are playing, and if it so happens we make the playoffs and we earn our way and our guys are getting better, then I’m thrilled. “We’re not excited about being 10-14. That doesn’t bring excitement to anybody, but progress does.”
Like I said, if we earn a playoff spot with good play, great. That's a good thing. If we don't and we get a lottery pick, that's fine too because we're still developing. If we back into the playoffs with a sub-.500 record, that's not a good thing at all.
First of all I'm seeing some signs of life from the Nets and maybe even the Kincks. So in theory they should pass us in the standings sooner or later making the point moot. I think we're a decent but inexperienced and inconsistent team right now.
Secondly, I still fully expect the C's to be sellers at the trade deadline (but not selling Rondo).
But I've been wrong before. It could happen again.