Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 10/24/12
The Sports Bank will be counting down to the opening tip of the 2012-13 NBA season with team by team previews starting with the worst and working our way to the title contenders.  There is no lockout this time around so let’s get going. The goal in recent years for the Boston Celtics was just get to the postseason healthy in hopes of making a playoff run with their veteran core.  This off-season, the Celtics got younger, deeper, and all-around better meaning they will once again be a serious player in the Eastern Conference. BOSTON CELTICS 2011-12: 39-27, 5th in Eastern Conference Predicted EC Finish: 2nd Projected Depth Chart: C: Kevin Garnett/Chris Wilcox/Darko Milicic/Jason Collins/Fab Melo PF: Brandon Bass/Jeff Green/Jared Sullinger/JaJuan Johnson SF: Paul Pierce/Courtney Lee/Kris Joseph SG: Avery Bradley/Jason Terry/Leandro Barbosa PG: Rajon Rando Boston’s off-season was: really smart.  Credit to Danny Ainge for adding youth but more importantly, better depth to help complement their big three.  They re-signed Kevin Garnett which was a must, and did so without breaking the bank (three years, $36 million.)  Realizing Ray Allen was walking and needing more dependability at the two guard, the C’s signed one of the top sixth men in the NBA the past several seasons in Jason Terry, acquired the young, versatile Courtney Lee, and added another veteran bench scorer in Leandro Barbosa for the league minimum. The Celtics also needed to find some improved size and ability inside.  They re-signed Brandon Bass for a reasonable price, and used their two first round picks on Jared Sullinger (who could end up being one of the steals of the draft) and developing big man Fab Melo.  Getting a healthy Jeff Green will do wonders for their production at power forward and Darko Milicic and Jason Collins can at least commit six fouls a game. 2012-2013 will be a success if: the remade supporting cast has enough to knock off the Heat.  At this point of their careers, you know what you are going to get from Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rando.  They provide the starpower in Beantown but as we learned last year, that wasn’t enough to compete with Miami’s Big 3.  With improved depth all across the roster, the Celtics’ second unit should be much improved from a year ago when the team was relying on guys like Keyon Dooling, Ryan Hollins, and Mikael Pietrus to play meaningful minutes.  Miami made some improvements to their bench as well (most notably luring Ray Allen from Boston) so I expect those two to duel to the Eastern Conference Finals. 2012-2013 will be a disappointment if: usually the answer for Boston would be if they can’t stay healthy, but even that won’t be detrimental this year.  They got younger and deeper on the wing which means they don’t need to rely on one guy like Ray Allen.  Avery Bradley’s continual development makes the C’s much stronger at the two as well. It is the same case upfront with better talent surrounding KG.  Bass is back, Green and Chris Wilcox are healthy, and Sullinger will be playing with a chip on his shoulder after slipping out of the lottery of the NBA Draft.  Maybe I’m a bit crazy but I really like this year’s Celtics team. Looking ahead to next summer: With all the additions Boston made this off-season, next summer should be much quieter.  There won’t be any cap flexibility but with their core under contract for the next several years, the mid-level exception will be enough to a piece or two to keep the Celtics in the title hunt. OTHER NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE PREVIEWS: #3 Brooklyn Nets #4 New York Knicks #5 Indiana Pacers #6 Philadelphia 76ers #7 Chicago Bulls #8 Toronto Raptors #9 Milwaukee Bucks #10 Detroit Pistons #11 Atlanta Hawks #12 Cleveland Cavaliers #13 Orlando Magic #14 Washington Wizards #15 Charlotte Bobcats David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.) You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Reggie Jackson's trolling in an NBA of long-tailed narratives

Top storylines for college football's Rivalry Week

Gabby Douglas says she was also abused by Larry Nassar

MLB punishes Braves, bans former GM for life

Report: Paxton Lynch will start for Broncos in Week 12

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ray Allen claims he was victim of catfishing scheme

Joe Morgan to voters: ‘Steroid users don’t belong here’

Jones confident he will get his way with Goodell contract

Clippers' Doc Rivers firmly on the hot seat

Report: Raiders fire DC Ken Norton Jr.

Cam Newton shares 2008 police photo to share message of hope

NFL Week 12 predictions

College football Week 13 predictions

The 'Greatest show on flat Earth' quiz

NFL MVP Watch: Carson Wentz stands tall among the pack

Young Maple Leafs maturing their way to the NHL elite

The Eagles are soaring but to what heights?

2017 Week 13 college football players to watch

What each NFL team should be grateful for this Thanksgiving

Sports & Politics Intersect: Is Jerry out of his league?

The 'Wheelin' and Thielen in Minnesota' quiz

Follow Ben Simmons as he leads us to the NBA's unknown future

Winners and losers from NBA's first month

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

NFL Week 12 predictions

NFL MVP Watch: Carson Wentz stands tall among the pack

The 'Greatest show on flat Earth' quiz

Young Maple Leafs maturing their way to the NHL elite

The Eagles are soaring but to what heights?

2017 Week 13 college football players to watch

The 'Wheelin' and Thielen in Minnesota' quiz

What each NFL team should be grateful for this Thanksgiving

NFL Week 11 injury report

Sports & Politics Intersect: Is Jerry out of his league?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker