Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Milestones Within Reach of the 2014-15 Boston Celtics

Current Celtic Brandon Bass and former Boston great Paul Pierce are each chasing milestones this season.
By Adam Lowenstein (@StatsAdam)

The 2014-15 NBA season begins for the Boston Celtics tonight as we head into the second, and unfortunately most likely not the last, year of the their below-.500 project. The Celtics have lost more than 55 games just three times ever, and one of those dreadful seasons came last year when they went 25-57, with Brandon Bass leading the team in win shares.

Unsurprisingly, he put up the third-lowest win-share total for a single-season leader in Celtics history. To add insult to injury, Jeff Green’s 16.9 points per game were the lowest for a Celtics’ leading scorer since Dee Brown’s 15.5 in 1993-94.

Before we delve into the limited number of individual upcoming milestones for the current Celtics, there are some interesting team streaks to keep an eye on as the Celtics head into their season opener at TD Garden tonight.

The C’s put on a 3-point barrage in the preseason, continuing their propensity to shoot the deep ball at the end of last season.

In their final 10 games of the 2013-14 season, Boston attempted at least 20 shots from 3-point distance, the team’s longest streak since 2003. In addition, the Celtics made more 3-pointers than their opponents in their last seven contests of last season. The last time they had a longer such streak was also more than a decade ago.

However, the Celtics were a bottom-five defensive team from March 1 to the end of the season. Although Boston’s interior defense will continue to struggle, Marcus Smart’s immediate infusion of defensive dominance will make Boston one of the strongest teams in terms of perimeter defense. Smart has the chance to work his way into the franchise’s historic record books soon as he laces up the sneakers for his first official NBA contest.

Rajon Rondo is the current Celtic with the most accolades. In addition to his championship ring, he owns many of the C’s best seasons in terms of assists and steals. No. 9 is also moving up the record books in all-time assists for the men in green, as he is just 69 dimes away from passing The Truth for fourth place. Rondo is also just 47 steals and 142 made free throws away from 1,000 for his career in both categories.

Speaking of 1,000, if Brandon Bass grabs 147 offensive rebounds this season, he will get to 1,000 offensive rebounds in his 10th professional season. Speaking of longevity, Gerald Wallace needs just 102 points for 10,000 as an NBA player. He is also 219 rebounds away from the magical 5,000th one.

I really wish there were some actual record-making opportunities for the Celtics other than continuing their losing streak at Western Conference arenas, but it will interesting to track Boston’s former “new big three.” Surprisingly, Ray Allen has yet to sign with a team for this season, but he could soon join Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in the top 20 in all-time NBA scoring. Pierce (25,031 points) is on pace to pass Jerry West, Reggie Miller and Alex English for 15th on the list.

The man currently in 14th is none other than the Big Ticket (25,626 points). It is fitting that Garnett will open his 20th NBA season in Boston, and Pierce’s Washington Wizards will be in action today as well against the Heat in Miami.

Here’s to another fantastic NBA season.

For more sports coverage, follow Adam Lowenstein on Twitter at @StatsAdam. Statistics used from

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