The NBA is — tentatively — on its way back, which means the Celtics drive for an 18th championship begins Dec. 9, when abbreviated training camps and the free-agent signing period are expected to open.
With Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo, the Celtics will be among the favorites in the Eastern Conference during the regular season, but beyond those top four, major questions remain. The Celtics have just nine players under contract if you count the players they acquired during the draft, with key players like Glen Davis, Delonte West and Jeff Green eligible for free agency in some form.
Danny Ainge's window to mold the roster is shorter as a result of the lockout, but there will be no excuses once the games start. And not all the necessary fixes involve what happens on the court.