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Hollinger: C’s Third in East

I hate pre-season power rankings and previews, but some are so thorough and so widely-disseminated and discussed that they at least deserve mention here. Among those are John Hollinger’s previews, and Mr. ¬†Hollinger released his Eastern Conference forecast today.

He’s got the Celtics finishing third in the East at 58-24. Relevant snippet:

Plotting expectations for the Celtics this year depends first on what one expects from Garnett. If he’s fully healthy and can resume playing with his usual ferocity, then it’s pretty easy to project Boston returning to its standing among the East’s elite and rivaling Orlando and Cleveland for the conference championship. In that scenario, the addition of Wallace is pure gravy and the age concerns are softened by what appears to be superior depth.

He goes on to state the downside of this “if, but” analysis, and we all know how that goes by now. Ahead of Boston: Cleveland (projected 63-19) and Orlando (projected 62-20).


  • John

    I didn't read this entire post, but I agree, Hollinger's an idiot. The Celtics are actually the 4th team in the East. What a moron.

  • KY Celts fan

    fourth? seriously? Boston, Cleveland, and Orlando are all pretty close, so I'll respect Hollinger's assessment. But there is a huge drop between third and fourth. None of the other 12 teams can challenge a spot for the top three.

  • Jason

    It’s a fair number for two reasons:

    1. We don’t know what we’ll get out of KG… and it seems likely that his minutes at the least will be limited in the regular season, or he may even have scheduled off days to help try and rest that knee.

    2. The point guard situation is still to much of an “x” factor, it remains to be seen if the point guard by committee approach they seem to be committed to taking will be effective enough to accomplish anything in that second lineup. The flip side of this, is the celtics have the best starting line up in basketball, hands down (again assuming healthy allen/pierece/garnett) so the second line up only needs to be good enough to not screw it up… we don’t need massive numbers out of them.

    Bottom line: There are way too many unknowns to go ahead and slot them in as a mid 60s win team, and I can’t blame Hollinger for a 58 mark, it’s fair.

  • rolltide3332

    I am not just being another Celtics homer, but has anyone else seen the updated prognosis on KG?? He is doing 5 on 5's with no pain. Rasheed wallace AS A BACKUP??? Is everyone seriously putting the Celtics 3rd or 4th?? They still had a 62 game season after being plagued with injurys to top players. They REALLY should have been in the finals. Give credit where credit is due. They deserve top spot…2nd at the very least. I will be disappointed with nothing less than another banner. I think the whole team believes that also. Older or not, NO TEAN has better work ethic or drive to perfection.

  • Grayman

    definitely hometown bias BUT….C's win 62 without KG for 30+ games….they add Rasheed, Rondo puts a triple double almost nightly in the playoffs. Orlando adds Carter on the decline and get Jameer back. They will be good. Cleveland is given the throne by adding Shaq? Big guy like that with his injury history….Maybe if Cleveland made it to the finals I can see them as favorites. Or if Orlando put up more a fight against LA. Celtics are proven (and I say even without KG at 100%)

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