Are the Boston Celtics For Real?

By Michael LeDuc
Brandon Bass & Carmelo Anthony
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics utterly obliterated the New York Knicks 114-73 on Sunday afternoon. After a woeful start to the season, the Knicks showed evidence of finally turning the corner and playing to their capabilities. Unfortunately, the high-confident Celtics came into town. Jordan Crawford continued his spectacular season with 23 points and seven assists. Jared Sullinger added 21 points, while the rest of the starters, Jeff Green, Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass, scored in the double-digits. It was a beautifully-balanced offensive attack. The Celtics’ defense held the Knicks to just 34 percent shooting, and Carmelo Anthony went 5-for-15.

Boston has recently found a groove on both ends of the floor. It’s safe to say that the Celtics, thus far, have been successful. The question is, how far can Brad Steven‘s implemented style of team-orientated and unselfish basketball take the Celtics this season? It’s tough to tell, but early indications are in Boston’s favor.

Before the season, Green compared the 2013-14 Celtics to the 2013 World Champion Boston Red Sox. Many people scoffed at the bold statement. This team couldn’t possibly be successful with a banged up point guard, rookie coach, no true center and no star. The team was supposed to rebuild after trading Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett; instead, the Celtics are first in the Atlantic, and fourth in the East. The notion of Celtic Pride lives on within the core of this team, Sullinger, Green and Bradley, and has begun to spread to the others.

The team trusts each other, plays with heart, and has a burning desire to win. I know there are fans that want a high-draft pick, but how can you not like the direction this team is heading in? This team finds themselves in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, and they can only get better.

With such a weak Eastern Conference, it is difficult to assess how good this Celtics team is. So far, believe it or not, the Celtics may be one or two pieces away from true contention. One of those pieces may be Rajon Rondo. Adding a true center would also be extremely helpful. Sullinger and Bass have been terrific; they are physical on defense and strong on the boards, but they are undersized, and a tall, defense-minded center would be a nice complement. Vitor Faverani and Kelly Olynyk have the size, but they are inexperienced and their defense is too poor.

With Rondo, the offensive possibilities are endless. The distribution of the ball has the potential to be incredible. Green will have more opportunities to score, Crawford and Bradley will get open shots, and Rondo will feed Sullinger and Bass down low. Rondo should be able to improve the transition offense, as well as late-game situation when the Celtics need a bucket. When Rondo comes back, this team could be the surprise of the NBA. So, sit back and enjoy the Celtics’ success. We may get used to it.

 Michael LeDuc writes about the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @mike_leduc, like his Facebook page and add him on Google.

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