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ESPN panel picks Boston Celtics to go 29-53 next season

 

If you voted the Celtics lower than 12th, Sully is coming for you.

On ESPN.com’s NBA Summer Forecast, a huge panel of ESPN’s NBA reporters and True Hoop writers voted the Celtics to finish with 29 wins in 2013, 12th in the Eastern Conference.

Here’s how the Eastern Conference broke down:

  1. Miami Heat
  2. Chicago Bulls
  3. Indiana Pacers
  4. Brooklyn Nets
  5. New York Knicks
  6. Atlanta Hawks
  7. Washington Wizards
  8. Cleveland Cavaliers
  9. Detroit Pistons
  10. Toronto Raptors
  11. Milwaukee Bucks
  12. Boston Celtics
  13. Charlotte Bobcats
  14. Orlando Magic
  15. Philadelphia 76ers

My take? Chicago is too high, Indiana is one spot too low, Washington is surprisingly fairly rated, Cleveland and Detroit might be interchangeable at the 8 and 9 slots, and I would have very mixed emotions if the Celtics finished with 29 wins.

On the one hand, 29 wins would have tied the Celtics for the eighth-worst record in the NBA last year. That would mean Boston lost a lot of games and probably would end up with a decent draft pick (currently, DraftExpress.com lists Mario Hezonja, currently the top Euro prospect, as the 8th pick in 2014), but it also gives the Celtics some room to win a few games and grow as a team. On the other hand, with plenty of teams tanking hard from the get-go, 29 wins might be a painfully high number that gets the Cs a lot lower in the order than one would hope.

Obviously, it’s much, much too early to be making real judgments about how good or bad a team will be, but how do you all feel about 29 wins?

Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.

  • BeanMan

    Regardless of whether we're 29 +/- 10 wins, this season will be painful. No doubt about it. However, it will be short-term pain for long-term gain it if our next draft pick ends up being a perennial all-star. In other words, if we're going to lose we ought to "lose big" in order to bolster our draft day chances.

    • Joseph

      You mean tanking, correct?

    • Jesse

      sry i prefer not to deliberately tank

  • The Cardinal

    As a fan, I want what any self-respecting player. coach and fan would want – a coach who is committed to winning and players who go onto the floor and play as well as they can. I can't imagine that this won't be the case so let them play the games, play them the right way, and let's accept that we end up where we end up.

    Look at preseason a year ago when we all thought the moves the Celtics made would push them a step closer to Miami. Same with Brooklyn. same with the Lakers. On the other hand, few believed Houston, Denver, Golden State and even the Pacers would be as good as they were.

    You just never know how a team will come together with hungry talent, young talent, or some combination of the two. You also can never predict when an injury to a key player or two like Rondo, Nash, Kobe, Rose or Westbrook will turn a legitimate title contender into an also ran, and this is why they play the games.

  • justin

    If we sell out every night there's no way we are worse than the bucks

  • cos

    If the celts ended with the 8th worst record the worst draft pick they can get is the 11th.

    that obviously blows.

    If it true that there are 7 franchise changing players (I can't believe its that many), they the celts would need to have the 4th worst record in the league to gaurantee they get one of those 7.

    blame the lottery for that fact.

  • Mark

    Any pick that isn’t top three and I consider the season a failure.

    • Renzo

      Heat, Bulls, Pacers, Nets and Knicks will be fighting for the higher positions, then come the other teams.
      I really don't believe in this Detroit team, Bucks sucks and Toronto hasn't changed.
      Wizards and Cavs should improve, but they have key players with injury issues.

  • CBall
    • hydrofluoric

      Good lord.

    • http://www.patriotsandceltics.blogspot.com.br Phil

      that guy really love the celtics … he is almost blind also … he wrote a romance …
      but the dreams are cheap ! … lets hope that we are able to acomplish half of those things !

    • hax

      Good reasons for why this team -can- succeed.

