In my preseason bold predictions story for Bleacher Report, I did nail my first two choices. Both Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk played in the Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star weekend.
However, my final prediction on Oct. 22, 2013, is looking like quite a tall order. The final record predicted for the Boston Celtics was 39-43, a winning percentage that would currently put them in the No. 6 spot in this Eastern Conference. I also overshot Rajon Rondo's return by two weeks. Getting him back on Jan. 2 could've led to a few more wins heading into the break, making that record slightly more realistic.
For that record to come to fruition, Boston would have to finish their remaining games with a 20-8 record. Even with their relatively weak remaining schedule, that is a tall order.
Keeping in mind that that story was a list of bold predictions, and these are simple realistic ones, I think a 15-13 finish is a bit more likely. That would put Boston at 34-48 on the year.
That winning percentage would still land them outside that No. 8 spot in the current conference standings. Including the Western Conference for lottery terms, it would place Boston in 10th position for ping-pong balls in the current makeup of non-playoff teams.
This may be the sheer definition of that no-man's land that fans seem to dread, but it will take drastic changes to alter the outcome one way or another. There will come a point in the next week or two that a definite decision will be made on whether they will continue fighting for a playoff spot or start resting players in opportune spots to dip lower into the lottery.
Likely, we'll know after seeing if/when Avery Bradley returns from his sprained ankle.