|2013-14 Team Rating|
|24th Overall||15th Overall|
Stats Through Jan. 20
Jeff Green has had the opportunity to put up big numbers, but he's been inconsistent and is averaging fewer points and rebounds than he did in his second season with OKC. Six other Celtics have started at forward or center.
Avery Bradley took a step forward as a shooter and Jordan Crawford found a rhythm as a point guard before being traded, but both are best suited as reserves. Rajon Rondo returned from ACL surgery just before the midway point.
The only thing keeping the Celtics in some games has been an average defense. They have defended the 3-point line well, but with a lack of size, they don't protect the rim, rebound very well or keep their opponents off the line.
Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace have given the Celtics occasional production off the bench, but nothing that will really move the needle. For the sake of long-term flexibility, they downgraded from Courtney Lee to Jerryd Bayless.
Brad Stevens wasn't given much to work with, especially on offense, where the Celtics have nobody that will really draw a defense's attention. He did manage to have them in the top 10 defensively through December.
It's a season of transition for the Celtics. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are gone, Brad Stevens is learning the NBA game, and Rajon Rondo was out for the first half of the season. Yet, at 12-14, they led the Atlantic Division midway through December.
Then they fell back to earth, going 2-14 between Dec. 18 and Jan. 19. That put them within two games in the loss column of 14th place in the Eastern Conference. At the same time, they were still within three games of eighth, with Rondo back in uniform to help their anemic offense.
In a conference so bad, the Celtics are one of a few teams toeing the fine line between competing for a playoff spot and competing for lottery odds. Beyond Rondo, they're lacking a true impact player or young star they can build around, so trading the point guard is certainly an option if they can get serious assets in return. With a bevy of future picks and Humphries' expiring contract in hand, they could actually be a buyer at the trade deadline. But ultimately, their best asset is probably their own draft pick this year.
-- John Schuhmann
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||A-|
|Los Angeles Clippers||A-|
|Los Angeles Lakers||D|
|New Orleans Pelicans||C-|
|New York Knicks||D|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||A|
|San Antonio Spurs||A|