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Season Preview: Boston Celtics

September 13, 2012
By

 

I thought KG didn’t want to play center…

In:  Courtney Lee, Jason Terry, Jeff Green (missed all of last season), Darko Milicic…rookies Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo, Kris Joseph…Jason Collins.

Out:  Ray Allen (MIA)…last year’s rookies Greg Stiemsma (MIN), E’Twuan Moore & JaJuan Johnson (HOU)…Mickael Pietrus, Jermaine O’neal (PHO), Keyon Dooling (retired).

Lineup:

PG Rajon Rondo        Avery Bradley

SG Courtney Lee        Jason Terry, Dionte Christmas

SF Paul Pierce            Jeff Green, Kris Joseph (r)

PF Brandon Bass       Jared Sullinger (r), Chris Wilcox

C Kevin Garnett         Darko Milicic, Fab Mel0 (r), Jason Collins

Offseason Recap: Boston wanted to re-tool their roster with athleticism around the aging Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett (whom they also re-signed). They did a very good job of this. It’s Rajon Rondo’s team now and he’s tired of waiting for the old guys to catch up to him down the court. Though they won’t admit it, losing Ray Allen was good as it allowed them the $ to improve multiple positions. SG Courtney Lee is a very good pick-up from Houston. It cost them both of last year’s rookies, Moore & Johnson, but they turned around and drafted two more good ones in Sullinger & Melo. The C’s also brought back former OKC lottery pick Jeff Green who missed last season following heart surgery. As for adding Jason Terry…I guess somebody had to sign him. Just when I thought Danny Ainge wasn’t going to add a starting caliber center, he beat the buzzer in late September adding Darko Milicic at the veterans minimum. I doubt Darko will start though, which means Garnett has more heavy lifting to do. At least team captain Paul Pierce is happy with the team’s offseason: “We’ve added all the ingredients you need to build a championship team.”

Strengths: Last season the team allowed the 2nd fewest ppg on defense, and I don’t see why this can’t continue (assuming Terry doesn’t play long stretches). Boston is still deadly coming down the stretch of big games. Rondo, Pierce, and Garnett are the new ‘Big Three’ and are scary in a halfcourt game. Now they just need the other, younger guys to help them get to those 4th quarters. The team is much better in the backcourt with Courtney Lee at the SG and Avery Bradley coming off the bench at his natural PG position. As long as Doc doesn’t play the JET too long (did I say that already?), this group is nice.

Weaknesses: This team was last in rebounding last season, and I don’t see that changing much…not unless Sullinger or Melo have an inner Rodman that nobody knows about. Kevin Garnett, who started at center last season, has said publicly that he doesn’t want start at C anymore. Danny Ainge obviously didn’t get the memo as he didn’t add starting center this offseason (are we counting Darko?). So, I guess it’s the same lineup again in Beantown with KG & Bass on the frontline. While the team did get younger and more versatile, 2 of their 3 best players are still very old. Garnett, I’m not so much concerned about…he came on strong last season. But you have to think that Pierce is due for an injury-plagued season after years of throwing his body around inside drawing fouls. Jeff Green could see huge minutes if Paul is banged up. The scoring must pick-up as well for Boston in 2012-13 and right off the bat…they were 26th last season in ppg.

Prediction: Now that Andrew Bynum has joined the 76ers I have a hard time believing that the Celtics will come back and win the division from Philly again this year…let alone stave off a possible banner year from either the Nets or Knicks (we’ve heard this one before). If Boston wins the division it will have to be from the outset, something I think is unlikely. The team will hold training camp in Europe, something they did back in 2007. Doc Rivers is hoping he can re-create that same magic with this group (got ubuntu?). Every season coach says he just wants to be healthy and playing well going into the playoffs…without regard to seeding. That will again be the case this season.

Remember when the Celtics were set at C with Kendrick Perkins? But then they decided against his price tag of over $8M/yr. Boston traded Perf for Jeff Green, who ended up getting an even bigger contract from Boston this summer ($36M over 4 yrs) than Perk got in OKC. In 2012-13, the Boston Celtics will likely again be one of the worst rebounding teams in the league. Unless rookie Fab Melo is an immediate stud that will allow KG to play the PF spot, this team will again struggle on the boards. They’ll also have a hard time matching up with the likes of Indiana (Roy Hibbert), Philadelphia (Andrew Bynum), Chicago (Joakim Noah), and somewhat Brooklyn (Brook Lopez is hardly a rebounder, himself). Milicic will likely get more minutes against these teams, but can any team bank on Darko in big games? Oh, and as a parting shot: adding Jason Terry only makes the Celtic defense worse, while his best days are behind him offensively. Lastly, expect to see Jeff Green a lot this season in Paul Pierce’s spot due injuries.

I see the Celtics, with a banged up Paul Pierce, making it to the 2nd round of the playoffs and bowing out gracefully.

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3 Responses to Season Preview: Boston Celtics

  1. Dee Rivers on September 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    How do you not have us winning the division? Have you been watching the NBA the last few years?? The Atlantic is Boston’s to lose.

  2. Lawrence of Insomnia on September 26, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    The MOMENT we signed Jason Terry I burned my Hondo jersey.

    • Dari on March 29, 2013 at 6:27 am

      Listen people, you guys have to unasterdnd something. The only reason ray allen went to Miami is out of spite from the celtics not because he actually wants to be apart of the team. Ray allen is still much my favorite NBA player of all time but i don’t respect his decision to go to the team that eliminated him twice out of the playoffs. look at the reasons, 1. ray allen was injured bad so he could not play to upmost potential as he should and avery bradley was doing his thing filling in the spot for ray allen. playing good defense and scoring so the celtics really didn’t loose a 2guard. When ray allen returns he can’t just expect to come back because he is still hurt, thats mostly the reason why the cetlics did not start him at all. 2. Trade talks? Danny Ainge would never EVER!!!! trade ray allen for anything, there is not other team in the NBA that functions the way the celtics do there are a true NBA family like how MJ and the 90 s bull where with pippin and roddman. 3. his beef with rondo Rajon Rondo is the key player on the celtics and he’s the main one who gets players out in the open to score and directs to plays for the team. Rondo and Ray should have worked out their differences because if they can’t click the the rotation would all be hurt. Ray Allen was not being unasterdnding because he desperation for a championship ring when in all reality it should be more for the love of his team and his love for the game. some of greatest NBA players such as karl malone did not win a ring but is still a legend to the game because its the love for the game not the love for the ring. Right now Ray Allen went to Miami out of spite and revenge for the celtics but will all backfire if he doesn’t win the ring this year. Boston now has a good solid defense team and scoring team now since they got Melo, Sullinger, Joesph, Green, Bass and Especially Jason Terry. Jason Terry is a great 6th man off the bench because he doesn’t care about starting he cares about his team and the love for the game. Ray allen is always use to starting but has to realize that sometimes your injuries and health is more important than a game. Ray Allen will now be known forever as a NBA player that betrayed the team who gave him his first NBA ring. in all honesty Boston doesn’t need ray allen because Jason Terry and Bradley will rotate the 2 and 1 position especially when rondo is needed for some resting. Jason Terry and Bradley is a good rotation and Boston will go even further this year because they are coming in heavy with new healthy solid players. Miami still ! needs a point guard, PF and center because chris bosh is not a Center as he tried ( never won a tip off lol ) and you name another big man they have. watch they become the worse NBA rebounding team in the league . this year is going to be interesting

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