Last week Chris Forsberg wrapped up a highly entertaining series called Summer Forecast where he asks a bunch of bloggers questions about the coming years. I liked the idea so much I thought I'd give him the ultimate blogging compliment, ...blatantly stealing the idea and repackaging it under a different name!
So I got responses from other CelticsBlog authors as well as some of the other Celtics blogs around the web. If you have a blog and were not invited (or it got lost in your spam filter or some other such user error) please email me and I'll send you a link.
The first entry was a nice softball, green tinted glasses, glass half full, open ended question.
What is the best case scenario that you can come up with for this year?
Kevin O'Connor - CelticsBlog
Consider a scenario where Rajon Rondo returns early in the year, Kelly Olynyk is for real, Jeff Green continues the way he ended last year, and the other veterans like Kris Humphries and youngsters like Jared Sullinger all play very well. This roster has the upside of being a very good team and there is no denying that. Even at this roster's best, I can't imagine they are championship contenders, but a trip to the second round of the playoffs, or maybe even the Eastern Conference Finals could happen if they matchup against the right teams in the playoffs.
Bill Sy - CelticsBlog
I'm not even thinking records or playoffs or ping pong balls. The best case scenario is that the Core Four (Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, and Kelly Olynyk) and Rajon Rondo gel well and create a foundation for the future of the franchise. If that means just missing the playoffs and landing in the lottery, so be it. If that means taking out the Heat in the first round of the playoffs, even better. I'm quoting Michael Fassbender from Prometheus (who was channeling Claude Raines in Lawrence of Arabia) here, but "big things have small beginnings" and for the Celtics to be successful going forward, these five have to mature and mature together.
Josh Zavadil - CelticsBlog
Best case scenario? I'll be honest, my idea of a good season this year has nothing to do with winning, barely making the playoffs or even just competing for a playoff spot.
Rather, my best case scenario would be for the Celtics to hold Rondo out until December or January, let him come back and get better, allow the team to grow in understanding and cohesion with Brad Stevens and for the team to lose so, so many games. Because I think the trajectory the Celtics are on right now is fine for a rebuilding process, but I also think somehow earning a lottery pick in a deep draft would only help expedite the process.
For the Boston Celtics, the best case scenario for 2013-14, in my opinion, will probably throw you off a little bit. I believe that the Celtics' best bet would be to play their young guys together as often as they can. For example, Brandon Bass should be removed from the starting line-up so that Jared Sullinger can assume that position. A starting five comprised of Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Sullinger, and Kelly Olynyk would be ideal. Sure, it may not translate into a large number of wins but that's not what this season is about. Instead, it's about creating as much chemistry as possible between the faces of this franchise's future.
Mike Dyer - Celtics Life
In my best case scenario the Celtics get Rondo back and he quickly proves that he is 100% and embraces leading the franchise. Jeff Green averages about 18 points-per-game and continues to grow on the defensive end, proving Danny Ainge right for giving him $9 million a season. Bradley, Olynyk and Sullinger all have good seasons as well, leaving the Celtics with a solid under 28-year-old core. Despite their best efforts, the C's fall short of the playoffs on the last day of the season, but the basketball gods bless them for their lack of tanking and previous lottery disappointments by giving them the #1 pick in the draft. Jeff Green is traded for Omer Asik next summer, and suddenly the Celtics have a Rondo - Bradley - Wiggins - Olynyk - Asik starting line-up with Sully coming off the bench and seven additional first round picks in the following four seasons.
Hey, you asked for best case.
Mark Vandeusen - Celtics Life
Rondo comes back Day 1 with something to prove. Stevens gets everybody to play hard, especially on defense. Because of this the C's win a lot of those games in the dregs of the season against crappy teams. The "core 5" of Rondo, Bradley, Green, Olynyk, and Sullinger gel as a unit, and run unsuspecting clubs right out of the building. Boston falls in 7 games in an epic first round playoff matchup against Pierce and KG's Nets team, who then knock off the Heat before downing Doc's Clippers in the Finals.
HeisenCelts - Truth On Causeway
Simple: Andrew Wiggins.
Other than that, a Top 5 pick and Rondo being 110% would be great.
GeeZeeCelts - Truth on Causeway
Led by a newly born star in Jeff Green and a resurgent Rondo who looks like he never injured his knee and has developed an outside shot, the Celtics shock the NBA. Kelly Olynyk wins Rookie of the Year, Avery Bradley becomes not only a defensive specialist but an all-around dangerous player, Gerald Wallace looks rejuvenated and returns to his days as Crash. Brad Stevens turns out to be a coaching genius that puts Doc Rivers' schemes to shame. Jordan Crawford plays smart basketball and becomes a responsible adult.
The sad thing is that even with all this, their ceiling is that of a playoff team.
I get the last word because I said so. Though with this I'm being lazy and re-using something I wrote months back.
Rajon Rondo's doctors convince him to sit out 2 months of the season. Stevens has the team fighting hard and learning a lot, but the wins don't come. They go on 2 different 15 game losing streaks when Green and Bradley suffer minor injuries that linger (but have no long term consequences). The Celtics trade Humphries and Wallace for two more big trade exceptions and another draft pick. The Celtics finish with the 6th worst record in the league and manage to win the draft lottery. Wiggins turns out to be better than LeBron.
(Note: At the above link you'll also find a non-tankish best case as well.)
So now it is your turn. What's your best case for next year?