With the Celtics’ season ending a few weeks ago, I have has some time to reminisce about the season as a whole. Today I’ll be ranking each players’ individual season, including Head Coach Brad Stevens and GM Danny Ainge. I based it on a mix of preseason expectations, improvement from the previous year, and how they contributed to the team as a whole. Let’s grade some report cards.
Avery Bradley: Injuries continued to be an issue for Bradley as he missed 27 games during the season. But when he played, Bradley actually had a career year. He scored a career high 16.3 points, grabbed a career high 6.3 rebounds, and shot 46% from the floor. His defense was once again stellar and he’s forming into one of the better two-way guards in the East. B+
Jaylen Brown: Usually when you’re drafted 3rd overall, you’re expected to be playing a lot minutes and expected to take a lot of losses. Neither happened this year and it was the best thing that could have happened. Brown earned his spot on the team and he showed is potential on both ends of the floor. The future is bright for this 20 year old. B+
Jae Crowder: One thing that really surprised me from Jae Crowder this year was his 3 point shooting. He went from 34% last year to 40% this year. That’s a huge improvement from beyond the arch. I wouldn’t call him an elite shooter but he’s a legit threat. He’s become a solid player not only on the defensive side, but now on the offensive side. B+
Gerald Green: In his 2nd stint back with the team, Green played in spurts this season. When he played, he’s either scored in bunches or he didn’t score at all. He provided a spark in that 1st round of the playoffs but didn’t do much after that. C
Al Horford: Considering the contract he signed, there were a ton of expectations for Horford. While he had an underwhelming regular season, he had a fantastic postseason. He shot 58% from the floor and a ridiculous 52% from the arch in the postseason. Considering he’s 6’10”, there’s no excuse for him to get less than 7 rebounds a game. Hopefully Boston can acquire a true center to movie Al to his natural position. B
Demetrius Jackson: The 2nd round pick played in 5 games this season so…. Yeah, can’t really give a grade. INCOMPLETE.
Jonas Jerebko: Jerebko was a solid back up for the Celtics this year but he didn’t accomplish anything that special. He shot a lot of 3s and was a defensive liability. Jerebko knew his role and he was a good teammate, but the Celtics can get a much better backup. D+
Amir Johnson: Like Jerebko, Johnson had a specific role and didn’t do anything special. While his percentages were good, he just wasn’t a difference maker. He wasn’t a legit offensive threat, hw was a defensive liability, and couldn’t rebound. That type of player is not worth $12 million dollars a year. D+
Jordan Mickey: Like Jackson, Mickey didn’t play enough to get a grade. He’s shown potential as a backup, but nothing more. INCOMPLETE.
Kelly Olynyk: I am a big Olynyk defender. I think he is a very good bench player and someone that the Celtics should want to have on their team in the future. While he does struggle on the defensive end, he’s continue to show that he’s a crafty player. He shot a career high from the floor (51%) and of course had that Game 7 performance. B-
Terry Rozier: In my opinion, Rozier made one of the biggest jump from the previous season. He became a regular rotational player had a few moments in the postseason. If the Celtics decide to move on from Marcus Smart, Rozier should be able to fill the role of backup point guard. B-
Marcus Smart: I have had a love/hate relationship with Smart. Sometimes he’s a liability on offense and sometimes he plays like he’s the best point guard in the league. That Game 3 performance in the East Finals was something special. He doesn’t lack confidence but he lacks decision making. One thing that Smart has to improve on in his shot selection. If he can get up to just 40% from the floor, then he may finally live up to that 6th pick. B-
Isaiah Thomas: What can I say about Isaiah Thomas that hasn’t already be said? He finished 3rd in the league in scoring, made his 2nd straight All-Star Game, and made the All-NBA 2nd team. Oh yea, he also scored 53 points in a playoff game. To me this season proved that the Celtics should keep Isaiah as a member of their core and offer him a max deal. You may not win a championship with him as your best player, but you can with him as your 2nd or 3rd option. A+
James Young: Back in the 2014 Draft, Young was actually considered a steal when he was picked at 17th overall by Boston. Now just 3 years later, he’ll be lucky if he’s on an NBA team next year. F
Tyler Zeller: I really don’t know what happened to Zeller. He was the starting center for the Celtics a few years ago and now he’s barley playing. Maybe he’s had a falling out with Coach Stevens but something changed. Zeller should be able to find a spot on team next year, it’s just not going to be here. D
Brad Stevens: The Celtics have improved every single year under the guidance of Brad Stevens. They’ve gone from 25 to 40 to 48 to 53 wins this year. The one thing Stevens had to prove this year was having success in the playoffs and he accomplished that. He did what a great coach does and he made adjustments on the fly. Whether it be replacing Johnson with Green or changing the offense around when Thomas was out, Stevens proved that he’s one of the best coaches in the league right now. A
Danny Ainge: The Celtics roster didn’t change to much from the year before but the moves Danny Ainge made were excellent. He let Evan Turner and Jared Sullinger go and replaced them with Jaylen Brown and Al Horford. By doing that, he made the team better now and set them up for the future. The only complaint I had from Ainge is that he didn’t do anything at the deadline. But considering the Celtics made it to the Conference Finals, they hit their ceiling. B+
Written By: Steven Santoro (SVS_1993)