The Boston Celtics played Game 41 with Friday's 100-99 triumph over the Denver Nuggets. The team officially sits at the midway point of the 2014-15 regular season, which means it's the time of the year where we're supposed to grab our red pens and offer grades for the team's performance to this point.
A couple of the usual notes before diving into these progress reports. Grades are crafted based on expectations. A player may not be having the most statistically dominant season, but if they are exceeding expectations we had for them entering the year, then the grade will reflect it.
And we'll note here that grading a rebuilding team is a less-than-ideal process. Expectations are typically low and, particularly on a superstar-less roster, it's hard to be too harsh given that none of the players below are expected to carry a team (even one that's nine games under .500 at the turn).
Inevitably, there will be those upset by the sheer amount of B and C grades. Some will wonder, "How can a team be so bad with so many players with passing grades?" Well, it's simple: In the NBA you need some of your key players to be performing at an A-level in order to be truly competitive, especially those deemed your supertars. Boston has a bunch of young players that are trying to develop as individuals and as a team. We simply can't grade them harsher because the team is not successful.
And now, midway thoughts on your 2014-15 Celtics (players sort by playing time):