ESPN.com's "Summer Forecast" predicts that the new-look Boston Celtics will finish the 2013-2014 as the 12th ranked team in the Eastern Conference with a 29-53 record. If ESPN's predictions are Nostradamus-esque, this would be the first time the C's would miss the playoffs since the 2006-2007 season, when they finished 24-58.
If you take a look at ESPN's "#SummerForecast" timeline on Twitter, the reaction to their prediction is relatively mixed. Here are a couple of replies that stuck out to me:
I think people across the country are underrating the Boston Celtics right now. Sure, the roster is unbalanced, a new head coach is in town, and two of the greatest players to ever wear the green uniform are now wearing black and white; but there is a lot of young talent on this team that can compete in the NBA.
The Celtics might not make the playoffs this season but they have a player in Rajon Rondo that makes everyone around him better. When Rondo was young people thought his production was only because of the future hall of famers surrounding him. In the past few years I think Rondo has proven that he can create for everyone. Players like Kelly Olynyk, Jeff Green, Avery Bradley, Kris Humphries, and MarShon Brooks can help Rondo in a number of ways.
For one, all of them can run the floor at a high level. The Celtics will be able to play an up-tempo style of basketball that suits Rondo very well. At the same time, players like Kelly Olynyk, Brandon Bass, Kris Humphries, Vitor Faverani, and Jared Sullinger could all potentially make a lot of noise with Rajon Rondo in the pick-and-roll game.
The Celtics might struggle defensively, but only 29-wins seems a little bit low to me right now. Maybe I am an optimist, but when I look at all the talent on this team and compare it to other teams that will likely finish under 40-wins, I think the Celtics have much more upside.