Celtics In Need Of a Change

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Celtics In Need Of a Change

Post by 112288 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:43 am

AFTER READING THIS ........THIS SPELLS TROUBLE

BOSTON.COM

By Gary Washburn
Globe Staff

The Celtics’ offseason overhaul has resulted in more problems than solutions as they enter 2013 a sub-.500 team, a defensive laughingstock, and a shell of their former selves.

Their plight isn’t as hopeless as Willie Mays trying to chase fly balls at the end of his career, Frank Sinatra singing from a teleprompter, or Muhammad Ali unable to avoid Larry Holmes’s jab, but the Celtics may be headed in that direction.

Perhaps losses to the Clippers, who have won 17 straight games, and the Warriors, who are off to their best start in 30 years, were understandable. But when the Kings are taking it easy on the Celtics by clearing their bench in the final minutes, Boston’s ability to compete for a title comes into serious question.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge tinkered with the roster in the offseason, and none of his moves have worked out.

It starts with Courtney Lee, who was supposed to replace Ray Allen as an energetic defender who could consistently hit the open 3-pointer and be ready for a starting role. He has proved to be energetic on defense but not always effective. He has not proven capable of hitting open shots, and has looked unprepared to be a starting shooting guard.

Lee’s inability to fill that role forced coach Doc Rivers to use Jason Terry in the starting lineup. And while Terry is capable of scoring, he also has submitted some poor shooting performances. He has had games of 1 for 15, 6 for 19, 3 for 10, 1 for 12, and 5 for 17, and that’s just in December.

It’s reached a point where Avery Bradley’s return is being considered a potential season-saver, and that’s far too much pressure to put on a 22-year-old. The defense will improve when Bradley returns, but his teammates have to be better.

One thing that is apparent after the last three games: The Celtics don’t yet trust each other. That’s not to say that Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo don’t trust each other; they do. They don’t trust some of the newcomers, and Garnett made that clear after Sunday’s 118-96 loss in Sacramento.

The Celtics are not on the same page. Some players continue to laugh and joke after losses, while others are furious. Some players expect the improvement will come and don’t appear worried about losses piling up, while others are very concerned.

Pierce said he believes the Celtics will come to life and make another deep playoff run. And it’s understandable that he feels that way. Last year’s team was 15-17 before winning 24 of its final 34 games and advancing to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Garnett is not convinced, which speaks to his concern, and uncertainty in new teammates.

“Paul said he was certain [about a run], I never said that,” Garnett said. “I never said I was certain. That’s what I’m telling you.”

When asked if the Celtics are competing as intensely as in the past, Garnett said, “I’m not going to get into all that. The only person I can control is myself, and everybody has got to look at themselves in the mirror. I’ve got to do better. I’ve got to find some way to make myself [better] and improve. That’s how I’ve got to look at it.”

If Garnett won’t say his teammates are giving 100 percent effort, that likely means he isn’t sure. And he said after Saturday’s loss to the Warriors that the next few weeks will show who is willing to sacrifice for the team’s success. He repeated that Sunday.

“These are dog days,” he said. “This is when you really see who’s with you right now. Ain’t nobody cheering, ain’t no lights on us right now. I love this right here because this is where all the plastic people melt right here. Like I said, look at themselves in the mirror, including myself, and try to figure out what I can do better to help this team.”

There has been little trust established between the old guard and new guard. And the old guard isn’t good enough anymore to carry the younger guys to prosperity. Players such as Lee, Brandon Bass, and Jeff Green have to respond to this adversity because they were depended on to do more than ride the wave of being a Celtic.

There is growing uncertainty as to whether these Celtics are capable of greatness. Rivers is dumbfounded by his team’s inconsistency, to the point where he is lauding starting center Jason Collins, who is averaging more fouls per game (3.4) than points and rebounds combined (3.3).

It seems that after each loss, many players have an “Oh, well, on to the next one” mentality. That indifference could divide the locker room and force Ainge to make a major move. Continued...

