Rajon Rondo #9 (G/Boston Celtics):
Last season: 13.7 points, 11.1 assists, 5.6 rebounds
Last season was on the verge of being a monumental one for Rondo, until he went down with a torn ACL back in January. The loss of the point guard was just the first of the season for the Celtics; Coach Doc Rivers was sent to the Clippers while Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were traded to the Nets. Unlike Derrick Rose, Rondo is determined at getting back on the court this season, and soon. He recently said his recovery was at “87 percent”, and although some expect him to be back possibly by December, he wants to be back when he is ready. “It’s going to be hard to tell me to ease into something,” Rondo said. “Once I get back out there, I want to go full speed. I don’t want any limitations. That’s when I’ll return, when I’m able to do that.” With a new coach and some new faces in Boston, Rondo might need to make some adjustments. He won’t be back to the triple-double Rondo we’re used to seeing, but just his presence on the court will make the difference for the Celtics.
Keith Bogans #4 (G/Boston Celtics):
Last season: 4.2 points, 1.6 rebounds
Bogans is one of those “new” faces on the Celtics, but he is one of the veteran players on the roster also. His scoring might not be up to par with Rondo’s, but he does provide some experience on defense. Bogans can also knock down the clutch shots when needed. He has spent his last five seasons with playoff teams (Nets, Bulls, Spurs, Magic), and returns to a team with plenty of postseason experience. Bogans’ role on the team as a vet could be huge for the Celtics.
John Wall #2 (G/Washington Wizards):
Last season: 18.5 points, 7.6 assists, 4 rebounds
Going into his fourth season in the NBA, Wall has plenty of expectations for this year, as do the Wizards franchise and fanbase. He averaged 18.5 points a game last season, which forced the Wizards organization to sign him to a $80 million contract extension. The Wizards plan to build their franchise around Wall and other young players they have signed. Wall struggled during the preseason, averaging 11.2 points and 6.3 assists. However, his stats didn’t reflect his attitude. “I didn’t play too good this whole preseason, to me, to be honest,” The Wizards already traded C Emeka Okafor, leaving Wall with less experienced players around him. With more pressure on him to step up to be a leader to his young teammates, we will see if there is a difference in Wall when it comes to pressure situations. Consistency is the key for Wall this season.