Of course this team is. KG and Pierce are at the ends of their careers.
Doesn't mean they can't go out with a bang. I have little doubt this team will pick up the pace come playoff time. They will be a threat to any top team.
I just don't see enough improvement with what was added and subtracted to get past Miami if they are healthy. The Celtics team will match up just fine if Bosh or Wade is out (and would have an advantage if Lebron is out) just like last year. But when all three are there playing like they did last year in the playoffs, the Celtics become a real long shot against them (possible, but a major upset)
So unless a role player really steps up his game to a level they have never played (special need down low) or the Celtics turn some of that depth into a major single player upgrade, this teams likely ceiling might just be lower then we want (or expect at the moment)
And yes, AB's return is a huge help, but not enough to shift the odds enough to the Celtics advantage.
We should be significantly better at shooting guard and every single bench position. I think your prognosis is a little on the gloomy side.
It is not gloomy.
We hope the SG is much better, but it hasn't been yet.
We hope the bench is better, but it hasn't been yet.
But this also ignores the fact that the Heat have improved both at SG and off the bench. At best, the Celtics have kept pace.
I am hoping the Celtics are keeping the realistic view of the league. Yes, the Celtics have an outside shot at beating a healthy Heat. Yes, the Celtics have some depth.
But outside of Rondo, this team has not build around blocks. They have young players with nice upsides (Sullinger, AB and Melo) and would be good to top role players on good teams. They have some good role players that are young, but look like they have maxed out on their talent. (Green, Lee and Bass)
I have no issue the Celtics making a move to improve Rondo's, KG's and Pierce's chances to lead this team to one more title.