Tag Archives: Basketball

Boston Celtics Offseason Grade

 

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Added: Terry Rozier, R.J. Hunter, Jordan Mickey, Marcus Thorton, Amir Johnson, Jonas Jerebko (resigned), Jae Crowder (resigned), David Lee

Lost: Brandon Bass, Gerald Wallace

The Celtics, thanks to Doc Rivers, found themselves with two first round picks to burn in the 2015 NBA draft. With the 16th pick, they chose guard Terry Rozier, which raised some head-scratchers. Then, 12 picks later, they drafted R.J. Hunter, a sweet shooting two guard. The Celtics already employ Marcus Smart, Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Evan Turner and James Young. Did they really need two more guards to add to their collection?

In free agency, the Celtics were smart to lock up Jae Crowder, a true 3-and-D player who at 24, still has his best days ahead of him. They also inked up Jonas Jerebko, who can serve as a stretch 4 who also provides a dash of playmaking. After taking care of their own players, the Celtics ventured out and pursued other teams’ free agents. They landed themselves power forward Amir Johnson on a 2 year $24 million deal. Johnson can toggle between power forward and center, and will be a valuable contributor.

The Celts also struck a trade for David Lee, while only giving up washed up veteran Gerald Wallace. Talent-wise, it was a great trade. Lee will give coach Brad Stevens a true scoring big to count on, and a veteran presence in a reactively young locker room. Money-wise, Lee will make $15 million next year. That’s a nice chunk of cap space.

As the summer nears its conclusion, the Celtics roster seems to be very guard and big man heavy. The only small forward on the roster is Jae Crowder. While players such as Evan Turner and Jerebko can spend time at the 3, the Celtics would be wise to try to acquire another one. This was a relatively quiet summer for Beantown, but the Celtics are undoubtedly more talented than last year. They are still just searching for that superstar.

Grade: B-

Celtics Trade for David Lee

David Lee

 

Earlier today, the Boston Celtics completed a trade that will send Gerald Wallace to the Warriors in exchange for former all star David Lee.

Lee, a savvy power forward/center will provide the Celtics with veteran leadership, high IQ passing, and a go to scorer. While still in his early 30’s, he will still be able to contribute, especially since he will not be asked to play much due to the Celtics front court depth.




Ahhh, we hit a little snag with the Celtics front court. It is a mighty talented one, but it is as clogged as a drain. Tyler Zeller, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, Amir Johnson and now Lee is just a redundant group of good not great big men.

Sustaining even a 4 man front court rotation is difficult. Just ask the Chicago Bulls, who had major troubles finding suitable minutes for all their talented big men.

This is a good problem to have though. Danny Ainge could go in a million directions with this situation, but the best bet is that he trades one of them for help at other positions.

Another reason that this is a good problem to have is since the Celtics are overflowing with quality big men, they do not have to worry about how much value they are extracting from one of them. For example, if the Celts decide to trade Jared Sullinger for somebody like Anthony Morrow, many would probably think that that would be a bad trade for the Celtics since Sullinger is younger, and has more talent.

But since the Celtics have so much front court depth, they can afford to make a move like that, since it helps them in an area of need (shooting) while it opens up more minutes for their well-deserving bigs.

Once again, this is a good problem to have! One cannot stress that enough, since there is just as high a chance that the Celtics move one of these players than Justin Beiber is arrested again.

Boston Celtics 2015 Offseason Outlook

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics have completed phase one of their rebuild: collect a glut of future assets. Now, they must turn those assets into impact players who can seriously help them contend. GM Danny Ainge is hunting like mad to find a team with a disgruntled superstar that wants to trade that superstar away.

Recently, the Sacramento Kings’ Demarcus Cousins has not kept it a secret that he is unhappy with the organization. Ainge will surely be formulating ways in which he can parlay all his juicy future picks from Brooklyn into someone like Cousins.

This offseason, Boston’s free agents are Jae Crowder, Luigi Datome, Brandon Bass, and Jonas Jerebko. While losing Jerebko and Datome would not be all that bad, the Celtics should definitely make it a top priority to resign Crowder to a relatively lengthy and cheap deal. While Jerebko’s skill set is redundant due to the Celtsics already-exsisting player personnel, Crowder’s is invaluable. He is the epitome of a 3 and D guy. He can lock down perimeter players on one end and can swish it from deep on the other. And at just 24 years old with no previous injuries, there will be no worries at all over his play declining.

As for Bass, he is a veteran with valuable experience. He has a solid mid range jumper and is also an excellent rebounder. Although, if he gets greedy, and asks for more money than he is worth, the Celtics should refuse because they already have young front court talent in Tyler Zeller, Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk. In the end, the Celtics should resign him around the $6 to $7 million range.

As for the backcourt, the Celts have more guards than they can handle, so don’t expect any runs at free agent guards.

