[Before the 21012-13 NBA season began, before Sactown Royalty became overrun with covering negotiations, I previewed all 30 NBA teams and how I thought their season would go. But as much fun as it is to preview a season, it's also fun to look back and see what actually happened. And since Kings fans were pretty distracted by off-court events, these will also serve as a reintroduction to what we missed while we watched committee meetings.]
The Celtics will be a playoff team yet again barring significant injuries to Rondo, Garnett, or Paul Pierce. I don't believe they'll be legitimate contenders for the crown, but Rivers knows how to coach this team to do just enough to get to the playoffs, get healthy, and then wreck havoc. Although Boston seems unable to overcome the Heat, you just know that Miami dreads any series against the Celtics. Boston always has a puncher's chance.
The Celtics were a playoff team yet again despite a significant injury to Rajon Rondo. What the hell, Celtics.
When Rondo tore his ACL in late January, the Celtics had been struggling. Even in the weak Eastern Conference, it seemed the Celtics might be in danger of missing the playoffs. When Rondo went down, many assumed it was the final straw. Surely, the Celtics would completely fall apart.
Instead, the Celtics surged. They won 13 of their next 17 games. The dug deeper at a time when everyone assumed they would give in. It was impressive. And still nobody outside of Boston gave the Celtics much of a chance in the playoffs.
The Celtics ended up a 7 seed in the East, facing the surging New York Knicks. It was supposed to be a quick and easy dispatch for the Knicks. The Celtics were banged up, Jason Terry was awful, there was no Rondo, there was no depth. But the Celtics fought anyway. Forcing the series to 6 games. The Celtics continued to fight every step of the way throughout a season in which there was every reason to give up. A let down for those hoping the Celtics had one more playoff run in them, but impressive to anyone who was paying attention.
Entering the offseason there's a lot of uncertainty. It's unclear whether or not Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have played their last games as Celtics. Will they retire? Will they be traded? Nobody knows for sure. If I had to guess, I'd say they stick around and make another run at it next season. It makes no sense at all, but it would be in line with everything else the Celtics did this year.