COMMENTARY | After years of wondering when Danny Ainge would begin a new era with the Boston Celtics, it finally happened this offseason. Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry are no longer in town, and this year appears to be a rebuilding one.
It feels weird saying this after years of success, but the Boston Celtics will not make the playoffs this season.
Here are 10 reasons why:
Rajon Rondo's delayed return
Rondo's status is up in the air as he recovers from an ACL injury. Without him on the floor early in the season, it's tough to see this group being very competitive.
Jordan Crawford could be playing some point guard
Do I have to explain why this is bad?
The Brad Stevens learning curve
Although he should be able to transition to the NBA, there is a huge learning curve here. This is a completely new team for Stevens, and he is not familiar with any of the players or opponents. It will take some time.
Lack of a defensive anchor
For years, Kevin Garnett was the defensive anchor on a team known for being able to get stops. Which big man on this roster can step into that role? I don't see any candidates.
An improved Eastern Conference
The Celtics will have a tough time racking up any wins against the top teams in the conference, including the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets, and New York Knicks.
Trades could still come
Early in the year, the Celtics may be hosting a public tryout for veterans like Brandon Bass and Kris Humphries. The possibility of having even more moving parts makes it difficult to focus on winning on a nightly basis.
Who plays center?
It only takes a quick look at the roster to notice that the team is filled with power forwards who will pretend to play center.
Increased defensive attention on Jeff Green
Jeff Green is a huge part of Boston's plans, but opposing defenses will be scheming to shut him down this year. It's going to take him a little while to become become someone who can score in a wide variety of ways.
Kelly Olynyk's defensive development
While plenty of Celtics fans are hyped about the idea of Kelly Olynyk, he has a lot to work on until he becomes a decent NBA defender. Opponents will put up some points on him this year.
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett aren't walking through the door
On and off the floor, this is an obvious one. There is just too much to replace.
Mark lives in the Boston area and has been covering New England sports for various blogs over the past 4 years. He has been featured on Fox Sports Yardbarker, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated "Hot Clicks", and has been published on Celtics 24/7, Bleacher Report, and Sports-Kings.
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