2018-19 Roster Breakdown: The Ball Handlers

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2018-19 Roster Breakdown: The Ball Handlers

Post by bobheckler on Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:10 am

https://www.nba.com/celtics/news/sidebar/summer-083118-2018-19-roster-breakdown-ball-handlers?sf196697910=1



2018-19 Roster Breakdown: The Ball Handlers



By Taylor C. Snow |  @taylorcsnow
Celtics.com
August 29, 2018



BOSTON – The Boston Celtics begin training camp in less than one month, so it’s time we break down the roster and provide an idea of what the team’s depth chart will look like heading into the 2018-19 Season.

Rather than classifying the players with the traditional 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 positional tags, we are taking a page out of coach Brad Stevens’ book by placing each athlete into one of the following three roles.

Ball handlers – Typically played by the 1.
Wings – A hybrid between the 2, 3 and 4.
Bigs – A hybrid between the 4 and the 5.

We begin this series with arguably the most important role on the court – the ball-handling position.

Boston has a number of guys who are capable of steering the offense, and it’ll often have multiple ball handlers on the court at once to keep opposing defenses honest.

Here are the players who will be controlling the pace for the Celtics this season:


The Ball Handlers

Kyrie Irving



Kyrie Irving gave Celtics Nation a taste of dominant scoring and world-class handles during his inaugural, injury-shorted season in Boston. Now, fully recovered from knee surgery and chomping at the bit to return to the court, the five-time All-Star could produce an even more impressive campaign the second time around.

Irving averaged a team-high 24.4 points per game last season, while shooting 49.1 percent from the field, 40.8 percent from 3-point range, and dishing out 5.1 assists per game. He accomplished all of that despite dealing with persistent knee soreness caused by tension wire that had been implanted during a previous surgery in 2015.

In late March, Irving opted to go under the knife and remove the wire, marking an end to his phenomenal campaign. The offseason was a period of healing for the 26-year-old point guard, but now he’s back at full health and is ready to run the Celtics’ offense once again.

The fact that Irving was able to produce such impressive numbers and dazzling plays last season despite facing continual irritation indicates that his second season in green could be even more spectacular, as long as he maintains his health.


Marcus Smart


Perfectly complementing Irving’s explosive offense is the tenacious defense provided by his back-up, Marcus Smart.

With a new contract in hand, Smart will continue with his role as Boston’s sixth man, being a glue guy off the bench who is capable of providing spot starts for Irving if needed.

Smart, too, was limited last season due to injury, having undergone hand surgery in mid-March. However, he was able to return to action midway through the first round of the Playoffs to help spark Boston on a tremendous postseason run.

Smart took on more of a playmaking role during his fourth season with the team, averaging 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and a career-high 4.8 assists per game over 54 regular season contests. As Boston’s longest-tenured player, he has also developed into one of the team’s primary vocal leaders, both on the court and in the locker room.


Terry Rozier


Last season’s injuries to both Irving and Smart opened the door for Terry Rozier. The eager, young point guard seized the opportunity by bursting into the national spotlight with authority.

After spending the first two and a half seasons of his career as a role player, Rozier finally earned his way into the starting lineup during a Jan. 31 matchup against the New York Knicks. He answered the call with his first career triple-double, officially marking the birth of “Scary Terry.”

Rozier lived up to his newfound moniker by averaging 15.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game over the last 29 contests of the regular season, seeing 16 starts during that span. His success magnified during the postseason, as he started all 19 of Boston’s playoff games and produced 16.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG and 5.7 APG.

Rozier’s role will likely diminish with the return of Irving, but his continuing development and contributions to last season’s playoff run will surely enable him to earn significant playing time this coming season. He and Smart together should make one heck of a second-unit backcourt tandem with their collective tenacity and fearlessness on both ends of the court.


Brad Wanamaker


Brad Wanamaker may be a rookie by NBA terms, but the 29-year-old combo guard still has more professional experience under his belt than half of the Celtics roster.

After playing four years of college ball at the University of Pittsburgh, Wanamaker made his way over to Italy in 2011 to start his pro career. Over the course of seven years, he bounced around from France to Germany to Turkey, and also had a short stint with the Austin Toros of the NBA G League (formerly the D-League) in 2012.