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Re: Celtics In Need Of a Change

Post by hawksnestbeach on Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:15 pm

That west coast grip, as others have noted, put most fans on the same page: we can't keep on the way we are. Some, including me, are ready for the Melo plunge. Others, including me, are ready for the New Center trade. Still others, including me, wouldn't mind if we slipped into rebuilding mode; anything's better than slow death.
Basically, I don't think the course we're on will lead to a spring miracle this year. AB may give us a jolt,, but minus Big Help in the middle, we're going to wear down KG, PP and RR trying to win close games. Nothing succeeds like success, so we may be able to win one, build off it, win another, but against the better teams, IMHO, we need an infusion of height and might ASAP.
As for attitude, KG is the man, but ultimately Doc has to translate that message so everyone understands: Play your tail off, or sit.

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Re: Celtics In Need Of a Change

Post by 112288 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:29 pm

Melo is day to day and is out with a concussion........I guess he's been hanging with Hillary Clinton!

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Re: Celtics In Need Of a Change

Post by hawksnestbeach on Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:49 pm

one more thought...I was dwelling on our roster and how we're loaded at the 4, for example, but without a clear pecking order. We have Wilcox Sully, Bass, Green, and KG, when he can be spared from center. The depth seems nice for the team, but how is it from say, Bass's perspective? He's a good soldier, pretty good skill set, but Sully's gaining, Wicox is bigger, Green is faster and KG is fiercer. Bass goes out there knowing he is easily replaceable and that affects his confidence and deflates his game. I know it's good to have replaceable parts when the injury bug bites, but it's got to be tough to play when you know you're only marginally better than the guy behind you, and tough to ride the pine when you know you're just as good as the guy who beat you out.
I think Darko may have decided to bolt when he was confronted with sitting on a center-less team and had no confidence his number would be called. Even though we were thinner at center, we had a similar situation of three potential starters, but IMHO, no consensus center.
Essentially, DA has given Doc a very tough team to coach, almost a Rubik cube, but I still think the green dots could line up with the addition of a good Big.

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Re: Celtics In Need Of a Change

Post by 112288 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:09 pm

Hawk,

I agree if Bass was playing for a contract, but he was given a 3 year deal at
$6M +. He is undersized at power forward at 6'8" and he has less creative on the offensive side of the ball then Green, Wilcox or KG.

I think Green should be playing small forward which would give him more room for creativity and more height over the average small forward.

Also need a sniper at 2 guard. Terry and Lee are not dependable so far to hit the big shot.

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Re: Celtics In Need Of a Change

Post by hawksnestbeach on Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:13 pm

112288,
Good points. I like Green at sf, too. Hawk

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Re: Celtics In Need Of a Change

Post by 112288 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:48 pm

Here is another area of CONCERN!

WE HAVE TO KEEP KG HAPPY!

At $12M per he does not need the money. If he is busting his butt for not, he'll retire and be with his family rather then hoof it around for another 2 years. That is why getting a major big and some supporting players other then the current cast make sense. Pierce should come off the bench as far as I am concerned. So Danny and ownership go over the cap for this year, so what. Sign the guys needed and you'll have another 3 year run at the title. Remember Pierce comes off his contract at $16M and will probably command $9-10 M next year. If he wants more.....say it was nice knowing you....let's set a date to raise your jersey to the rafters!

112288

I would begin by paying close attention in what Kg says moving forward. Read in between the lines and you'll find where KG's inner thoughts lie.

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Re: Celtics In Need Of a Change

Post by 112288 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:44 pm

If I were in Danny's position I would:

1) Sign Kenyan Martin (PF) to a deal for the rest of the season;
2) Package Bass with a draft pick or one of our young players (Joseph) and bring in another sniper;
3) Perhaps do a small trade and bring in a point guard to give Rondo a rest.
4) Hey how about bringing Delonte West back. Great ball pressure, can play some point guard, he can shoot, and you can save a player for a bigger trade package.
5) GET A "BIG" CENTER.

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Re: Celtics In Need Of a Change

Post by RosalieTCeltics on Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:03 pm

Is Delonte still with Dallas or is he floating around. Supposedly, the Lakers were interested in him when Nash got hurt, but nothing came of it.

The Celtics have gone around the block with Delonte a couple of times, know what he can do and, even when he was available, didn't try to get him back.
Burned once too often? They would have a a bench heavy with guards, Rondo, Bradley, Lee, JET, and then Delonte? I see where you are going, but I think one would have to go.

