Last season the Boston Celtics my team were one-quarter away from going to the NBA Finals. With all the starters plagued by some sort of injury in the beginning of the season, the final starters were all different. Doc Rivers still put together a great team, and almost made it to the finals. The Celtics are a top-notch storied franchise and they seem to always draft well and make up a good roster.
At the forward position Brandon Bass, Jeff Green, Paul Pierce and some second rate players after that is all they had. Paul Pierce had knee problems in the beginning of the season and Jeff Green had a heart condition that needed immediate surgery. Green would be out for the rest of the season and Paul would miss some games, but continue to play slightly banged up. Brandon was made the starter along with Paul. All three players will return this season healthy minus the dead weight they carried at the back-end of the position. In come sensational drafted rookies Jared Sullinger and Kris Joseph who will get some good mins this year and back up the starters. Celtics also sign young talent Courtney Lee, who I think will help mostly down the stretch in the playoffs.
The centers at first would be Jermaine O’Neal, a washed up all-star center, that’s never been the same since his knee problems began. It seems O’Neal misses half the season every year he plays, and when he does it’s still not quality mins. He puts up a better defense than offense, but his legs have no power for what he wants to do. They moved him this off-season finally and we won’t miss him.
Last season Ryan Hollins and Greg Stiemsma gave quality mins backing up Garnett, Hollins being an offense weapon and Stiemsma being mostly the defensive type both gained good experience and found other teams this off-season. Since J. O’Neal was out last season Kevin Garnett was moved from the forward position and played center for most of the season. It seems Garnett will mostly play center this year with some great back up from the beast drafted rookie Fab Melo, and hopefully we get some quality mins from Jason Collins and Chris Wilcox. Collins has been around the league for a long time never been a great center, I think he’s really soft personally, but he may give quality mins.
The guards had a rough time last year; of course Rondo was the lynchpin, the horse, and the beast all year. Minus some of his antics on and off the court and missing some games he had his best year. Ray Allen was supposed to start alongside him but with bone spurs in his foot and problems with his ankle most of the season; he didn’t play many games last year. Then because of problems with Rondo and feeling disrespected as reported by ESPN, he decided to test free agency and sign with the HATED Miami Heat Hoes!!
While Ray Allen was out Avery Bradley in his second year started and gave great quality mins, until he went out the last month of the season with shoulder problems. We later found out he would get shoulder surgery on both shoulders and will be ready for this season. Celtics decided to bring in some extra help though with a great free agent Jason Terry, who just won a ring 2011 with the Dallas Mavs. He’s a great shooter and a spark that can come off the bench and drive the lane. Terry stays healthy mostly also, even though he’s been in the league a long time and is in his up in age. They also resigned Keyon Dooling for one year; he showed a lot of guts and energy in the playoffs last season. He gave Rondo a rest with good defense and quality mins, he can run the offense, but he needs to find a way to shoot the ball better or create his own lane.
Two rookie guards were signed also who could potentially be on the court sooner than later in the near future even this upcoming season. Both Dionte Christmas and Jamar Smith have the possibility to be part of the second unit on the floor to give the starters a rest, depending on how good their play is and on injuries. Otherwise they make for good depth down the road in the playoffs!! I know Doc Rivers is going to love this rodeo show he has now, a coach them up to greatness, this team reminds me of the 2008 squad!!
Finally, I’m excited for the new season to come; this roster is packed and loaded. We have talent, youth, experience, rings, and depth on this team. Already the team looks way better than it did so far a year ago!! Bring on the games baby, we don’t have to wait too long it’s almost around the corner. I already predict the Celtics to be 2nd in the Eastern conference for another showdown with the defending Champs the Heat, and hopefully a beat down, finishing Game 6 with a win like they should have at HOME!!
– Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.