BOSTON — The Boston Celtics wrapped up their season Wednesday night with a 118-102 loss to the Washington Wizards at TD Garden.
Kelly Olynyk scored a team-high 24 points for a shorthanded Celtics team during Fan Appreciation Night as Rajon Rondo (hamstring), Kris Humphries (knee), Jared Sullinger (ankle), and Jerryd Bayless (knee) all missed the contest.
The numerous injuries left the Celtics with just eight available players, and that group proved to be no match for the playoff-bound Wizards. Bradley Beal scored 27 points for the visitors who had all five starters score in double figures.
On the plus side for Celtics fans, Wednesday’s setback did provide a boost to Boston’s lottery odds, as the team finished with a 25-57 record. That mark put Boston into a tie with the Utah Jazz for the fourth-worst record in the NBA this year after the Jazz defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves in double overtime Wednesday night.
For the NBA Draft Lottery, the league divides the lottery ping-pong balls evenly between any two teams tied in the standings. Once those odds are evenly distributed, the Celtics will go into the lottery with roughly a 10.35 percent chance at landing the top pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and a 33.5 percent chance at landing a top-three pick. A tiebreaker will also be held on Friday to determine which team receives the fourth overall pick if neither team jumps into the top three draft slots.
Those improved odds provided little solace for Brad Stevens, as his team finished with the third-most losses in franchise history during his first year at the helm. The rookie head coach knows this group has to get better this offseason, but is confident they will do so.
“I think we can get better,” Stevens said after the game. “Unlike, you would think at the end of a season like this, I’m not concerned that we aren’t going to strive to get better, if that makes sense. I think we will work, I think their work ethics are good, I think their coach-ability is pretty good, and I think that the one thing that they never really did was splinter.”
With just seven players under guaranteed contracts heading into next season, it remains unclear just how much of this roster will remain as Celtics heading into next season. While those decisions won’t come until this summer, the NBA Draft Lottery next month will give Boston the first indication of just what kind of talent they will be able to add to the roster this offseason, as the team’s rebuild continues.