Insider: Hollinger's Celtics prediction
The good news, however, is that the added offense, especially from Terry, should take some of the strain off Garnett, Pierce and Rondo. The former two players struggle to create easy looks in one-on-one situations, and while Rondo can be a dynamite set-up man, his own inability to score makes it hard to use him as the focal point.
Thus, the likes of Terry, Lee, Sullinger and Green will add more options for Boston offensively, particularly when the second unit comes in. (Boston's bench was pitiful offensively last season.) There isn't a pure point guard in the bunch and that may cause some strains, but Boston is likely to improve on its 24th-place standing of last season … particularly if some of the new guys try for offensive boards.
Overall, then, Boston is poised to end up right back where it was last season. With no daunting power in the East beyond Miami, the race for the second position in the conference is there for the taking. I have the Celtics projected in a tight pack with several other teams, so they could easily finish as low as sixth or seventh or as high as second. But given their recent track record, nobody will count them out in the playoffs regardless of where they're seeded.
Hop HERE to read the full story.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter weighs in on the Panthers' WR situation, Julian Edelman's future with the Patriots, Vince Wilfork's decision to ask for his release and more.
Play Podcast "Spanning the Globe" features ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, Yahoo! Sports' Eric Edholm and ESPN LA 710's Mark Willard.
Play Podcast Red Sox manager John Farrell talks about whether he expected his team to make such a turnaround in one season, his relationship with his players, fans' expectations for the squad and more.