Our annual after-the-season report card series wrapped up Monday. Thanks to everyone who read the daily assessments and voted in the polls. At the end of the marking period, we like to go back and map out the grades together to see the breakdown.
Forgive us if we felt like Oprah and cars. "You get a B! You get a B! You get a B!" This year's marks were heavy on B grades. A look at the breakdown of Boston's top 12 players:
Kelly Olynyk -- B+
Jared Sullinger -- B+
Brandon Bass -- B+
Phil Pressey -- B
Rajon Rondo -- B
Avery Bradley -- B
Kris Humphries -- B
Chris Johnson -- B-
Gerald Wallace -- C+
Jerryd Bayless -- C+
Vitor Faverani -- C
Jeff Green -- C-
The question some have asked is how a team with so many "B" performers managed to win just 25 games. But we've maintained this was a flawed roster asked to navigate a transition season and, considering the injuries and rehab Boston endured along the way, this group pretty much lived up to expectations (we guessed 29 wins before the season, but that was assuming an earlier Rondo return). If you look at our grade chart, it was some of Boston's younger players that posted the best marks, reflecting progress, while some of the more important parts (Rondo, Green) endured their ups and downs.
Remember that all grades were based on expectations, so it's not to suggest that Rondo and Pressey had similar impacts. Rondo endured struggles while kicking rust after missing nearly a year due to ACL surgery, while Pressey showed great development late in his rookie campaign. As always, salary plays a heavy role in setting expectations and those two were at opposite extremes of Boston's payroll.
The grading process only confirmed to us what we thought throughout the season: Coach Brad Stevens got just about as much out of this group as he could, fostered nice development of Boston's youngest players, and survived Year 1 of the rebuild.
Sullinger suggested after the season that Stevens was brutally honest with his end-of-the-season evaluations of players and it's fair to assume that every player went into summer vacation with plenty of homework. Stevens is always challenging his players to get better and grades reveal plenty of room for each player to grow.
For the Celtics to return to contender status, they need their impact players playing at an A level moving forward. All these Bs can only get you so far.