I purposely left my prediction out of the season preview I wrote, because WEEI asked me to contribute to their season preview by answering one question: What’s your prediction for the Celtics this season?
WEEI asked five Celtics bloggers to contribute to the preview.
Before the preseason started, I predicted that the Celtics were destined to lose to Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Dwyane Wade and LeBron James were tough enough by themselves. Once Pat Riley paired them together and sprinkled a little Chris Bosh on top, they became the team to beat — regardless of who won the Eastern Conference last season.
Then the preseason happened, I got to see the Celtics play in real life rather than on paper, and I’m no longer convinced they’ll fall to the Heat (Yes, I realize it was just the preseason; bear with me).
I expected many of the older Celtics to digress this season. Instead, almost every Celtic looks better than last year.
Pierce entered camp in great shape; Garnett’s healthy; Delonte was a perfect fit; Marquis added confidence and perhaps an outside shot; Nate looks more comfortable after a full training camp; Davis has matured and potentially taken a leap; Rondo remained Rondo, only one year older and more experienced; Shaq has meshed far better than he ever did in Cleveland (I even saw him hedge a pick-and-roll last game); and Jermaine O’Neal’s addicted to the injured list.
Okay, maybe J.O.’s preseason didn’t work out perfectly, but every other player — stunningly — looks to be improved from last season.
A lot of teams claim to be motivated by tough losses, but the Celtics took that motivation to a next level. They used the devastation from the Game That Must Not Be Named and channeled it into returning in great shape, with only one purpose — winning an NBA title.
One through 12, the Celtics are the NBA’s most talented team. If healthy, they’ll win the East and then take down the Lakers in the NBA Finals. If healthy.
WEEI also compiled one blogger from each team for previews of every division. You can check them out below. Each preview discusses the Celtics.
Part 1: Western Conference, Pacific Division
Part 2: Western Conference, Northwest Division
Part 3: Western Conference, Southwest Division
Part 4: Eastern Conference, Central Division
Part 5: Eastern Conference, Southeast Division
Part 6: Eastern Conference, Atlantic Division
Part 7: The Boston Celtics