Thursday, December 8 2022

The Boston Celtics’ widely-lauded offseason has taken a bit of a hit among analysts after one of the two major moves made by the organization appears to have been for naught after veteran forward Danilo Gallinari tore his left ACL in FIBA qualifiers earlier this summer.

With the rest of the NBA’s Eastern Conference getting better via trades and signings, and the rest of the Celtics’ offseason coup being a player they traded for with plenty of his own injury concerns, the gap between Boston and the rest of the East appears to be narrowing. And that is exactly why renowned NBA analyst Marc Stein rated the team just No. 3 in his latest league power rankings in his Substack newsletter.

“It’s still hard to believe, as a new season gets cranked up, that Ime Udoka’s Celtics were mired at No. 11 in the East as recently as mid-January,” feints Stein to begin his analysis.

“Yet there does have to be some concern within the Celtics’ ranks, impressive as they were advancing all the way to the NBA Finals, that they squandered a precious chance to win it all with so many teams looking so dangerous (at least on paper) as we start anew,” adds Stein.

“The season-ending knee injury Danilo Gallinari suffered with Italy last month is a dagger, because so much of the optimism about Boston’s follow-up to that Finals run was the offensive boost it hoped to get from Gallinari and fellow newcomer Malcolm Brogdon.”

“That bummer end to summer is also why the Celts are No. 3 rather than No. 2 as we get going again,” concludes the Substack author.

The Celtics will indeed need to find some unexpected juice internally from the rest of the moves they have made this offseason to truly warrant one of the top two spots in more recent power rankings.

And while that possibility exists, until it stops being potential, this is a very fair place to put Boston until it becomes a reality.

Listen to the “Celtics Lab” podcast on:

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3zBKQY6

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3GfUPFi

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire

Source: Yahoo Sports

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