The 2014-15 Boston Celtics opened up their rebuilding year with a 98-78 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in their first exhibition game on Monday night. Evan Turner and Brandon Bass scored 15 points apiece in the preseason opener. Turner also had 10 rebounds and six assists while Bass pulled down eight rebounds. Could this be the kind of effort that will help the Celtics get back to the early days that I used to love being a Celtics fan? Will they get back to the Larry Bird and Kevin McHale Days? In order for this to happen the Celtics will have to go through a rebuilding phase. Let’s take a look at what needs happen to help them overcome the 25-57 record and a fourth place finish in the Eastern Atlantic division.
Boston needs to work through the growing pains.
Boston will have a young team both on the floor and on the bench. Young players such as Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger and Tyler Zeller will need to step up their games to help the Celtics improve. They will need to help develop rookie players such as Marcus Smart and James Young so they are not dominated by some of the leagues better players. Each of these players will also need to step their individual game for the team to improve.
Coach Brad Stevens
Coach Brad Stevens only in his second year as a head coach in the NBA will have to rely on some of the things he learned to do or not do in his rookie year as head coach. He will be picking up the pace this year to try to leave behind the dismal memories of last year. Brad Stevens wants his team to be faster. He wants to see more ball movement and more aggression from his young team. Playing fast may be a great way to develop the young players he has this year. Rookie Marcus Smart Said, “He’s trying to get us all together at one pace and get the ball down the court as quick as possible”
One of the big questions that will be answered this year is if Rajon Rondo can come back from the past injuries to become an elite point guard again. He will need to work through his past injuries such as his ACL to be the leader and captain his young team needs him to be. He will also need to keep up the pace of almost 10 assists per game to give the younger players the confidence they need to grow. Rajon will be working his way back after a year off.
This seems like a lot for a team that is rebuilding to have to work on. But with some of the new draft picks and requisitions the Celtics have made during the off season it does seem like at least they can improve over the 25 win season they had last year. After all young players have to develop to stay in this league not to mention developing into a contender.