The Celtics split a pair of tie-breaking coin flips but lost the one they really needed, the NBA announced.

The Celtics split a pair of tie-breaking coin flips but lost the one they really needed, the NBA announced.

The Jazz won the first flip, moving into the fourth position in the NBA draft lottery and capturing a 10.4 percent chance at the No. 1 overall pick. The C’s are slotted fifth with a 10.3 percent chance. Utah can pick no lower than seventh while the Celtics could select as low as eighth.

While the two teams have a nearly identical chance at a top-three pick — 33.7 percent for the Jazz and 33.4 for the Celtics — Utah’s luck has more significant ramifications should neither team win a shot at (most likely) Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins or Joel Embiid. The Jazz have a 9.9 percent shot at the fourth selection, 37.3 percent shot at fifth, 17.6 shot at sixth and 1.4 percent shot at seventh.

More odds

Meanwhile, the C’s cannot get the fourth pick and have a 23.7 percent shot at fifth, 34.2 percent shot at sixth, 8.2 percent shot at seventh and 0.3 percent shot at eighth, according to Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren.

In other words, the Jazz now have a 98.4 percent chance at a top-six pick while the C’s have an 8.5 percent chance at seven or eight. Similarly, Utah gets a 43.6 percent shot at a top-four pick while the C’s are stuck at 33.4 percent.

Odds

As for the good news, the Nets won their tie-breaker over the Wizards, so the Celtics will pick 17th instead of 18th.

 

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach
We wrap up the Celtics season by speaking with Celtics president Danny Ainge about this past season and the team's future.

The NBA season came to a close on Wednesday night. After six consecutive playoff runs, the Celtics might have had their longest season in recent memory. Not in terms of games played, but in terms of how dreadful it was to watch drag on. The Celtics were here in 2007, and they were unconventionally rewarded, we’€™ll see if they are so lucky this time.

Following a 118-102 blowout loss to the Wizards on Wednesday, the Celtics finished the 2013-14 campaign with a record of 25-57. Just one victory better than the 24 wins that landed the Celtics the second-highest lottery odds in ‘€™07. Of course, they got the worst pick possible (fifth overall), but we all know what happened from there. This season’€™s 25 wins are good for a tie for the fourth-highest lottery position with the Jazz — meaning they split the odds of the fourth- and fifth-worst teams. Essentially, Boston owns the 4.5th spot in the draft.

Here is how this all shakes down: The draft lottery will be held on May 20, but Friday will be the first important date to mark on your calendars. A coin flip will take place, in which the winner between Boston and Utah will have a fractionally higher shot at winning a top-three pick. However, the more important aspect of the coin flip is that if both teams fall outside of the top three, the winner will pick one spot higher than the loser. This scenario is not out of the question after what we witnessed in ‘€™07.

The Celtics’€™ official odds of landing the top overall pick in the draft are 10.3 percent. They maintain a 33.5 percent shot at selecting in the top three. This leaves the rest of the odds pointing to the C’€™s picking between fourth and seventh, unless they lose the coin flip, and miss out on a top-three pick along with Utah. In this unlikely scenario, Boston would be left picking somewhere between fifth and eighth.

So now that the season finally comes to an end, here is the clarity we are left with: The Celtics can select anywhere between first and eighth in the draft ‘€“ or seventh by Friday if they win the coin flip. The point? Although it is nice to know their final percentages, none of it actually matters until they pull the ping pong balls on May 20. That is when the certainty will be revealed.

One certainty we do have the luxury of knowing: The Celtics will hold the 17th pick in the draft, courtesy of the Nets. The Nets recently dropped from the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference to the sixth, most likely for playoff matchup purposes. But Danny Ainge will take it, as it moves the C’s up a pick and gives them a pretty solid mid-round selection. As many begin to question the headline players in the draft, the undisputable truth remains that this is a deep draft class.

In the meantime, decisions still are being awaited from Jabari Parker and Julius Randle. Otherwise, 17 of the consensus top-20 prospects already have declared for the draft, making the 17th pick nothing to spit at. Randle and Parker could lift that number to 19 of 20, while Willie Cauley-Stein is the only one returning to school for sure, somewhat surprising.

Rebuilding typically is a long process. But it is tough to find a team that has begun a rebuild with as many assets as the Celtics. Their biggest asset, aside from maybe Rajon Rondo, will be determined in this year’€™s lottery. After 82 games, we know the probabilities. Now we begin to discover the certainties.

It’€™s going to be an interesting summer, Celtics fans.

Follow Julian Edlow on Twitter @julianedlow.

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow

Brad Stevens saw a lot in his first season in the NBA as a head coach.

After the 57th and final loss of the season, he gave some insight as to what he learned from his maiden voyage in the pro ranks of basketball.

Brad Stevens saw a lot in his first season in the NBA as a head coach.

After the 57th and final loss of the season, he gave some insight as to what he learned from his maiden voyage in the pro ranks of basketball.

“I think the best thing I learned is that this is not fun to not win but it doesn’t define who you are or how you go about your business. One of the things that I’m probably most happy about with our team is that they didn’t change necessarily who they were. They didn’t let the losing or the multiple losses affect them or their approach, and I hope that I was the same way.”

The best advice for what would be a long season came at the start of the season, when Celtics assistant coach and long-time NBA veteran coach and scout Ron Adams offered some perspective on patience.

“I learned a lot about the NBA game and how it’s played,” Stevens said. “It’s a different kind of basketball. Ron Adams told me at the beginning of the year, ‘If I went and coached high school after 22 years coaching in the NBA, I wouldn’t know what’s going on. It’s 32 minutes, no shot clock. I’d really have to adjust to that.’ I think that’s probably true no matter which way you go. But it is an adjustment. The part I felt most comfortable was in the game, once we got used to the time outs, the 24-second clock and all that other stuff.”

