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Should the Celtics be Tanking?

The Boston Celtics started a deep rebuilding process this past summer. They traded away Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and they even sent Doc Rivers to the LA Clippers. In exchange, they received a bunch of draft picks for the next few seasons. So normally, they were expected to be tanking by now, a month and a half into the 2013-2014 season. But they aren’t.

So what are the C’s actually doing right now? Are they contending for a playoff spot?

The truth is that not even the team’s general manager, Danny Ainge, knows how to describe the Celtics this season. Certainly, a below 0.500 record is not impressive. The Celtics currently have a 12-14 record, but they also hold the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. With the picture the East currently has, it will be no surprise if several teams below 0.500 entered the playoffs. Boston stands many chances to be among them.

However, Ainge stated one more thing when he was recently interviewed. He said that the playoffs is not a goal for the Celtics this season. So what’s really the goal for the team? Certainly, The C’s didn’t trade away their best assets to simply decompose the team right? They should have a goal. And although MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans, Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace can’t really put the team into a championship route, they surely have a role on the team.

The truth is that the Boston Celtics were expected to be sinking by now. After all those changes the team went through and with a young, NBA-rookie Head Coach on the wheel, Brad Stevens, there were simply too little chances for the C’s to record a solid run this season. Many analysts but also the fans of the team didn’t even expect them to make it to the playoffs. But yet, there they are.

The Boston Celtics are certainly doing better than initially expected. They are over performing and that can only be a positive sign. With Rajon Rondo cleared to return to full contact practice, the time that Boston returns to a winning record might not be far ahead. Of course, Rondo will need about a month to return to action, but the team hasn’t shown that it can’t last without him. Rondo will return only to take the C’s to the next level.

Thankfully, the Boston Celtics seem like they do have one thing, a characteristic that never abandoned the team despite all the significant departures. That is the championship heart. The mettle that allows good teams to retain their level, at least at some point.

So what the Boston Celtics are doing this season is trying for the best. They are not worrying much about their record, about losing and about making it to the playoffs or not. That’s after all a positive thing, because it greatly reduces the pressure within the team. Eventually, we might not just scratch off the C’s that easily this season.

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