The Boston Celtics have won 16 championships in their history and after missing the playoffs for six consecutive years in the 1990s, the team was two games from a finals appearance before eventually losing to the New Jersey Nets in 2002. Last year, the team finished an amazing ten games under .500 but still made the playoffs. The team still has its star in Paul Pierce and will look to play through him more this season.
Doc Rivers took over as coach in the off-season and the Celtics were relatively quiet in the off-season until early August with their only big “move” being that they resigned center/forward Mark Blount. Late in the off-season, the Celtics decided to send Chris Mihm, Marcus Banks, Chucky Adkins and a second round pick to the Lakers in exchange for PG Gary Payton, SF Rick Fox and a future first round pick. The team didn’t lose any free agents either so their focus was turned to the draft. General Manager Danny Ainge made some moves last year to acquire extra first round picks for this year’s draft and the team had three picks in the first 25 picks. The team took PF Al Jefferson at 15 and SGs Delonte West and Tony Allen back to back at 24 and 25.
Payton will immediately take over at the PG slot with Pierce joining him in the backcourt. Ricky Davis, Rick Fox, and Jiri Welsch will all play at the small forward position and rookie Al Jefferson looks ready to start at PF with Blount at the center spot. The Celtics have been placed in the newly realigned Atlantic division along with the likes of the Brooklyn Nets, the New York Knicks, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Toronto Raptors, so the Celtics have to be thinking that have a realistic chance at earning a top three seed in the playoffs if they can just win their division.
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