by: Kyle Benson
Its the 2nd year in a row the Celtics have missed the playoffs. What has happened to this storied franchise? 16 NBA championships all time, but they can’t make it into the playoffs two years in a row. Even though they are one of the worst teams in the league, ending the season with a horrid record of 25-57, star players Paul Pierce and Al Jefferson have guaranteed the playoffs for the 2007-2008 season. So what I’m asking myself is, what Celtics will we see next year, the dynasty from the 80’s, or the car crash of the 2000’s?The Celtics biggest problem this year was the young, inexperienced players. They are all great players, but are inexperienced in the NBA. And next year they will all be experienced NBA players, and I personally can not wait to see what these young, talented players, like Rajon Rondo, Delonte West, Sebastian Telfair, Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, and Tony Allen can dish out for the Celtics in the near future. When this team of young players gets experienced in the NBA, they could dominate the league with the talents that they have.
Injuries were also a big problem for the Celtics this year. Tony Allen was a big help for the Celtics this year, averaging 11.5 points a game, and almost 4 rebounds per game before he tore his left MCL and his left ACL in early January. Al Jefferson was a standout player this year averaging 16 points per game, and 11 rebounds per game, but he could have brought those averages up if he didn’t miss a significant amount of games due to injury. Wally Szczerbiak was having a decent season averaging 15 points per game, and being one of the main leaders on the team, but missed the last 2 months of the season because he had to get ankle surgery. And the biggest injury that hurt the Celtics this season was the elbow woes with captain Paul Pierce. He missed games from December to the end of the season.
The offseason is what GM, Danny Ainge, has been looking at since February. There has been a lot of talk that the Seattle Supersonics’ star unrestricted free agent, Rashad Lewis could be on his way to Boston in the offseason. This would be a great addition to the Celtics. Rashad is averaging almost 23 points per game this season, and he would fit in with the Celtics, fast, crash the net type play. Another unrestricted free agent that would go great with the Celtics type of play is Mike Bibby, definitely one of the best players in the league averaging 17 points per game. Also what Mr. Ainge has been looking at is the NBA draft. The Celtics clinched the 2nd worst record in the NBA, which means there is a good chance they will get to pick at number 1 or 2 in the draft. And Danny has his eye on star college player, Kevin Durant.
If the Celtics can get some players in the offseason, avoid injuries next season, and teach rookies more about the game, then next year they might have a shot at the playoffs, but they have their work cut out for them.