2015-16 NBA Previews – Celtics
The Boston Celtics were a surprise participant in last year’s playoffs. They made a quick exit but at the same time they showed that they have one of the best coaches in the league and that they might be further along in their development than expected. The question is whether they can take another step this season.
New Orleans Pelicans Season Preview
Head Coach: Brad Stevens
2014 Record: 40-42
Celtics Odds to NBA Title: +10000
Celtics Odds to Win Conference: +4000
Boston may not have that one elite point guard but they are able to mix and match at the position and get some serious production.
Marcus Smart is still working on his jump shot but he is already an elite defender and able to guard multiple positions while also getting the team organized on offense.
Guys like Isaiah Thomas and Evan Turner can also initiate the offense.
Speaking of Thomas there are few players in the league who are as good for instant offense like he is. If he spends the whole season coming off the bench he is a great candidate for Sixth Man of the Year.
Boston has a very versatile lineup with lots of different pieces. If everyone is playing well they can sometimes dictate the opponents to mix up their personnel but that is going to require players to really thrive in their roles.
The biggest weakness of this group is its bigs. Last year they relied on Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk, a couple of players who are limited physically. That is not to say they can’t produce but they are who they are, a short power forward and a lanky centre.
Other bigs that have been brought in all have their shortcomings too (sorry Amir Johnson).
This Boston team also struggles to score at times because they lack significant outside shooters that space the floor.
A lot of their players have similar offensive games which is work off a couple of dribbles but since they have a hard time knocking down outside shots they can go through long stretches of pretty awful looking offense.
Pelicans 2015 Betting Prediction:
This team might return to the playoffs but I am not sure how improved they are…the East is likely to be very bunchy around they seed line.
This is a pesky team that has some nice pieces but there are still going to be a lot of days they look outclassed. I will be looking to back this group in underdog situations exclusively.
They have the ability to use a key gameplan by Stevens to neutralize opponents. It might not lead to wins in the standings but they will keep some games closer than expected.
Pelicans Key Personnel Losses:
- SF Gerald Wallace
- PF Brandon Bass
- PG Phil Pressey
- SG Chris Babb
Pelicans Top Newcomers:
- PF David Lee
- PF Amir Johnson
These veteran forwards are supposed to give the Celtics more length and rebounding upfront.
- G Terry Rozier
- SG R.J. Hunter
- F Jordan Mickey
This year’s rookie crop gives a little bit of everything. Rozier and Hunter showed they can score over the summer and Mickey is a nice rim protector, even if he is a little short for that role in the NBA.
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