For the Boston Celtics to exceed expectations this season, it is going to take some unlikely changes and far-fetched ideas coming true.
Specifically, certain players are going to have to outperform their assumed skill level to lift this team to new heights. Obviously the conference should help a bit, but a few of those bottom teams will get healthy and figure stuff out. The Celtics are still expected to be a bottom-three team in the East.
No, no matter how you twist "exceed expectations," I don't believe you can define it as lose more than expected and get a better lottery position than expected. Exceed means to be better than, or surpass, so we'll be focusing on what it takes to make this team good.
The Celtics are already getting solid seasons from guys like Jared Sullinger, Jordan Crawford and Vitor Faverani. They have already stepped up their games and are exceeding individual expectations. Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass are what they are at this point and do plenty to help the Celtics win.
There are a few other guys, though, that need to look at themselves and figure out a way to get this team playing at a higher level.