After Years of Rebuilding, Are the Boston Celtics Ready to Make a Splash?

October 29th, 2015 by Brian Robb Leave a reply »

BOSTON — Year three of the Brad Stevens era in Boston has brought a first for the head coach during his NBA career: expectations.

The Celtics squad that closed out last year’s regular season with 24 wins in 36 games and a surprise playoff appearance is returning all of its key contributors. Established veterans David Lee and Amir Johnson have been added to the mix, along with a talented crop of rookies.

Team president Danny Ainge has put together a deep group with continuity that leaves no doubt about the franchise’s intentions. This is a rebuilding squad set on winning games, not falling back into the lottery. Preseason projections agree with that assessment, with some, such as, pegging Boston as a two seed in the East.

A speedy turnaround like that from a 25-win team two years ago would lead to plenty of optimism in most cities. However, there is still a cloud of painful realism surrounding the Celtics franchise, and Ainge admits that Boston is still a ways away from being considered a title contender.

“Every one of the players we have on the roster rig ...

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