2015-16 NBA Preseason Power Rankings: No. 15 Boston Celtics

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The Boston Celtics entered the offseason with big expectations. Danny Ainge owned two 2015 1st-round picks, and had the young assets and future picks to make a franchise altering deal. Ainge knows one star brings another, and stars are necessary to win an NBA Championship. No deals were done, and a star never came to Boston.

Danny Ainge took a safe route after realizing a star wasn’t coming. He signed Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko, then traded for David Lee. Neither of them are stars, nor guaranteed money next season when there is a rise in the salary cap. Jae Crowder signed a five-year deal, but Ainge believes he is a part of the Celtics future. Ainge had no intentions to spend big money if he wasn’t spending it on a face of the franchise. But even without a star, the Celtics have a good team. Brad Stevens will keep the Celtics competitive. 

What should fans look forward to this season?

Fans should look forward to another exciting basketball season. When Isaiah Thomas joined the team at the trade deadline, the Celtics finished the season with a 20-11 record surging into the playoffs. With a full season with Isaiah coming off the bench, fans will see a full season of excitement.

Brad Stevens is known for getting the most out of his players. That is going to be key all season because the Celtics lack a star. The one thing the Celtics have is depth. They will use their depth to their advantage in back-to-back games, so they have fresh legs all season. Brad Stevens is a basketball genius. 

What is their projected starting lineup?

PG- Marcus Smart

SG- Avery Bradley

SF- Evan Turner

PF- David Lee

C- Jared Sullinger

Who can emerge as a star?

Isaiah Thomas is the star, but Marcus Smart will emerge as a star. Smart emerged as a leader this summer league, and sets the tone on the defensive end. In one season, he proved he can be a lockdown defender. But best of all, he has a motor that never stops. His effort and willingness to succeed will make him a star. 

Smart needs to improve his offensive game before he is truly a star. Throughout last season, Smart improved his shooting and ball handling abilities, but neither were stellar. Isaiah Thomas and Evan Turner take the scoring and assisting pressure off Smart, respectively. That gives Smart the time to develop and find confidence in his overall game. He has faith from the entire Celtics organization, and that confidence should help him in the long run.

What will be their final record?

47-35

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