The Celtics stink at tanking.
With Tuesday’s victory over the Bucks, the Celtics rose to first place in the Atlantic Division with an 8-12 record, good for a .400 win percentage, which places them mathematically ahead of Philadelphia and Toronto. First place and all it’s trappings, including a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, presumably is the Celtics’ to lose.
Judging by fan reaction, many of you do, in fact, want the Celtics to lose it. Part of the justification for trading away franchise icons in Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers (let’s be honest, that was a trade, too) this summer was to make the team as bad as possible to earn a high pick in the coming NBA draft, when potential game-changing talents like Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Julius Randle are expected to be included in one of the deepest draft classes in years. It’s impossible to win the lottery — or even to participate in the lottery at all — if the team makes the playoffs.
NESN.com NBA editor Ben Watanabe and NESN Sports Today anchor Adam Pellerin sat down once again for their weekly Celtics/NBA podcast to chat about the Celtics and the recent surge to the top of the standings. They’re not concerned with any tanking talk, and actually find this team very intriguing, especially if Rajon Rondo gives the team the boost it expects once he returns from his knee injury.
Sorry, tankers. The Celtics might not be great, but they are probably not going to be terrible anytime soon, either.
Listen to the podcast in the player below.