Wanamaker collected numerous accolades while he was overseas, including the 2015 German Basketball Bundesliga Finals MVP, the 2016 German BBL MVP and the Turkish Finals MVP. He was also a two-time Turkish League All-Star, a two-time German BBL All-Star and the 2015 German BBL All-Star Game MVP. On top of all of that, he won two German BBL championships alongside Celtics big man Daniel Theis, one Turkish League championship and one D-League championship.

Last season in the Euroleague, Wanamaker averaged 11.3 points, 3.8 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game. The most valuable trait he has to offer is his versatility on both ends of the court, which should allow him to fit into Stevens’ system seamlessly as either a ball handler or a wing.



bob



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Re: 2018-19 Roster Breakdown: The Ball Handlers

Post by dboss on Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:25 pm

bobheckler wrote:https://www.nba.com/celtics/news/sidebar/summer-083118-2018-19-roster-breakdown-ball-handlers?sf196697910=1



2018-19 Roster Breakdown: The Ball Handlers



By Taylor C. Snow |  @taylorcsnow
Celtics.com
August 29, 2018



BOSTON – The Boston Celtics begin training camp in less than one month, so it’s time we break down the roster and provide an idea of what the team’s depth chart will look like heading into the 2018-19 Season.

Rather than classifying the players with the traditional 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 positional tags, we are taking a page out of coach Brad Stevens’ book by placing each athlete into one of the following three roles.

Ball handlers – Typically played by the 1.
Wings – A hybrid between the 2, 3 and 4.
Bigs – A hybrid between the 4 and the 5.

We begin this series with arguably the most important role on the court – the ball-handling position.

Boston has a number of guys who are capable of steering the offense, and it’ll often have multiple ball handlers on the court at once to keep opposing defenses honest.

Here are the players who will be controlling the pace for the Celtics this season:


The Ball Handlers

Kyrie Irving



Kyrie Irving gave Celtics Nation a taste of dominant scoring and world-class handles during his inaugural, injury-shorted season in Boston. Now, fully recovered from knee surgery and chomping at the bit to return to the court, the five-time All-Star could produce an even more impressive campaign the second time around.

Irving averaged a team-high 24.4 points per game last season, while shooting 49.1 percent from the field, 40.8 percent from 3-point range, and dishing out 5.1 assists per game. He accomplished all of that despite dealing with persistent knee soreness caused by tension wire that had been implanted during a previous surgery in 2015.

In late March, Irving opted to go under the knife and remove the wire, marking an end to his phenomenal campaign. The offseason was a period of healing for the 26-year-old point guard, but now he’s back at full health and is ready to run the Celtics’ offense once again.

The fact that Irving was able to produce such impressive numbers and dazzling plays last season despite facing continual irritation indicates that his second season in green could be even more spectacular, as long as he maintains his health.


Marcus Smart


Perfectly complementing Irving’s explosive offense is the tenacious defense provided by his back-up, Marcus Smart.

With a new contract in hand, Smart will continue with his role as Boston’s sixth man, being a glue guy off the bench who is capable of providing spot starts for Irving if needed.

Smart, too, was limited last season due to injury, having undergone hand surgery in mid-March. However, he was able to return to action midway through the first round of the Playoffs to help spark Boston on a tremendous postseason run.

Smart took on more of a playmaking role during his fourth season with the team, averaging 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and a career-high 4.8 assists per game over 54 regular season contests. As Boston’s longest-tenured player, he has also developed into one of the team’s primary vocal leaders, both on the court and in the locker room.


Terry Rozier


Last season’s injuries to both Irving and Smart opened the door for Terry Rozier. The eager, young point guard seized the opportunity by bursting into the national spotlight with authority.

After spending the first two and a half seasons of his career as a role player, Rozier finally earned his way into the starting lineup during a Jan. 31 matchup against the New York Knicks. He answered the call with his first career triple-double, officially marking the birth of “Scary Terry.”

Rozier lived up to his newfound moniker by averaging 15.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game over the last 29 contests of the regular season, seeing 16 starts during that span. His success magnified during the postseason, as he started all 19 of Boston’s playoff games and produced 16.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG and 5.7 APG.

