The Boston Celtics season didn’t have the kind of storybook ending that so many of its green-and-white clad followers were hoping for.
As the disappointment of coming up short of bringing home another title settles in, the focus soon shifts towards how to be better for next season, a season whose start — much like Boston’s place in the Eastern Conference hierarchy next season — remains uncertain. They’ll be good, but will they be good enough to be the last team standing? And as they enter the early stages of the offseason, what areas do they need to shore up the most? Boston has a multitude of players who have shown the ability to score the ball, but there’s a clear need for an instant-offense type of shooter. And as we saw to some degree against Toronto with Serge Ibaka and even more so with Miami’s Bam Adebayo, the need for a stronger, more versatile big man would be a significant addition to the team next season. The strength in this year’s draft for a team like the Celtics — who won’t be picking near the top — is that there’s such balance among the prospects that it’s not a stretch to think the player taken with say, the seventh overall pick, will be no better than the player selected 10 or 12 slots later. “You always want to pick as early as possible, to best ensure you get your guy,” an Eastern Conference executive told NBC Sports Boston. “But this is as good a draft as you’ll have, where picking in the lottery won’t really look or help you more than the talent you’ll get in the late-teens and early 20s.” That is great news for the Celtics who have three first-round picks, with the earliest selection coming at No. 14.