The shorter the season, the better things are looking for the veteran Boston Celtics. With age starting to become a bigger question every year for Boston, a shortened season should have them looking fresh come playoff time.
The key for the Celtics to have one more successful title run is simply to limit the minutes of the original "Big Three". With that comes a lot of pressure for the supporting cast to come up big in their expanding role.
Rajon Rondo will continue to be a playmaker, both offensively and defensively, at the point guard position. With his options to dish to, it's not out of the question that Rondo could drop 11 dimes a game. He should be considered the future of the franchise, but will still need a lot of help along the way.
Signing back Glen Davis and Jeff Green could really provide the depth needed off the bench.
Davis is a large body who can bang in the paint for rebounds and loose balls, and also is a threat with a solid mid-range game offensively.
Jeff Green would give the Celtics a backup option at both forward positions, and has the potential to develop into an All-Star. Getting him comfortable in Boston could be the answer in finding a dominant sixth man. He's got an average jumper for a forward, but holds the ability to improve that over time.
Also, look for the Celtics to bring in familiar faces like Delonte West to round out the important bench roles.
I'll stress that depth is a big factor in the Celtics' season, but let's not forget that the big stars have to be valuable as well.
Getting big shots from Ray Allen and Paul Pierce will be crucial, along with Kevin Garnett staying healthy and rebounding well.
A lot would have to go wrong for Boston not to be serious contenders next season, but just like KG says, "anything is possible".
Bonus prediction: Doc Rivers retires after the season.