By now we're all aware that the Celtics plans for 2013-2014 did not include winning games or competing for a playoff spot. I don't wish to debate whether or not that was the right call - and I do agree with the "tanking" philosophy if you just have to know - but after a terrific run from 2007-2013, Celtics ownership and management decided to hit the reset button and start building their next championship contender.
The issue here is not their plan to rebuild or the method in which they are rebuilding. The issue is whether or not they will be lucky enough to land the players they are going to need to become a championship contender in the immediate future.
It must be frustrating for Danny Ainge and the rest of the Celtics brass to try and plan their teams future. Imagine trying to navigate from your home to the North Pole without a GPS, compass, or any winter clothes. NBA front offices never know if they're drafting or signing the right talent and there's no way to know until after the fact.
If you don't believe me, look at the Celtics of the late 1980's as an example. While riding the tidal wave of the "Big Three" era, Red Auerbach was in the midst of planning for the days when Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson, and Ainge would no longer be running the parquet floor. He drafted Len Bias in 1986 and Reggie Lewis a year later. Bias never played a second in the NBA, dying of a cocaine overdose shortly after being drafted, and Lewis died prematurely in 1993, right as he was ascending to superstar status. Really, you just can't plan out these rebuilding plans and expect a smooth ride.
If the Celtics draft a player like Parker - or Andrew Wiggins or any other top prospect - they might be landing the guy, the player who will carry them back to the top of the NBA and keep them there for a long time. They might also not live up to expectations and lead the Celtics to a few more years of misery while they wait for the next guy.
Yes, that's right, one year of patience might lead to a generation of frustration. The 1986 Celtics won the NBA championship and then the team got back to the NBA Finals in 1987. It seemed like they would be a championship contender forever.
The next time they played for a title was in 2008.
Celtics fans need to cross their fingers, eat their vitamins, and pray to the Leprechaun God that lives in the skies above the Zakim Bridge that Parker or Wiggins or whoever is the guy that gets them back on track to a title because if not, they'll be waiting for a kid who is currently in 9th grade to be that savior in 2018-2019.
Eastern Conference First Round
(1) Indiana Pacers over (8) Atlanta Hawks
(5) Washington Wizards over (4) Chicago Bulls
(6) Brooklyn Nets over (3) Toronto Raptors
(2) Miami Heat over (7) Charlotte Bobcats
(1) Pacers over (5) Wizards
(6) Nets over (2) Heat
(1) Pacers over (6) Nets
Western Conference First Round
(1) San Antonio Spurs over (8) Dallas Mavericks
(4) Houston Rockets over (5) Portland Trail Blazers
(3) Los Angeles Clippers over (6) Golden State Warriors
(2) Oklahoma City Thunder over (7) Memphis Grizzlies
(1) Spurs over (4) Rockets
(3) Clippers over (2) Thunder