In their NBA preview issue, ESPN The Magazine teamed up with Basketball Prospectus to project the records of each of the league's 30 teams for the coming season. The magazine's prediction for the Celtics might raise a few eyebrows, as ESPN has them pegged as the fourth seed in the East, and second-best in the Atlantic, behind the Knicks. Let's round up a few more Friday morning Celtics-related links….
- Paul Pierce believes a Celtics bench that just added Leandro Barbosa may be the strongest unit he's seen during his time in Boston, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. "I think [Barbosa] can definitely help us," Pierce said. "Another veteran who’s one of the better bench players in the league to go along with our bench that’s pretty well rounded. It’s added scoring punch."
- Within Bulpett's piece, coach Doc Rivers had praise for the newly-signed Barbosa as well: "I love his speed, his ability to handle the ball. We don’t have a backup point (guard), but we have another ballhandler. Our theory is if we throw three ballhandlers out on the floor, someone can bring the ball up — and that’s the way we’ll play with our second unit."
- With two preseason games remaining, Rivers is still seeking chemistry, timing, and cohesion from his rotation, as Bulpett writes in a separate piece for the Herald.
- In a mailbag for ESPNBoston.com, Chris Forsberg fields reader questions on whether the Celtics need a true backup point guard, how the minutes figure to be divided at shooting guard, and Jared Sullinger's potential ceiling.