All that other stuff for Stevens starts and ends with better and more consistent defense. It’s what separates talented teams from winning teams in the NBA. It’s what separates teams that can close out games and protect leads from those – like the 2013-14 Celtics – who lose close games time after time down the stretch. Stevens very rarely called his team out after games of this lost season, with a notable exception coming after a lackluster home loss to the Sixers on April 4. But after the final game Wednesday, he delivered a clear and present message to any player that might return next season.

‘€œSo there’€™s a couple different ways to look at it: are you going to get better in your role, or are you going to expand your role? What I mean by that is: are you going to get better at what you do well, or are you going to get better at some other things that make you, that give you the chance to instead of be the eighth guy be the fifth guy, instead of be the fifth guy be the third guy. We have a lot of great data to be able to share and subjective thoughts as well, and I think we can get better with the guys in the room. I think we clearly are going to need to add to our team to be better, but I told them at halftime, I said, ‘€˜We can start it on October 1st or we can start it right now.’€™ That is, we’€™ve got to have a defensive DNA to start next season at a little bit different level than I thought we did at the end of this season. I thought we tried to compete defensively early-on in the year; I didn’€™t think we made the strides that I would’€™ve liked to have made.’€

Stevens took the time Wednesday at halftime of a game in which they surrendered 38 points in the first quarter and 68 points in the half to remind his team of exactly what he will expect going forward.

‘€œAt halftime, I was obviously disappointed in our defensive effort,” Stevens said. “I knew, just look out there, we were undermanned a little bit, but I thought we could play better defensively and it thought we came out in the second half with a great deal of spirit and fight, a little bit more aggressiveness, and it was great until we were worn out. And I thought we wore out and we didn’€™t have any juice in the last 10 minutes or so, prior to that little run at the end. Credit them; they put us in a world of hurt in a lot of different match-ups. It’€™s a good basketball team who’€™s playing well right now, who, as I said earlier, is really sitting pretty for the future because they’€™ve got really good players at the one and the two that are both very young, that have a chance to be elite at their positions.’€

The one player Stevens praised for his work ethic all season was Brandon Bass, the winner of the Red Auerbach award.

“I just told him this in front of the team, he’€™s as good of a pro as we have,” Stevens beamed. “He shows up every day, he’€™s the first one to the gym on the road, he’€™s the first one to the gym at home, he takes care of his body as well or better than any of our players on our team nutrition-wise, stretching-wise, in the weight room. And his individual workouts are deliberate to what applies to making his game good. And I don’€™t think everybody that works on the game anywhere in the world do those things as well as some of the best pros, and I think we need to really embrace that deliberate work-ethic all around the way and Brandon Bass is a great example of that for our team.’€

His lasting impressions from this group?

“I think we can get better, I think we can get better,” Stevens said. “Unlike, you would think at the end of a season like this, I’€™m not concerned that we aren’€™t going to strive to get better, if that makes sense. I think we will work, I think their work-ethics are good, I think their coachability is pretty good, and I think that the one thing that they never really did, you know maybe here or there, there was a line or two, you all know better than I do because you’€™re the ones asking them, they never really splintered.

“Things like this is can splinter you pretty easily, and they stayed together pretty well as far as standing up for one another and being a team and not pointing blame, and it’€™s been a pretty good group from that regard, and that gives you a chance to improve. You know, it’€™s the old adage that you can’€™t improve without accountability, so that gives you a chance moving forward.’€

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

How would you rate Celtics coach Brad Stevens' first NBA season? (AP)

Before the season started, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge offered this caveat: "I guess just realistic expectations is what I preach to the fans." And, realistically, the C's weren't all that good. In fact, by most statistical measures, they were terrible.



BEN ROHRBACH

BIO | ARCHIVE


Following a season-ending 118-102 loss to the playoff-bound Washington Wizards at TD Garden, Celtics captain Rajon Rondo talked about what he’s learned from this 25-win season and how he can become a better leader. Rondo also acknowledged that he would like input on the make-up of the roster next season.

Following a season-ending 118-102 loss to the playoff-bound Washington Wizards at TD Garden, Celtics captain Rajon Rondo talked about what he’s learned from this 25-win season and how he can become a better leader. Rondo also acknowledged that he would like input on the make-up of the roster next season.

“Every team is different,” Rondo said. “This is a new [situation] with me being the only guy here back when Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were here. [Roster rebuilding] isn’t new. I still think I have been involved. I was in trade talk myself. Danny Ainge has always been in communication with me, what he has planned and what he has in store for this team.

“Being a leader, I just have to do it more than talking.”

Asked if that means doing it more by example on and off the court, Rondo answered, “Correct.”

How will a 25-57 season drive him this offseason?

‘€œMotivation for next year we have a lot to work on and I look forward to next year,” Rondo said. ‘€œA good group to play with and a lot of great guys a lot of young guys just trying to be better.’€

Does he want to be back?

“Next question,” Rondo said, referring to comments he made a week earlier indicating he feels he is a part of the team’s future.

Rondo said he will not watch the NBA playoffs, which begin this weekend. Instead Rondo maintains he looks forward to a summer of work as he continues to build his legs back to 100 percent, 15 months after ACL surgery on his right knee.

If he puts in the work, Rondo figures the rest of the team will follow.

‘€œIt shows the group of guys we have,” Rondo said. “It starts with Danny Ainge and it starts with Brad Stevens. We had guys like Chris Babbs and Chris Johnson to come help us and help brighten their future.’€

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

The Celtics‘ loss combined with a Jazz double-overtime win left both teams tied for the NBA’s fourth-worst record.