The Boston Celtics are a team filled with great history and one of the best legacies in the National Basketball Association. In their history, the team has seen Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Bob Cousy play for them on their way to the Hall of Fame, while several other future Hall of Famers like Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen have taken pride in wearing Celtic green.
One of the biggest differences in Boston in 2013 is 60 percent of their starting lineup from 2012 wearing Brooklyn Nets jerseys. During the offseason, the Celtics and Nets took part in a blockbuster trade that sent Garnett, Pierce and Jason Terry to the Nets for five players and three first round draft picks. Add in the fact that Ray Allen fled to Miami in the offseason before the 2012 season and the Celtics of tomorrow are completely different than the Celtics that won the 2008 NBA Championship.
The Celtics didn't only trade away their players during the busy offseason, they unloaded their head coach as well. Doc Rivers coached the Celtics since 2004 and compiled a 416-305 record during the regular season and a 58-46 record in the postseason. Rivers will now roam the sidelines for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2013 and beyond. In exchange, the Celtics received a 2015 unprotected first round draft pick. Between the trade that sent their veterans to Brooklyn and Rivers to Los Angeles, the Celtics will have four first round picks between 2014 and 2018 to rebuild.
With most of the starting lineup from a year ago gone in 2013, one name remains the same: Rajon Rondo. A Celtic since 2006, Rondo has had mixed success. His 2009-10 season was the best of his career, but with each season since, his games played has dropped to a career low of 38 last season. Rondo will be the starting point guard for the Celtics and for them to not be a laughingstock this season, will need him to produce more and find a way to stay healthy and on the court.
As a replacement for Rivers on the bench, the Celtics turned to the college ranks and brought in former Butler coach, Brad Stevens to coach the team. Fans that enjoy the history of the game will remember that this isn't the first time that Boston has turned to a college coach to run their professional team. From 1997 to 2001, Rick Pitino ran the Celtics directly into the ground, compiling a 102-146 record. He never reached the playoffs and has since found more success coaching in the college ranks. For Stevens, he may be new to the NBA, but he had a stellar collegiate record at 166-49, including 84-22 within the Horizon League and Atlantic 10 Conference. The team will be hoping for a different outcome than that of Pitino.