Ten Most Underrated Celtics Home Games
BOSTON – Most fans rushed to Celtics.com Tuesday night to scour the team’s schedule for words like “Heat,” “Nets,” “Clippers” and “Knicks.” That’s fine and dandy, but we need to point out some other words that might have slipped under their radar.
We don’t want to make you dig through the schedule to find every hidden gem, so we found them for you. Check out the list below for the top 10 underrated home games of the 2013-14 season.
10. Monday, Nov. 11 – Orlando Magic
The Magic lost out on the No. 1 overall pick but they lucked out by landing Victor Oladipo at No. 2. Oladipo, who played for Indiana, was arguably the nation’s top player last season. If he wasn’t the top player, he sure was the most exciting player.
Oladipo finished second in scoring in the Orlando Pro Summer League by dropping in 19.0 points per game. In addition to Oladipo, the Magic are also loaded with other young talents like Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris, Maurice Harkless and Andrew Nicholson.
9. Wednesday, April 16 – Washington Wizards
Don’t underestimate John Wall and the Washington Wizards. Washington went 24-25 and had the fifth-best defense in the league last season with Wall in the lineup. That makes their 29-53 overall record extremely misleading.
The former No. 1 overall pick is clearly a difference-maker and averaged 18.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 7.6 APG last season. He jumped to a superstar level over his final 21 games by averaging 24.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG and 8.3 APG.
8. Wednesday, Nov. 27 – Memphis Grizzlies
We shouldn’t have to talk you into being excited about the Grizzlies coming to town the night before Thanksgiving, but we will anyway.
If you happened to forget, Memphis went to the Western Conference Finals last season. The Grizzlies may have the most formidable frontline in the league with the combination of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. And don’t forget guys like former Celtic Tony Allen and emerging point guard Mike Conley, who is turning into one of the best in the league.
7. Monday, Dec. 16 – Minnesota Timberwolves
We’ll start this game off by naming Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. If you don’t want to watch these two guys ball, you’ve got issues. Love is one of the best all-around players in the game, while Rubio is one of the most entertaining players in the league.
On top of that exciting duo, Minnesota also may have Nikola Pekovic back (restricted free agent) and has added one of the league’s best shooters in Kevin Martin. This team is primed to make the playoffs in the Western Conference if it stays healthy.
6. Friday, Nov. 22 – Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers were one game away from kicking the Miami Heat aside and moving on to the NBA Finals. They had a legitimate shot at capturing the title last season.
Indiana turned into a heavyweight last season thanks to the emergence of Paul George. He is one of the most talented youngsters in the league and he morphed into a superstar last postseason. Add Danny Granger to the core of George, David West, Roy Hibbert and George Hill, this team is ridiculously good, athletic and entertaining.
5. Friday, Jan. 3 – New Orleans Pelicans
Remember when the Oklahoma City Thunder were viewed as a team loaded with talent that would become very good in the next couple of years? Well that’s where the Pelicans are now.
New Orleans has put together a great core of young talent. This summer, they added All-Star Jrue Holiday and former Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans to a roster that already included Eric Gordon, Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson. The Pelicans are legitimately stacked with young talent and could make a surprising push for the playoffs.
4. Wednesday, Dec. 18 – Detroit Pistons
Detroit may not be a title contender next season, but they may wind up being one of the most entertaining teams in the league. With a core that now consists of Brandon Jennings, Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, the Pistons possess superior athleticism and one of the most talented 3-4-5 combos in the league.
Ignore the fact that Detroit lacks a great shooter to space the floor well. It may not be needed. After all, Jennings will be busy throwing sky-high alley-oops to Smith and Drummond on the regular.
3. Wednesday, March 5 – Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are ready to make a push for a Western Conference title. Led by two of the top up-and-coming players in the league in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Golden State was poised to make noise last season.
Now they’re ready to make even more noise this season with the addition of Andre Iguodala. Iguodala joins the crew of Curry, Thompson, David Lee and Andrew Bogut. That’s one heck of a starting five.
2. Friday, November 29 – Cleveland Cavaliers
This game automatically jumps into the top 10 solely because it’s on the Friday night after Thanksgiving. Now add in Cleveland’s roster and you’ve got one of the most underrated home games of 2013-14.
Leading the Cavs is budding superstar Kyrie Irving, who's surrounded by talented youngsters Dion Waiters, Tyler Zeller and Tristan Thompson. Also remember that the Cavs just grabbed Anthony Bennett with the No. 1 pick and added Andrew Bynum, one of the top two centers in the league when healthy, and this team is suddenly legit.
1. Wednesday, Feb. 12 – San Antonio Spurs
How the Spurs continue to fly under the radar is beyond us. They’ve won 50 or more games in 14 consecutive seasons. Yeah, 14 consecutive seasons! San Antonio was also inches away from winning its fifth NBA title last season.
The Spurs return their entire core, including MVP candidate Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. Don’t miss this game if you have the chance to catch it in person.