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2009-10 Celtics: Not the favorites

 

ESPN.com continued their look ahead at the 2009-10 season by releasing the predictions of their 53 NBA experts on who will win the 2010 Championship.

Only 5 teams received votes from the panelists and the Celtics earned five votes from the experts, which was good for only less than 10 percent of the overall vote. Here’s what those that did end up picking the C’s said in explaining their picks:

  • I pick them to win the NBA title because it really is their last stand. Much like the 1968-69 Celtics, who won the 11th title in Bill Russell’s career, this team is primarily a group of proud veterans who want to achieve a special place in franchise history. They won it once and may have won it last year had not Kevin Garnett been hurt. With Rasheed Wallace in the mix, Danny Ainge went all-in to win it in 2010.
  • Maybe Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace aren’t what they once were, but the Celtics should get a pretty dynamic season out of the combination of the two.
  • The emergence of Rajon Rondo was the dose of youth and energy the Celtics will need to get them back to the top of the mountain.
  • The Celtics have the best starting five in the NBA and added terrific depth in Marquis Daniels and Rasheed Wallace. With KG healthy, they may not be the best team in the regular season, but they will be in the postseason.

The Lakers lead the way in the overall votes. Here are the overall tallies:

Lakers: 19 votes (36%)
Cavs: 18 votes (34%)
Spurs: 8 votes (15%)
Celtics: 5 votes (10%)
Magic: 3 votes (5%)

Looking at this, it’s clear the Celtics will not be considered the favorites entering this season. My question is whether the result of this poll surprises anyone? I personally thought the C’s would get a few more votes and more respect than this given all of their upgrades to the bench. What is everyone’s else take on this? Are the experts selling the C’s short or should the Lakers and Cavs still be rightfully considered the favorites?

  • paul

    the celtics with the big 3 healthy and their core bench players playing their role they are the best flat out

  • Jason

    The Lakers are getting too much credit for a number of reasons. First, they can't stop gagging on Kobe's $@#! which also means they don't realize of all these age issues they keep bringing up, Kobe's got the most mileage on his legs. Count the minutes. Second, the perception from the playoffs were the Lakers made it look easy while the Celts struggled to get out of the first round and fell apart late in the Orlando series. Well, these are explainable. The Lakers got Yao to break his foot mid-series and got to play the East #3 instead of #1 or #2. It'd better look easy when those dominoes fall in your favor. And hell the Celts should struggle without their best player don't you think?

    Who freaking cares what any of these guys think? Only the results on the floor matter. These guys are food critics, movie critics. F them and their worthless opinions. They're the same people that said Tyson would destroy Douglas and the USA had no chance against the USSR (Miracle on Ice). Again, the point is they mean nothing.

    Rondo's going to make it a Big 4. Perk has always been a beast, but now he's his own man on the floor having thrived flying solo without KG last year, especially in the playoffs. The Celts have a legit backup at 4 and 5 now, plus someone who could legitimately get Pierce some rest. KG's not coming back just ok. He's coming back with a chip on his shoulder and to prove a point. This year's Celts will dominate again. They are the favorites.

    Tip off the season already damn it and let's get it settled.

  • Jonathan

    The key really is Garnett. I think everyone is forgetting that the C’s had the league’s best D in 2007. Sure, the Lakers *might* be better if Artest can keep his wits about him revolving around planet Kobe and the predictions are based on Lakers role players being better. I am not so sure that you can assume everything else is going to be the same (i.e. Odom). It is also clear that the Cavs and Spurs made themselves better, but again can you assume everything is going to be the same for the other guys this year when you are counting on the C’s core to decline?

  • Arvin

    The Lakers and Cavs are getting the props they deserve. I would prefer the Celtics stay under the radar anyway. Let the Celtics feel disrespected, left out to dry, put to pasture . . . Then let them come out with the intensity Garnett is known for and show the pundits what defense and intensity are all about! Let's go for 18, almost no one thinks they can do it. It is US against the world. Bring it Kobe, same for you LeBron!

  • Eddie

    My dude Jason is the man. I agree 100% with him. Let the critics talk, they are forgetting one VERY big thing about the cavs. 3-6 last year against the likes of the lakers Celts and magic.

    Look, they can beat up on all the other teams I dont care. Because come playoff time those 20 win teams won't be there to make the cavs look good. Yeah they added a 38 year old big man whose got A LOT of mileage. Oh wait, thats not a very good thing. Oh well everyone else can look past that for all i care. Only team i worry about is the lakers and adding Sheed and Daniels i feel is a better aquisition than artest. We don't even know if Artest will work well with the lakers.

    Once the season starts everybody will be changing their mind because a motivated KG, a very very very much improved Rondo, an improved Big Baby, adding Sheed and Daniels, and giving our vets some less minutes my hopes for a 18th championship looks mighty fine.

  • twalter

    I think everyone just wants to see KG healthy before jumping on. Other variables like Rondo's little saga at the end of last season don't help either. Give them 20 games of good play, and people will start backing the Celts in 2010.

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  • http://Aol.com Matthew

    Twalter…I don't usually agree with peoples responses. I find most response either overly fanish…or incredibly foolish. Few are rational or on the money. Your absolutely right. The people, media included want to reserve their judgement for the Celtics until they see a healthy, productive KG like we have all seen in years past. The rondo issue is really a non issue. The kid is hard to coach so what…his tallent and potential are at absurdly high levels. He keeps our team youthfull. With all the ageing vets he is a key piece of the future.

    Once the Celtics show the NBA universe that with their newly signed weapons (Wallace, dAniels), are big contributers and still have gas in the tank…..with the all star break looming the media will jump on their ban wagon and they will be the 2nd or third choice to win it all. But to be truthfull I think the us against the world…no respect…and revenge/last stand mind set will be a good thing. The underdog doesn't get every teams best shot each night. When your champ it's exhausting because every night is your opponants big game…now it's back to the basics…celtics basketball 101 schooling teams 82times for practice befor the big test.

  • Haydn

    It does not matter how the critics think about the C's. We are gonna do what we will be doing to win. Yeah, it's right that L.A. and the Cavs are in favor, but the C's has veterance, experience, energy, defense and all the truth. Run for 18!!

  • KIM mathenge

    If the lakers get to the finals again I want them to have another shot at the celtics by the way every team has injuries 2007-08 bynum&Ariza not healthy. having said that a championchip. is a championchip celtics better worry about orlando or cleveland.

  • KIM mathenge

    You got those 2 yahoos garnett and pierce guaranteeing back to back titles if there is anything i can’t stand it’s players who win once and then disrespect teams like the lakers Ray allen kobe won without you know how last year. first roumd playoffs 2010 celtics 4 bobcays 3 7 game series lol

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