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Boston Celtics

2010-11 Record: 56-26
(3rd in East, 1st Atlantic)

Playoffs: Lost in Eastern Conference semi-final to Heat (4-1)

Stats
Points Per Game: 96.5 (23rd)
Points Allowed: 91.1 (1st)
Rebounds: 38.8 (29th)
Assists: 23.4 (4th)
Leading Scorer: Paul Pierce 18.9ppg

Additions: G/F Marquis Daniels, F Jeff Green (re-signed), F/C Chris Wilcox, C Greg Stiemsma, G/F Sasha Pavlovic (re-signed), G Keyon Dooling, F Brandon Bass

Subtractions: C Nenad Krstic, F/C Troy Murphy, F/C Glen Davis (sign-and-trade), G Von Wafer (Davis sign-and-trade deal), G Delonte West

Synopsis: The Celtics cruised to their fourth straight Atlantic crown last season with a 56-26 record. But with Chicago's improvement and what went down in Miami they suddenly weren't the team to beat in the East anymore.

The Celtics must have felt that too because they shook things up at the end of the season by dealing away popular centre Kendrick Perkins to the Thunder in exchange for Jeff Green. Perkins wasn't a star by any stretch but he was a gritty player and a definite chemistry guy who was a big part of their runs to the Finals.

The team never really got over his loss. They swept aside the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs but were dropped in only five games by the Heat in the second round.

 

Coach's Corner

Doc Rivers | 12 seasons
Record: 507-406
Playoffs: 51-44
NBA Titles: 1

This season, the core four of Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are still in town and remain the best four-man unit in the NBA with the ability to be dominant at both ends when they're on the floor together.

Three of the Celtics’ four All-Stars are 34 years or older though and a compressed schedule may not be kind to old bodies.

The contracts of both Allen, 36, and Garnett, 35, also expire next summer and it seems unlikely that the team will have all four of its stars back next year.

 

Drafted

1st G/F MarShon Brooks
(25th overall - traded to Nets on draft day)

The Celtics swapped picks to grab the 27th overall pick JaJuan Johnson, a 6'10" mobile big man out of Purdue.

2nd G E'Twaun Moore (55th overall)

So this season could very well be their last kick at the cat so to speak.

If they're going to make a run they need to get more production from their bench than they did a year ago.

When the big three plus Rondo were on the court together they outscored their opponents by 14 points per 100 possessions. But as soon as you took one of them off their production went south fast.

Without all four of them on Boston averaged less than a point per possession. Not good.

Improving on that got alout tougher when Jeff Green, who the team was counting on for a big year, was lost for the season due to an aortic aneurysm. Losing him leavs only Sasha Pavlovic and Marquis Daniels to back up Allen and Paul. Yikes.

The team is also without Big Baby Davis who was sent to Orlando in exchange for Brandon Bass. Davis was a fan favourite and Bass isn't quite as mobile defensively as Big Baby but Bass is a better shooter and rebounder which the Celtics need.

The Celtics will definitely make the playoffs, but they need to find away to get their starters some rest during the season so that come crunch time the old bodies still have gas in the tank for a final run at glory.


 

Conversation Starters

 

1) Talking Tough: You wanna talk toughness? Rajon Rondo basically played with one arm during the series against the Heat. He dislocated his elbow after getting tangled up with Dwyane Wade, an injury that probably should have kept him out for a few weeks, but he came back to play in the same game! He was surprisingly effective too winging passes with one arm.

2) Ray or Reggie:When it all shakes out which three-point bomber will rank higher on the all-time list: Ray Allen or Reggie Miller. Their numbers are remarkably similar. Personally, I give the nod to Allen. For one, he has a ring. Argue all you want about the Celtics being better than any team Reggie ever had, but Allen would have killed to play on some of Reggie's Indiana teams compared to what he had in Milwaukee and Seattle in his early career. His form is also the epitomy of perfection where as Reggie's was just gross looking (albeit grossly effective too). And what clinches is for me is that Allen pulled off a credible acting job in He Got Game alongside Denzel (not a great movie, but Jesus Shuttlesworth was solid).

3) Perk Up: The Celtics have yet to replace Kendrick Perkins with a quality centre. Chris Wilcox had a quietly strong season in Detroit last year but isn't really a solid starting option. As for Jermaine O'Neal, well when big mens knees go, they're gone. And his left a few years ago.


Chisholm's 3 in the Key

TSN.ca basketball blogger Tim Chisholm's takes a look at three players in different stages of their career from the Thunder that will make a difference (good or bad) this season. You can read more from Tim in his weekly blog: '3 in the Key'.

Breakout

Jeff Teague

Brandon Bass: This was supposed to be Jeff Green's spot, until a heart condition put him on the shelf for the season. Bass has a chance to step in and be a valuable contributor to help out their aging core.

Prime Time

Al Horford

Rajon Rondo: The team may still emotionally belong to Kevin Garnett and Paul Piece, but Rondo makes this ship go. When he struggled in the second half of last season, the Celtics as a whole felt the pinch.

Last Legs

Tim Duncan Jermaine O'Neal: O'Neal's knees have simply relegated him to role player status, at least when he's healthy enough to play at all. It's about time for J.O. to sail off into the sunset while he can still walk under his own power.

Game 1: Mavericks at Spurs (TSN2)

Today at 1pm et/10am pt

Game 1: Bobcats at Heat (TSN2)

Sunday at 3:30pm et/12:30pm pt

Game 1: Wizards at Bulls (TSN2)

Sunday at 7pm et/4pm pt

Game 1: Trail Blazers at Rockets (TSN2)

Sunday at 9:30pm et/6:30pm pt


NBA on TSN Broadcast Schedule


Western Conference

(1) SA v (8) DAL (4) HOU v (5) POR
(2) OKC 1, (7) MEM 0 (3) LAC 0, (4) GS 1


Eastern Conference

(1) IND 0, (8) ATL 1 (4) CHI v (5) WSH
(2) MIA v (7) CHA (3) TOR 0, (6) BKN 1


Playoff Schedule/Game-By-Game Breakdown



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