Can The Boston Celtics make the Playoffs?

Boston Group

Many Boston fans from the 07-08 reign remember the phrasing that surrounded the team. Ubuntu. There was no singular meaning to this word. But Doc Rivers described it as its not about you, that its about the team. Its unselfishness, respect and not caring about your own game, as long as the team benefits from this.

So Boston is currently 9 games into the season and what can the fans take away from it thus far?

Boston currently sits at 3rd within the Atlantic division with a record of 3-6. The fans have seen some glimpses of hope in a team that has been predicted to have yet another poor season.

They’ve have witnessed Rajon Rondo almost averaging a triple double so far this season with 10.1ppg, 8.1rpg and 12apg. Similarly, Kelly Olynyk is really stepping it up this year, he’s playing without the hesitation we witnessed last year. You can see games where he shows fantastic offensive vision, but then there’s times when he will show his naivety as well. But the guy is still young.

This writer was still in doubt of Olynyk’s ability, but thus far I’ve been proven wrong. He’s playing smart. You’ll often see Jared Sullinger in the paint with Kelly hanging about the arc, faking the shot and driving, giving Boston that ability to play the court more openly without clogging the interior.

To improve his game though he absolutely has to improve his rebounding, for now he only averages 6.5 per game.

Olynyk

The great thing with the seven-footer thought is his ability to shoot from multiple positions from the floor and do so efficiently. He’s shooting 60% from the field, 48% from deep and thus far 77% from the line.

It would be nice to see Brad Steve run more plays run for Olynyk to see if he can add more production to this team, which lacks strong scorers.

This isn’t a knock to the Boston Celtics or the fans, but Jeff Green (yes he is definitely improving) still isn’t showing that consistency they need.

He will have glimpses of taking over a game, but not in the way Rondo can put his stamp on a game. Green is putting up 18.9 points per game, but more aggression is needed from the enigmatic forward.

More driving and getting himself to the foul line more often would be an ideal way to improve. Currently, he’s only averaging 3.5 attempts at the line which he shouldn’t settle for.

Considering that the small forward is one of the deepest positions in the league, Green will have to stand out to make a name for himself. We’re not saying that he isn’t talented, but considering the competition he is up against, there’s no argument that players like Lebron James or Kahwi Leonard are on another level at the moment.

Rondo

Don’t call it a comeback…

Rajon Rondo is back and playing once more like an all-star calibre point guard. Some would even go as far as putting him into their top 3 one guards behind Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook.

Whilst this does seem slightly premature for a guy coming back from an injury riddled few years, it doesn’t seem too far off. It’s no knock on players like Steph Curry, Derrick Rose or Kyrie Irving, all of whom are playing well.

But many look at Rondo and see a John Stockton-esque player who is able to influence games without relying on athleticism or next level shooting.

Rondo knows his offensive game isn’t as polished as his playmaking ability or his vision, so gives the ball to the players in the right place at the right time.

That’s the true definition of a point guard. To bring the ball up and make plays for your team, and few do it better than the Celtics point guard.

Some plays you simply watch him and you  sit there scratching your head thinking “how did this guy just do that”.

Fans and players alike have been left baffled many a time by his ability.

The main gripe many have with Rondo is that he only really excels when he is surrounded by superstars. Whilst he’s playing well now, when he had guys like KG and Paul Pierce (both in their prime) by his side, the guy was unstoppable.

Unfortunately Boston don’t have that guy like KG who’s as versatile on the defensive end as well as the offensive end. Or so you would think.

Jared Sullinger has been making other teams really regret passing on him in the draft with his back injury.

He’s a big boy who can post up down low, he can bully his way to the glass for the points or the boards and he’s averaging 15 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, close enough to a double-double a night.

He can shoot the three (albeit not very consistently), see the open man cutting for the easy dime, or step in for a deep two which he has been making.

He’s not that tall for a power forward, being just 6’9″ but his frame makes him an absolute nightmare to try and box out. He could develop into a Paul Millsap type of player given the correct tutelage.

But Millsap doesn’t do what he does best on his own, because partnering him is Al Horford.

This front court goes very under appreciated but not in this writers eyes. You compare these two players and look at what Boston has.

Sullinger and Olynyk. Hardly a front court to strike fear into an opponent’s heart. But as I’ve stated its only 9 games in. Olynyk and Sullinger are doing nothing but reminding Boston fans that they are rising prospects and showing great potential.

Although Boston has a tough schedule approaching, this team could sneak into the 8th seed of the east given some luck, and with a fully healthy team, really prove a challenge to beat in the playoffs.

This isn’t to say that they’ll go deep. But this team could sure cause a nightmare for opposing coaches. Boston’s season has only just just started. Whats next for this promising team?

Boston’s Upcoming Games

Philadelphia (Away)

Memphis (Away)

Portland (Home)

Chicago (Home)

My name is Samuel, I'm 26 years of age and I'm from Essex, United Kingdom. I've followed basketball for many years now and am an outspoken Boston Celtics fan. Although the Celtics are my team I will not let that influence any articles I write now or anytime in the future. I am a part of a podcast titled "In The Post" where we discuss current affairs in the NBA and any upcoming events, trades etc.

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