We can predict how the coming Boston Celtics campaign will end, and our predictions might feature confetti and/or tears. Really, with 82 games to play and so many events unforeseen, we are just hoping the next season ends similarly to the last one, with a long playoff run, yet entirely different from the last one, which left the Celtics crushed by the Miami Heat after being 10 minutes away from the NBA Finals.
As part of ESPN Boston’s summer forecast, I predicted the Celtics will lose to the Miami Heat again in the playoffs. Also, if you see bloody human remains splattered somewhere in the streets of Western Massachusetts, it’s probably because I ran into oncoming traffic.
The Boston Celtics’ season will end with midseason acquisition Brian Scalabrine drilling a title-winning 3-pointer, Kevin Garnett screaming “Anyttthinngg iss posssiblleee” and Rajon Rondo calling Ray Allen (whose Miami Heat fell in the Eastern Conference Finals) just to say, “You like apples? How ’bout dem apples?”
Or at least, it will in my dreams.
Though the thought makes me want to consider becoming a soccer fan, and I loathe soccer, the real-life Celtics are likely to end next season the same way they have the past two — losing to LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
Celtics fans should still maintain a modicum of hope because Danny Ainge spent the offseason building a powerful, partially youthful bench that should help address Boston’s two biggest weaknesses. Jason Terry, Courtney Lee and Jeff Green (assuming his long-imminent signing ever occurs) should allow Boston to field a more explosive offense, and Jared Sullinger should step into the NBA as one of its finest rookie rebounders. The Celtics’ second unit scored just two points during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. During the past two seasons, Terry himself scored at least eight points in each of his 25 playoff games, reaching double figures in 23 of those contests.
The Celtics still have a powerful, experienced starting five. They’re still proud, fierce and Rondoriffic, and they’ve reloaded on the periphery to keep their stubborn window (which is probably broken at this point) open. If Garnett can return as a reasonable facsimile of his superhuman playoff self, Paul Pierce fights off aging and Rondo takes another step toward the superstardom some might argue he’s already achieved, the Celtics could reach their ceiling and become NBA champions. But to do so they will have to stiff-arm an army of ifs — and even after managing to survive that, LeBron James will most certainly await.
Go to ESPN.com to read the rest of the predictions. I’m pretty sure Greg Payne’s bedroom is painted green, and I know for a fact he kisses a Gerald Green picture each night before sleep.