It’s been a long Christmas break for the Boston Celtics as they have yet to suit up for a game since the Indiana Pacers completely obliterated them last Sunday. It was a nice, long break, but the Celtics should be ready to get back to work.
This team should look at the break as a mini-offseason. They have lost five of their last seven and hope to get back on track after a refreshing break. Boston has had plenty of rest and preparation to make some noise in the upcoming weeks. The only game this week is away against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday. The competition only gets harder after Saturday as the Celtics will be playing teams like the Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls and then go on a long road trip to the West Coast for five games in a row.
The first time the Celtics played the Cavaliers this season, they laid the smack-down on them in a 103-86 win. Jeff Green had one of his best games of the season as he scored 31 points on 10-of-19 shooting. The Celtics were on fire and shot 50 percent from the field and 48 percent from three-point land. The Cavaliers have improved since then, so expect a different kind of game.
That’s what is immediately in front of them, but what should we expect from the Celtics in 2014 as a whole?
The Celtics have a 12-17 record and are currently tied for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics have played well to this point. In the new year, look for the young guys Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley to continue their improvement. These guys make up the pieces for a bright future. Also, Jordan Crawford will be on watch to determine whether his terrific start to the season is just a fluke or not.
Trades may be looming in 2014 as well. Celtics fans should expect some moves in the second half. Danny Ainge is smart, and it will be better for the future of the team.
As the road gets tougher, expect the Celtics to drop in the standing as they wait for the return of Rajon Rondo. This team may be running out of steam, and the chemistry can only take them so far against better competition, especially as they go out west. Other young teams in the East are starting to figure it out and may be moving up in the standing. The Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards, Charlotte Bobcats and Cavaliers have all flashed potential. With the return of Tyson Chandler, the New York Knicks may be able to put something together as well.
Proving the critics wrong is something the Celtics do best. I think they’ll slip in the standings, but they always seem to show more worth than that. Nonetheless, it should be a fun Celtics team to watch. It’ll be interesting to see how the Celtics fare when Rondo comes back.