NBA Season Wrap Up: Boston Celtics
The Celtics had an uphill battle once Rajon Rondo went down with a torn ACL in late January. The team still played hard and didn't really miss him until the playoffs, but boy did they miss him in the playoffs.
They scored the fewest points per game of any team in the playoffs and averaged the second fewest assists (16.8) of any playoff team, ahead of only the Knicks in that category. New York's defense deserves a lot of credit, but the C's really had no consistent offensive options.
Pierce and Garnett tried to lift their team up, but they just couldn't make up for the team's weaknesses. During the regular season, only one team put up fewer shots than Boston, one reason why they finished last in offensive rebounding. Their defense was good, ranking seventh in Defensive Rating, but it wasn't as good as previous years when they consistently finished in the top five in that category.
And now the future is full of questions. Pierce is signed through next year and KG is under contract through 2014-15 but some think we've seen the last of them in Celtic green. There have been rumors regarding Garnett and Pierce, who are 36 and 35 respectively, being shipped off to rebuild around Rondo and Jeff Green.
Some form of Eric Bledsoe for Kevin Garnett makes some sense for both teams, giving Boston a young asset and giving LA some interior toughness and veteran leadership. But I would think that Boston would prefer to get a young player back at a position of need, like someone that can hit shots that Rondo creates.
I think they should look to acquire Danny Granger, who has become expendable with the emergence of Paul George in Indiana. Indy could use more playoff experience and KG would add serious experience and toughness to a weak bench.
It's also not clear that Jeff Green can be relied upon to contribute on a consistent basis. He has had games this year when he dropped 34 and 43, but he also disappears at times. There were 12 games this season where he scored five or fewer points.
The Big 3 era has been fun in Boston. They got their ring, were a factor in several other playoffs, and they will forever be part Boston's storied sports history. The torch has already been passed to Rondo -- he's been the best player on the team for a couple of years now -- but now it looks like the roster may be overhauled to match these new roles.
Chris Wilcox, an unrestricted free agent, is the only Celtics player entering free agency this summer.