Last week our friends at ESPN Stats and Info used the 1998-99 season to show how a veteran team like Boston can benefit from a shortened season. Now ESPN Insider counts the Celtics among five teams (the Warriors, Trail Blazers, Magic, and Mavericks the others) with potential to benefit from another lockout-shortened season:
Like Orlando, the Celtics benefit from having a strong defense. The second-best defense in the league last year has performed well for multiple straight seasons and should continue to do so even in a shortened season.
A short season could also give the weary bodies of Boston's Big Three a much-needed break. If the Celtics are going to make another championship run, they need all their players to be healthy. What does 30 fewer games mean? More than 1,000 minutes of game play where Kevin Garnett can't get hurt.
A hectic schedule with multiple games crammed into a tight time frame remains a concern, particularly considering how poorly the Celtics played in back-to-back games last season. Alas, we've also seen the Celtics stumble to the finish line in each of the past two seasons, so maybe lopping off 30 games wouldn't be a bad thing for Boston.