I really think they need to set Green free and put him back at the 3 spot.
Lately, especially on this road trip, Pierce has showed his age. There were three to four shots in a row that didn't even make it to the rim the other night. No legs???? Give him a break, he needs it. 40 point game wore him out!!!! I just don't understand it, one week he is shooting lights out, the next week he is looking like he would like a vacation.

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Re: Celtics In Need Of a Change

Post by sinus007 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:30 pm

Hi,
IMHO, there's only one problem, roster-wise, with Celtics - they need solid PF or C.
The current slump is temporary, they will find a way to get out of it.

AK

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Re: Celtics In Need Of a Change

Post by hawksnestbeach on Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:16 pm

Rosalie, Happy New Year! Here's a little update on a different tack taken by Popovich, courtesy of the New York Times. Hawk
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/01/sports/basketball/controversial-rest-day-has-not-hurt-spurs.html?ref=basketball

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Re: Celtics In Need Of a Change

Post by tardust on Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:53 am

112288 wrote:If I were in Danny's position I would:

1) Sign Kenyan Martin (PF) to a deal for the rest of the season;
2) Package Bass with a draft pick or one of our young players (Joseph) and bring in another sniper;
3) Perhaps do a small trade and bring in a point guard to give Rondo a rest.
4) Hey how about bringing Delonte West back. Great ball pressure, can play some point guard, he can shoot, and you can save a player for a bigger trade package.
5) GET A "BIG" CENTER.

112288

Delonte also knows the system so there would be a small learning curve. Martin I agree with 100%. Dalembert is another guy that might be gotten cheap. He isn't playing at all for the Bucks. He does rebound a little and has been know to block a shot. (can't believe I want Dalembert)

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Re: Celtics In Need Of a Change

Post by sam on Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:15 pm

Hawk,

Thanks for bringing up Dalembert, who's only age 31. He has played 16 games this year. (I don't know whether he was injuried or DNP in the others.) But, when he has played, he has averaged a respectable 17.3 minutes on the floor. His best stat is that he leads the league in 3-point shooting percentage (having his his only three-point attempt this season—LOL). But a 60% field goal shooting is not to be sneezed at. Neither are his 1.8 offensive boards and 3.2 defensive boards, and 6.1 points in those 17.3 mpg. The big problem with him is that his salary for this season is $6,698,565, which is Bass or Terry or Lee type money. Would Dalembert be worth trading away one of these three? Maybe or maybe not, but he's definitely someone to consider.

For the life of me, I can't see the appeal of Kenyon Martin. He would be the team's sixth PF (KG, Bass, Sullinger, Green, Wilcox (assuming they'd release Varnado in order to sign Martin). It could be argued that, with Martin on board, it would be easier to trade away Bass. But Martin hasn't played one second of NBA ball this season. Who knows what kind of shape he's in? Instead of saying, "See me in April," I might be saying, "See me in July." And his injury-prone history would have to be a major concern, especially in maintaining continuity on the team. During his past three seasons, he has played in only 64% of the possible games. I also question why not one of the 30 teams has acquired him this season; to me, that means no one has bitten over 60 months of opportunity.

I agree that I'd to take a shot at Delonte West. I'm not one who feels the only Celtics problem is at the center position. The inconsistent chemistry is at least as problematic; and a point guard is needed to improve chemistry.

Rondo is the only team member who can run a team at point. Guys like Lee or Terry or the Blur are just placeholders at the position. They need someone who can be a catalyst to be on the floor when Rondo's not. Even 11 minutes a game without Rondo on the floor can result in sufficient lack of chemistry to chalk up another loss.

I believe Delonte is still in limbo, after he tweeted his resume to all or many of the teams in the league in late October. Maybe he's moving furniture again, but I believe the Celtics could pay him more.

I'm still hoping they can pull off a two-for-one trade (I'd prefer Bass and Terry) for either Varejao or Gortat, with the empty slot belng used to sign Delonte.

According to Gealgm Trade Checker, a trade of Bass for Cousins (straight up) works financially, but I can't see Golden State going for that (and taking on $3,880,800 additional salary in the bargain) even if the Celts offered a first rounder as well.

Sam

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Re: Celtics In Need Of a Change

Post by RosalieTCeltics on Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:17 pm

Well, Pop is right. Sometimes, when relying on older superstars, they just need a break. I think Pierce is one of those guys. Bradley is coming back, sit Pierce, let Green take his position, and see if he can play a decent amount of minutes and help the team out.

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