Rozier’s role will likely diminish with the return of Irving, but his continuing development and contributions to last season’s playoff run will surely enable him to earn significant playing time this coming season. He and Smart together should make one heck of a second-unit backcourt tandem with their collective tenacity and fearlessness on both ends of the court.


Brad Wanamaker


Brad Wanamaker may be a rookie by NBA terms, but the 29-year-old combo guard still has more professional experience under his belt than half of the Celtics roster.

After playing four years of college ball at the University of Pittsburgh, Wanamaker made his way over to Italy in 2011 to start his pro career. Over the course of seven years, he bounced around from France to Germany to Turkey, and also had a short stint with the Austin Toros of the NBA G League (formerly the D-League) in 2012.

Wanamaker collected numerous accolades while he was overseas, including the 2015 German Basketball Bundesliga Finals MVP, the 2016 German BBL MVP and the Turkish Finals MVP. He was also a two-time Turkish League All-Star, a two-time German BBL All-Star and the 2015 German BBL All-Star Game MVP. On top of all of that, he won two German BBL championships alongside Celtics big man Daniel Theis, one Turkish League championship and one D-League championship.

Last season in the Euroleague, Wanamaker averaged 11.3 points, 3.8 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game. The most valuable trait he has to offer is his versatility on both ends of the court, which should allow him to fit into Stevens’ system seamlessly as either a ball handler or a wing.



bob



.

I think that position less basketball is here to stay however I also think that taking 5 positions and condensing them into 3 position missees the mark in some respects.

For example the author's first crack at identifying ball handlers neglects to include guys like Hayward and Tatum.

I think there is a tremendous amount of overlap here where several players can and will fill 2-3 positions. For example you could run the offensive using a wing like Hayward as the primary ball handler.

From my perspective I still see positions 1-5 but at the same time I look more at the skill level of a player and how many things they can do. For example the Rookie Tatum can handle the ball, play on the wing and also played PF (Big) position. Being a wing to me means that you can be in position on either wing (side of the court and into each corner) and score from that position and you can also take your man off the dribble and also score. They can also defend (a 3 and D guy)

Being a ball handler means you can dribble the ball well enough to bring it up the court, initiate the offense and get to the rim.

As players on this team become more proficient in multiple areas the team can effectively play position less basketball.

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Re: 2018-19 Roster Breakdown: The Ball Handlers

Post by bobheckler on Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:47 pm

Dboss,

Brad had said he sees 4 positions:  ball-handler, wing (2/3), swing (3/4) and big (4/5).  He has since said that he could even eliminate the swing position, and that would get him down to only 3 positions.


bob


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Re: 2018-19 Roster Breakdown: The Ball Handlers

Post by dboss on Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:54 pm

bobheckler wrote:Dboss,

Brad had said he sees 4 positions:  ball-handler, wing (2/3), swing (3/4) and big (4/5).  He has since said that he could even eliminate the swing position, and that would get him down to only 3 positions.


bob


.

I understand that.

My point here is that several players overlap in terms of their position. I think it is a good thing but the author has already lost some credibility for failing to include Hayward as a ball handler.
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Re: 2018-19 Roster Breakdown: The Ball Handlers

Post by bobheckler on Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:59 pm

dboss wrote:
bobheckler wrote:Dboss,

Brad had said he sees 4 positions:  ball-handler, wing (2/3), swing (3/4) and big (4/5).  He has since said that he could even eliminate the swing position, and that would get him down to only 3 positions.


bob


.

I understand that.

My point here is that several players overlap in terms of their position.  I think it is a good thing but the author has already lost some credibility for failing to include Hayward as a ball handler.  


Dboss,

Good point. That is an oversight. Hayward will be used like a point forward.


bob


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Re: 2018-19 Roster Breakdown: The Ball Handlers

Post by kdp59 on Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:41 am

Horford brings the ball up at times too...is he a point center?

Cool
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Re: 2018-19 Roster Breakdown: The Ball Handlers

Post by bobheckler on Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:50 am

kdp59 wrote:Horford brings the ball up at times too...is he a point center?