  • CMHL

    The dilemma is that the Celtics want to have a high lottery pick in 2014. That means losing often, but they have a good nucleus of young players, Rondo, Sullinger, Green, Olynyk. Subjecting that young nucleus to sustained losing is unhealthy for their development. The Celtics need to go all out and win as much as they can. Then they should cobble up the best package of players (probably not any of the core four mentioned above) and draft choices for a franchise draft choice or player. They need a franchise 5 and a franchise 2. They don't have either on their roster now. The best opportunity may present itself before the trade deadline. We probably won't see a big move until then.

  • dasein

    I pretty much agree with everything Tom said. I'd add that Orlando and Charlotte could be switched around.

    Ideally, the Cs would finish lower than 13th in the east, but it is hard to see any of that bottom 3 being better. The sixers pretty much have the most ping-pong balls locked in. I can't remember a worse team on paper.

  • http://espn.com Ethan

    I see them getting closer to 35

  • hax

    1-15: Heat, Bulls, Nets, Pacers, Knicks, Cavaliers, Wizards, Pistons, Magic, Celtics, Raptors, Bucks, Bobcats, Hawks, 76'ers.

  • Richard,Bay View,WI

    The G B Packers win year after year with one superstar on offense and one on defense. Add decent young players each year and they stay fresh. I think Danny Ainge has something like this on mind in hiring a college coach who puts together a team. Basketball is more of a team sport than current wisdom dictates. The Celts may be better than 500.

  • Coconut Joe

    No way Celtics will be below .500…..Rondo, Green, Sullinger, Favorani and Olynyk…..that's a lot of size, heart, brains, youth and talent. How do I know?….I'm Coconut Joe!

  • Mike

    As miserable as the rebuild is going to be, I think it will actually be kind of fun to watch the moves the C's make and to see what the young guys end up doing. Last season was pretty painful…especially when Rondo was healthy. Nothing clicked at all. Hopefully they can build a core of players and staff that can develop real chemistry for a long time.

  • Ray

    There is no way Boston finishes with 29 or less wins. First of all, despite losing Pierce, KG, and JTerry, we still have a good squad. Second, I cannot fathom a team willing to lie down and tank a season when the franchise has been consistently fighting tooth and nail to remain incontention for years. Last, how in the world are we expecting a young team – with all the ego and pride that comes with that youth – to accept defeat when we all know they wanna go out and run their opponent off the court? A healthy Rondo-Green-Sullinger combo will get us at least 30. If everyone else does what they are supposed to do we could easily go .500 or better.

  • john

    Experts no such thing as experts on ESPN. They don't know basketball. They played but no know JACK.

  • skeeds

    If they're tanking, they're winning less than 29. If on the other hand they're not, and the Brad Stevens thing works, (I have all my chips on him, I say it does), then I'm saying we go for more than that.

  • skeeds

    also, ESPN "analysts" are the sorriest bunch of amateurs out there. To the point that you can pretty much be sure what they're predicting won't ever happen. This is the same people that predicted the Lakers to win in '08, Cleveland in 09 and '10, said the Mavs didn't have a chance in '11, and thought the Heat would sweep the Celtics in last year's conference finals.

  • Patrick

    Celtics will win 45+ & become atleast 6th/7th seed. Too many young talent & a deep roster. Please screenshot for proof so from almost a year from now, you can slap yourselves in the forehead. Thank you
    C’s Up

  • pavel

    i have faith in the C’s but we have a lot of rookies right now ‘ i really dont think we could win more then 30 games ‘ a lot of experience is needed in order to win ! Nba experience !

  • elroz

    They better win fewer games than that! What's the point of letting KG and PP and Doc go and NOT being among the 2 worst teams for the lottery? It makes no sense. If they want to be ok or even somewhat good – then get KG and PP and Doc …. but if they want to rebuild fast – less than 20 wins please!

  • AC3

    Throwing a season for some hope of future talent is stooopid. Example: We got Len Bias! Oh….

  • ihategreen

    fucking Celtics suck again

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