NBA Preview: The 2015 Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics Preview
2014 Record: 40-42
Odds to Win NBA Championship: +12500 See the Latest Odds
The Boston Celtics look to take another step in the right direction after making the playoffs in Brad Stevens’ second season. The Celtics are quietly becoming a sneaky good team in the Eastern Conference.
Key Player Losses: Brandon Bass, who averaged double-digit points last season and was a leader, signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. Backup point guard Phil Pressey, who played in 125 games in two seasons, was waived and later signed with the Portland Trail Blazers.
USA TODAY Sports
Key Player Additions: The biggest addition for the Celtics was getting David Lee in a trade with the Warriors. Lee can still play at 32 years old and could become Boston’s starting power forward. Amir Johnson signed as a free agent after six seasons with the Toronto Raptors. Johnson is a career 57.3 percent shooter and averaged 6.1 rebounds last season. The Celtics weren’t done adding depth at the forward position, as Perry Jones was picked up in a trade with the Thunder. Johnson shot 42 percent from the field and averaged 1.8 rebounds in three seasons with OKC.
Draft: The Celtics took Terry Rozier out of Louisville, who will be able to learn behind point guards Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Smart. R.J. Hunter is a knockdown shooter who will add a scoring punch off the bench and Jordan Mickey could be a second round steal after being a blocking machine in his time with LSU. Marcus Thornton will spend at least a year playing overseas in order to polish his game.
2015 Outlook: I love the direction the Boston Celtics are heading, as they have a smart head coach and some young players who mesh well together. I still question the offensive firepower, but there’s enough here to once again be a scrappy team that competes night in and night out. The Celtics are moving upward and have the potential to be a top-five team in the East if everything goes well. Boston is a team that should finish above .500 for the first time since 2012.