Cool

Kdp,

Point guards aren't point guards because they bring the ball uo, it's because they run the offs with the ball in their hands.


bob


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Re: 2018-19 Roster Breakdown: The Ball Handlers

Post by bobheckler on Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:51 am

So, I'm on a bus from Lilongwe to Blantyre this morning (for what it's worth I've taken intercity/inter-regional buses in a bunch of countries around the world and this one was the best.  New, clean, A/C, usb ports in the back of the seat in front of you.  They gave us a breakfast box and a water, all for $17.50) and I thought about this thread.  I wondered why Danny and Brad didn't being back Shane Larkin?  We know they liked him and his loss in the playoffs hurt.  So why not bring him back?

It occurred to me that maybe the reason Shane Larkin was replaced by Brian Wanamaker is because Brad wants to integrate Theis into the offense more, give him more playing time and thought that having a point guard in the floor that knows Theis (they won b2b German League Championships together) might facilitate that?

What do you think?  Do you think I was sitting on my brain too long in that bus?


bob


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Re: 2018-19 Roster Breakdown: The Ball Handlers

Post by sinus007 on Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:04 am

Bobh,
I think Africa started to affect you - somehow I doubt that your brains located in that part of your body that is usually used for sitting.
As for Wanamaker, I don't think that his cohesion with Theis is that important, even more - it's not important.
IMO, he, Wanamaker, is more of an insurance for KI-TR-MS. Also, he's a better fit for Brad's system of interchangeability.

AK
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Re: 2018-19 Roster Breakdown: The Ball Handlers

Post by bobheckler on Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:07 am

sinus007 wrote:Bobh,
I think Africa started to affect you - somehow I doubt that your brains located in that part of your body that is usually used for sitting.
As for Wanamaker, I don't think that his cohesion with Theis is that important, even more - it's not important.
IMO, he, Wanamaker, is more of an insurance for KI-TR-MS. Also, he's a better fit for Brad's system of interchangeability.

AK


Sinus,

I can provide a list of ex-girlfriends who would differ with you on that issue.


bob


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Re: 2018-19 Roster Breakdown: The Ball Handlers

Post by dboss on Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:14 am

Bob

The Celtics were looking for more size and strength off the bench at the Point. Larkin, as much as everyone appreciated his hustle, was a defensive liability when isolated. Wanamaker has a physical profile similar to Marcus Smart. He can handle the ball and create his own shot and he is physical on defense.

Roster spots 10-15 will compete for minutes. Theis is part of that segment of the roster. He could see his minutes go down. For example, Brad used him in his small ball rotation at the 5. If the rookie Williams is ready to contribute and that is a big if, Theis will not see a lot of minutes at center. Keeping Larkin or going with Wannamaker has no logical impact on Theis.

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Re: 2018-19 Roster Breakdown: The Ball Handlers

Post by cowens/oldschool on Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:48 am

I can see Williams and Theis playing together.
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Re: 2018-19 Roster Breakdown: The Ball Handlers

Post by bobheckler on Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:15 pm

cowens/oldschool wrote:I can see Williams and Theis playing together.


That would be a very defensively solid baseline. Put them out there with 3 scorers like Kyrie, Hayward/Tatum, Brown and could be very nice indeed.


bob


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Re: 2018-19 Roster Breakdown: The Ball Handlers

Post by worcester on Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:31 am

"I can see Williams and Theis playing together."
...In the NBA Finals
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Re: 2018-19 Roster Breakdown: The Ball Handlers

Post by sinus007 on Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:59 am

worcester wrote:"I can see Williams and Theis playing together."
...In the NBA Finals

Hi,
The only time I can see those two playing together is a blowout. I doubt that there will be blowouts in the finals, but not impossible.
The other possibility with much lower probability is that they're playing on the level of AD, KAT, et al.
The third possibility, that I'm scared of, is all our other bigs are injured.
Is it October 16 yet...

AK
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Re: 2018-19 Roster Breakdown: The Ball Handlers

Post by worcester on Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:13 am

Use your imagination . Positive imaging. When we are up 130 to 97 they will be on the court squashing the GSW.
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