Maybe the Celtics sprinkle in a nice, low risk, high reward signing in Robin Lopez. Lopez provides great rim protection and a nifty hook shot on offense, while also stabilizing the Celtics front court.

If the Celtics make those little moves, it should be considered a successful offseason.

But remember, Ainge is out there lurking, and his true priority is to acquire a superstar to bring to Beantown.

Marcus Smart’s Big No-No (VIDEO)

It’s no secret that Marcus Smart has temper issues in the past, but it seems to be flaring up on the NBA level lately. It certainly seemed evident in last night’s blowout loss against the Spurs, with Smart’s hit below the belt on Matt Bonner. It was announced today that Smart was handed for a one-game suspension by the league, in addition to an early 4th quarter exit in last night’s game.

Ouch.

Marcus Smart has been a physical defensive presence all season, but obviously you should never hit a dude below the belt like that. That was ruthless and idiotic, and in no way accidental. He’s a competitive player which is great, but you can’t get your frustration and emotions get the best of you.

Top 5 Celtics Of This Millennium So Far (PHOTOS)

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Well, the NBA lottery has come and gone and the Celtics were left with the #6 pick. It may not be the top-3 pick many were hoping for, but in this loaded draft it’s still a very valuable asset and will have Boston fans excited about adding the next potential star to the Celtics’ roster.

In the spirit of rebuilding, however, it’s always fun to look back at what’s worked in the past! So before the draft speculation really heats up, here’s my look back at the Celtics’ best five players in this millennium so far.

 

Boston Celtics v/s Washington Wizards April 11,  2011

5. Avery Bradley

The Celtics have really only had four players with lasting offensive impacts this millennium, so my #5 slot is reserved for more of a “glue guy.” Sure, Antoine Walker could have been put here, and in another few years Jeff Green and/or Jared Sullinger could earn spots. But Walker’s best years were in the late-’90s and Green and Sullinger need more time to make their marks. Bradley grabs this spot ahead of fellow defensive specialists Tony Allen and Kendrick Perkins because he’s the best all-around player of the bunch. He remains one of the better guard defenders in the NBA, and has steadily improved his offensive game (admittedly, partially in the absence of Rajon Rondo or a go-to scorer on the team). Unfortunately, Bradley may have played himself into a contract the Celtics won’t be willing to pay.

 

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4. Ray Allen

Frankly, the #4-#2 slots on this list probably vary from fan to fan, and I realize the attitude toward Ray Allen has soured significantly since his obnoxious departure to Miami. The fact remains, however, that from 2007-2012, Allen never averaged fewer than 14 ppg (per Basketball-Reference) and shot over 40% from the 3-point line in three of five seasons. Allen’s easy to hate now—particularly after pretty much winning the Heat a title with his heroic shot in game 6 of the 2013 finals—but the Celtics wouldn’t have won the 2008 title without him.

 

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Celtics Circuit: Five Things To Watch For Down The Stretch (VIDEO)

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Tommy Heinsohn ponders about who the next Bill Russell could be

In what has been a dreary season for “green teamers” and bandwagon fans alike, the Boston Celtics are in line to make some interesting moves during the offseason, including their own lottery pick which should at least be in the top seven of a highly touted draft. Here are five interesting subplots for the current roster to keep track of as the season winds down:

1. Assessing Chris Johnson, Phil Pressey, and Chris Babb

One of the few good things about losing is that it allows the flexibility to give unknown players with ability and a desire to succeed a chance to get minutes at the NBA level. While it would be relatively shocking to see all three back next season, their contracts are flexible enough to package into deals or keep at the end of the bench. Pressey, the diminutive point guard from Missouri, has enjoyed his fair share of ups and downs. If he’s able to develop a consistent jump shot, Pressey could become a valuable back up point guard. Both relative unknowns, Johnson was signed to a 10 day contract after the Celtics traded away Jordan Crawford and Marshon Brooks, and was eventually signed for the remainder of the season. Johnson’s value rests in his three point shot. After playing for the Celtics farm club team – the Maine Red Claws – Babb was called up when Gerald Wallace went down with a season ending injury. Already possessed with an NBA ready body, Babb’s statistics may not pop out at you, but he has shown a clear physical gift in bodying up with opposing wing players. During summer league action, Babb was one of the few players to stand out.




2. Getting Rondo Back up to Speed

Despite what you may think of the newly minted captain, it behooves Rondo supporters and detractors alike for him to get back to playing at the elite level we’re accustomed to seeing. Coming off of a serious ACL injury, it was only natural to see Rondo get acclimated to playing at game speed again. After 17 games played, the eye test tells us that he is still not at his normal speed, but the quirky skills that set him apart from every other point guard are starting to reappear. In the three games played in March he is nearly averaging a triple double, with 15 ppg, 6 rpg, and 9 apg. He has also shockingly somehow surpassed his career season best in three pointers with 20.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Apc7FoRmbKs]

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