COMMENTARY | It’s been an unusual offseason for the Boston Celtics.
For the past six years, we have grown accustomed to watching them retool around legendary centerpieces during free agency. Now that those centerpieces have become antiques and sold to the highest bidder, it is clear this season the Celtics will be a rebuilding project. The roster does possess some quality young talent, which may put up more fight than people think.
However, here are two intriguing questions to look for in Boston’s future:
1. Will Rajon Rondo pull an “Adrian Peterson” or a “Derrick Rose”?
All three of these excellent athletes tore the ACL in their knees. Adrian Peterson set the standard for comebacks in his return by winning the NFL’s MVP award and nearly breaking the single-season rushing record. Derrick Rose on the other hand sat out the entire 2012-13 season after being cleared by doctors. This led to many questioning his mental state and his desire to play. Rose has finally returned to the court for opening night this season against the Miami Heat and showed, through a below average performance, he is not quite game-ready. Rondo, who initially targeted an opening night return, will miss at least a month as of now. That’s if all goes well and there are no setbacks. I don’t think he will pull an “AP” simply because there is a king in Miami who doesn’t seem to be surrendering the MVP crown anytime soon. Boston fans at best should hope for a happy medium here with Rondo being able to get back on the court to gel with his new teammates and head coach and he be ready to make a strong playoff push next season.
2. Will this Celtics’ team mirror the 2012 Boston Red Sox and their success in 2013?
What’s happening to the C’s seems oddly familiar doesn’t it. Aside from the coincidence that they both play in Boston, like their baseball counterparts, the Celtics have been involved in the biggest blockbuster trade of the year. Last year the Red Sox cleaned house and traded away an obscene amount of salary cap, which allowed them to sign a slew of new players (Victorino, Ross, Napoli, Gomes) who all contributed mightily to their recent World Series success. Also, both teams decided to bring in a new manager/coach for the transition process. The Red Sox literally went from worst to first in one season. Optimistic Celtics fans hope that a last place finish isn’t imminent for the foreseeable future but the critics say they will be. With two first round draft choices at season’s end, possibly moving Brandon Bass and Gerald Wallace at the deadline, and Kris Humphries expiring contract, the Celtics may just have the money and leverage they need to be at the top of the NBA once again in 2014-15.
Craig Pisani has been a follower of the Boston Celtics since 1985. His works have been published by multiple media sources and regularly contributes to CelticsZone.com.