2010-2011 In-Depth NBA Season Preview: Boston Celtics

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2010-2011 In-Depth NBA Season Preview: Boston Celtics
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Rajon Rondo will hold the team on his shoulders

The Boston Celtics are the storied franchise of the NBA. They have 17 championship banners; the most of any NBA team. They have a great, albeit aging players. Do they have what it takes to repeat as Eastern Conference Champions and win the NBA Championship for an 18th time? These are the predictions for the 2010-2011 Boston Celtics.

2009-2010 Season:
Wins and Losses: 50-32, Eastern Conference Champion, Lost in NBA Finals
Conference Standing: 4th seed
Key Losses: Rasheed Wallace, Tony Allen,
Key Additions: Jermaine O'Neal, Shaquille O'Neal, Delonte West, Avery Bradley

1. What are the team's biggest strengths?
The Celtics are a championship contender. With that, their greatest strength is definitely their experience and leadership between the players. They play as a complete team, not worrying about stats or playing time. That comes hand in hand with their perfect team chemistry. Their chemistry is second to none and is definitely the best in the league. The Celtics have great players including Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and their best player, Rajon Rondo. Rondo is an elite point guard who will find the open man, helping with that team chemistry. The team will be on his shoulders, and he will need to be great for the team to be great. But that shouldn't be a worry, because Rondo will deliver. Big bodies make up most of their bench. For now, the bench will include one or the other O'Neal since Perkins is injured, but expect both on the bench when Perkins is back to full strength. That isn't a bad thing either, because they have the deepest frontcourts in the league with Big Baby joining the mix. Their guards off the bench include Delonte West (who can play either the point guard or shooting guard positions), Avery Bradley (who is still a rookie), and Nate Robinson. Delonte West was a nice addition, and Avery Bradley is a great backcourt defender. Nate Robinson is the explosive guard off the bench who can help the team out in some games.

2. What are the team's biggest weaknesses?
These Celtics are built upon experience, but in this case their experience comes with age. The Celtics are one of the older teams in the league, and adding Shaq and Jermaine O'Neal didn't help their age problem out. In fact, it may cause a chemistry problem. Shaq still thinks he's a dominant force, and while he can be limited to less minutes (and will be), he still is known to cause problems. Delonte West always brings that chance for problems from his bi-polar disorder or his criminal record. Another thing comes with age, not wisdom in this case, but injuries. If one of their big three (not including Ray Allen) become injured, it will be a lot tougher for them to win games. Because of that reason, head coach Doc Rivers will be required to play the older starters less minutes, which means less wins. Less wins means no homecourt advantage in the playoffs. What if Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals was in Boston? Would they have their 18th banner already hanging up there?

3. Season Predictions?
The Celtics will enjoy a pretty good regular season, earning the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference. However, their meeting with the hungry, younger Orlando Magic in the 2nd round will halt their season. They will lose that series in 6 games.

Wins and Losses: 54-28, Lose in the 2nd round of the playoffs to the Orlando Magic
Conference Standing: 3rd Seed

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