October 7, 2010 — Celtic Nation staffer Cory Booker, a.k.a., Fan of Green, offers his take on the Celtics’ prospects for the upcoming season —
The Celtics are in a position that every GM in the league should hate. Celtics management has to not only deal with Beantown, who only cares about banners, but also with the inevitable question: How “close” are we to that next banner? Unfortunately, I feel like it’s going to be a long wait. If you take a look at the East this year, your top contenders are probably the Heat, Nets, Pacers, Bulls, Sixers, and Celtics. In terms of seeding, Celtics will probably be last out of these teams. This then means we would have to beat 3 of these teams. If by some sequence of events we do that, we then would have to top OKC or the Lakers, who will probably represent the West. Long story short, I see a first or second round exit depending on the match-up.
In this league, you are either building or you are winning. We’re doing neither. The team who can win a title, like the Lakers, Heat, Nets (potentially), OKC, and teams who are rebuilding with young talent or opening salary space are in great positions. Teams like the Celtics are in what I call the “Middle Passage”. The Middle Passage is place where you win enough games to make the playoffs and win maybe one round, but are never really in contention to win a title. Is that better than being a bottom feeder like the Bobcats? Probably not. At least the Bobcats are in the lottery and can opt out of big contracts to entice two or three superstars to come to their cities. The Celtics only hope is to fall on a hidden gem in the draft, or to find a team desperate to get SOME value out of a superstar who isn’t going to resign, like Howard, Melo, Joe Johnson, etc. So when I’m asked, “How do you think the C’s will do this year?” my only response is, “Not good enough.”