Young Boston Celtics Ready to Make Move in Atlantic Division for Head Coach Brad Stevens
With the new playoff seeding records will matter most and not division titles. Yes winning the Atlantic Division for an upstart team like the Boston Celtics may be confidence building but it really won’t matter come playoff time. The NBA is moving to a 1-8 conference seeding in the playoffs based on overall records. Division champions will no longer be rewarded with home court in the first round of the playoffs. It’s a pleasant change for NBA fantasy draft one day league GM’s who can actually spend more time researching roster picks than trying to figure out if a team is motivated to play hard late in the regular season.
The goal of the Boston Celtics will be to try and secure a fourth seed in the East and gain home court advantage in the playoffs. A number two seed behind LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers may be a reach but the Celtics behind head coach Brad Stevens have to feel good about the upcoming regular season. For Boston to improve they must shoot the ball better.
From a fantasy viewpoint it is hard to recommend players from this roster. Many starters split time on the court with the second string. Stevens split up the minutes among his roster making it very difficult to add a Celtic to a one day league roster.
Boston Celtics PG: Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart
Isaiah Thomas figures to start at the point. In 2014 the much traveled point guard averaged 16 points per game hitting on 42% from the floor. Fantasy basketball draft managers would like to see more than 25.8 minutes per game from this 26 year old. In the playoffs his minutes increased but he shot just 33% from the floor and 16% from three.
Marcus Smart had a scare in a Summer League game in Las Vegas against the Portland Trailblazers. He fell hard on his finger and should be OK by training camp. He is penciled in to come off the bench behind Thomas. The second year player averaged 27 minutes a game but shot just 36.7% from the field. He averaged just eight points a game and dished out three assists. Smart shot well from the field in the four game series against Cleveland in the post season hitting 47.1%. Marcus Smart must shoot well if he is going to get more minutes.
Boston Celtics SG: Avery Bradley, James Young
Bradley is the starter and last season he averaged 14 points a game while hitting on 43% from the field. He saw 31 minutes a game last year. He hit 35.2% from three point distance. Avery Bradley struggled from the field in the playoff series with Cleveland.
James Young in his rookie campaign played just over ten minutes a game and averaged 3 ½ points a game. He too needs to greatly improve his shooting touch hitting just 35% from the field and 25.8% from three. Young saw no minutes in the playoffs.
Boston Celtics SF: Evan Turner, Jae Crowder
Entering his fifth year Evan Turner averaged 9 ½ points a game in the 2014-15 regular season. He made 43% of his shots but just 27.7% from three point distance. Turner had a bad playoff series against Cleveland.
Jae Crowder shot 42% from the floor last year in an average of 20 minutes of floor time. He too struggles from the three point line at 29.3%.
Boston Celtics PF: David Lee, Jared Sullinger
David Lee comes over from Golden St. He was a forgotten man with the Warriors last year. He averaged just 18 minutes a game and 8 points. He wasn’t looked to score much anymore just play defense and rebound. He is a career 9.5 rebound per night guy.
Jared Sullinger averaged 27 minutes during the regular season and averaged 13.3 points a game. He shot 44% from the field and had a very good playoff series against Cleveland by hitting 50% from the floor.
Boston Celtics C: Tyler Zeller, Kelly Olynyk
Tyler Zeller in 21 minutes shot 55% from the field and averaged 10.2 points a game. He is a good free throw shooter making 82% from the floor. From a fantasy perspective it would be better if he can find more time on the court.