Yet another mediocre team in the Atlantic division, the Celtics have some of the best young talent and depth in the Eastern Conference. The problem is that they do not have much else aside from Paul Pierce in the present to win games. Doc Rivers has his work cut out for him to make the playoffs in the upcoming season, and angry Boston fans are expecting no less.
As mentioned before, Paul Pierce is the sole superstar on a team with players mostly still searching for an identity. Pierce had a career year last season averaging 26.8 points per game. He also was applauded for his unselfishness and leadership roles. For the Celtics to win games, Pierce has to continue to be on the same page as his coach and teammates.
Outside of Pierce, the Celtics will boast their roster with many recent first-round picks. The point guard position will be the responsibility of two of these young players, in newly acquired Sebestian Telfair and Delonte West. West had a pretty good season last year with over 11 points and 4 rebounds and assists a game. Meanwhile, Telfair was drafted straight out of high school and has the pure talent to be a playmaker in the future.
At the shooting guard position veteran Wally Szczerbiak and Tony Allen will be asked to provide a second scoring option to Pierce. Wally is a good scorer who has always been reliable for about fifteen points a game. Meanwhile, Tony Allen should be a good option off of the bench.
Other key players for the Celtics include big men Al Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins. Both of these power forwards/centers have shown a lot of potential in the past and could be entering their breakout seasons. Coaches have been very impressed with Jefferson’s weight loss over the offseason, and feel as if he can make a huge impact on the team. Behind these two are more reliable options in Ryan Gomes and Theo Ratliff. Ratliff in particular has been in the league for quite some time and can be a good influence on Boston’s young players.
For Boston to be successful in 2006/07, they must establish a solid rotation (in 2005 they rotated in so many players that their play was inconsistent), and they need Pierce to continue his stellar play from last season. It is hard to see them making the playoffs without at least one of their young players becoming a star.