Post-game Reactions

The C’s All-Star point guard has been all over the news lately promoting his Alcantraz one on one tournament. The good news about all the promotion, is Rajon Rondo has been holding court with plenty of interviews. We enjoy reaping the benefits from these, including the latest from Slam Magazine, which included some telling comments on Rondo’s attitude heading into next year’s regular season:

As a team it’s to try to win 60-plus games and to try to stay healthy. As long as we’re healthy I’m pretty fine with what we do on the court. We don’t have to win 70 games, but it would be nice to get the first-place position and the home court advantage, because who can say? I never look back and say what if, but if we had the home seed then maybe the outcome would have been different against L.A.

I point this excerpt out for a couple reasons. First, just for the fact it’s refreshing to hear the team gain some perspective from having to fight on the road through the entire postseason. They got away with it for two series, but felt the repercussions from the lack of an advantage in Game 7. Now, it’s also fair to not that Rajon Rondo was not the problem at all during last year’s regular season. I’d like to hear these comments from more of the veterans next week, before getting too excited.

The good news here, is that while a top seed for the C’s may be out of reach with the superstar trio in Miami formed, this current roster Danny Ainge has assembled is easily the deepest of The Big Three era. A mix of youth and veterans, a tremendous collection of talent on the front line and in the backcourt, albeit with some weak depth spots (SF) in between.

As for the argument of whether home court advantage matters for this squad, we’ve seen most sides of the coin in the regular season these past two years.

In 2008-09, Doc Rivers kept his foot on the gas throughout the regular season, bringing home 62 wins, while missing Kevin Garnett, to ensure a 2nd seed in the East and home court advantage for 2nd Round showdown with Orlando. The extra workload needed to cement that spot took its toll on Ray Allen and Paul Pierce however, as the Magic ran the exhausted C’s out of the Garden in Game 7 of that series.

Likewise, we all know the story for last year’s lackluster regular season that culminated in a 4 seed and eventually a run to Game 7 without home court advantage.

With the sense of urgency greater than ever for this team, I ask this premature question. What is the ceiling for Boston during the regular season? Is 60 wins a realistic goal with the injury to Kendrick Perkins and other mitigating factors (Delonte’s suspension, age, health, improved Eastern Conference)? Or has Danny complied enough talent to make 60 wins attainable without having to lean too heavily on the starters to play major minutes?

As last year showed, health is the most important factor for this squad once April rolls around, so we know Doc won’t be pushing the starters too hard down the stretch to ensure that home court advantage. So is the new look bench talented enough to be able to help carry the team when it counts?

Obviously it’s too early too know for sure, but without Rasheed Wallace lackluster effort, to go with a motivated crew battling for minutes, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of this squad taking home the two seed in impressive fashion.

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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • slam

    So hard to say with many players on the decline because of age; how far have they declined since last year? Or do we look at the positives which are all the additions, plus the potential for Kevin Garnett to be healthier than last year. Do we take a gamble and say if healthy….

    60-22. Yeah, they’ll make it…. just. And no one has ever called me a pessimist 🙂

  • Rangatiratanga

    Absolutely,the fact we don’t have Sheed should automatically make us a better regular season team and our bench are better off for it.Sheed is obviously a playoff performer.With this bench we should get 60+.Add to the fact we remain healthy, no one can stop us,not even Richard Simmons.

  • Perry

    Certainly more conservative than Sheed’s 72 game prediction last year and JVG who all but crowned the Heat champions before even playing a single game.

    They were headed to a 60 win season and then the injury bug hit, so health will determine wins and losses this season. But the Celts are playing a dangerous game if they plan on replicating last years’ template. Rondo is in the right fame of mind, but 55 might be a more realistic number.

  • Rangatiratanga

    We NEED- absolutely crucial that homecourt advantage though,with Miami in the mix.Even more so in the Finals.

  • Birdman33

    55, but it could be 40, I don’t give a s**t, as long as we wipe out the smirk off the Fakers

  • NHBluesMan

    if we stay healthy, given our weak conference, i say 60 is definitely attainable. However, we could also see another season like last year where we are just trying to get healthy and stay healthy for the play-offs.

    Possible? Yes. Probable? No idea

  • Ross in Maine

    60 is a nice goal. but it’s just that, a goal. more realistically, we are looking at mid-fifties for wins IF we stay healthy. could even drop as low as 48-50 wins if we have a injury on the wings.

    Don’t worry C’s nation: we’ll dominate post season!

  • Kevin

    People tend to forget we started out 23 and 5 last season then injuries and no need for pushing this team set in because with that start playoffs were a guarantee. Is this team better than that team last season? No doubt in my mind. Could the C’s start out like that this season? Yes! In the first 30 games they face OKC, Miami, Chicago, and Hawks twice. Magic and Nuggets once. So is it feasable. I believe it is. I dont think we will have as much problems as people think we will with Miami. Even if they start off 21-9 it means we beat one of those teams at least once. The ONLY team that actually scares me some is those pesty running Hawks. The others really do NOT scare me.

  • Kevin

    My prediction in the first 30 is 25-5. If not 26-4. This team is out to prove something this year IMO. Rest of the season they will play it easier to save energy for playoffs.

  • Jeff

    I’ve said that they will have 58-62 wins the whole offseason.

    But the other factor that isn’t mentioned in here is this…

    The C’s will be watching the scoreboard nightly this year. They will be targeting a better record than LA for sure.

    Just by Rondo’s comments you can tell that the Celtic’s feel like if they had home court, they’d have won, which is an absolute fact.

    With or without Perk, in Boston, there’s NO FREAKING WAY the Lakers get 21 FT’s in the 4th.

    Game set and match.

    My guess is 60+ is a 90% chance.

    C’s will open the year 29-3 or 30-5 I think, then coast a little when injuries start to pop up.

  • Trent Davis

    The C’s have same core and great depth now. The have big men with better hands than Perk and better temperment than Sheed. Finally they have a back-up point guard in West. Rookies have potential also. Excited about season. 60 wins ++

  • Steve B

    60 wins seems possible. I see the starters being hungry but look to the second and third units to really work. Those are the guys that will want to prove themselves and win a ring. The starters didn’t show that urgency every night last year and will have a hard time doing it this year. I think with their talent and the bench depth the 60 wins can be reached.