Celtics Player Preview: Rajon Rondo

What can you say about Rajon Rondo? He is the best player on our team. He is our young star. He is the leader of a team that has an average age older than he is. He is arguably the best pure point guard in the league (He and Chris Paul). Sure, Rose, Westbrook, and Williams are all great players, but no one sets up their team as well as Rondo in my opinion. And he is fun to watch!

Brandon Bass | Courtney Lee | Paul Pierce | Kevin Garnett | Rajon Rondo

ESPN recently ranked Rondo as the 12th best player in the league. He is the top ranked Celtic.

Last season, Rondo proved he could be consistent by averaging 11.9 PPG and 11.7 RPG in only his 6th year in the league.  Without him consistently getting better, the Celtics wouldn’t be the team that they are today. He can score off the dribble, make unbelievable passes that make you rewind the DVR, and is a triple-double threat day in and day out.

When he keeps his head clear, he can control the tempo of the game more than anyone I have ever seen on the roster. If the team needs to run, he pushes them, if they need to slow it down, he will walk up the floor, looking for any way to expose the defense. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be an all-star, and my guess is a starter this season, and potentially in the top 5 for MVP voting at the end of the season if the Celtics are where I think they will be (knock on wood).

Rondo made everyone on the team fly out to Cali last week in order to get to work right away. He is becoming a true leader. This guy is our future, and you can expect him to do big things again this season. Below are his stats since we drafted him in 2006:

SEASON TEAM GP GS MIN FG% 3P% FT% OR DR REB AST BLK STL PTS
’06-’07 BOS 78 25 23.5 0.418 0.207 0.647 1 2.8 3.7 3.8 0.1 1.6 6.4
’07-’08 BOS 77 77 29.9 0.492 0.263 0.611 1 3.2 4.2 5.1 0.2 1.7 10.6
’08-’09 BOS 80 80 33 0.505 0.313 0.642 1.3 4 5.3 8.2 0.1 1.9 11.9
’09-’10 BOS 81 81 36.6 0.508 0.213 0.621 1.2 3.2 4.4 9.8 0.1 2.3 13.7
’10-’11 BOS 68 68 37.2 0.475 0.233 0.568 1.3 3.1 4.4 11.2 0.2 2.3 10.6
’11-’12 BOS 53 53 36.9 0.448 0.238 0.597 1.2 3.7 4.9 11.7 0.1 1.8 11.9
Advertisements

Celtics Player Preview: Kevin Garnett

The next player to take a look at is Kevin Garnett. KG has been a key piece to the Celtics since he came over in 2007. He is now 36 years old but showed in last year’s playoffs that he can still play (19.2 PPG, 10.3 RPG in 20 games).

Brandon Bass | Courtney Lee | Paul Pierce | Kevin Garnett |Although he may have lost a step or two in the past few years, the big ticket can still change the game with his unstoppable mid-range jump shot and defense. I’m aware his defense hasn’t been as great, but he is still one of the smartest guys on the court. The only problem I have had with KG is his lack of rebounding, other than in the playoffs. He averages just over 8 per game, but when he was in his prime in Minnesota, he averaged over 13. Rebounding has been a big reason why we have been losing over the past few years, especially on the offensive glass.  I gotta admit though, it was nice having him start all 60 games during the regular season.
Garnett was recently ranked #21 on ESPN.com for top NBA players. He was 22 last year.

Doc has said that KG will be the starting Center so that Brandon Bass can play the Power Forward position. He said KG will do whatever it takes to win, even though some have said he dislikes that position. I’m sure he won’t mind as long as he can get another ring.

KG’s stats since he joined the Green and White are below:

SEASON TEAM GP GS MIN FG% FT% OR DR REB AST BLK STL PTS
’07-’08 BOS 71 71 32.8 0.539 0.801 1.9 7.3 9.2 3.4 1.3 1.4 18.8
’08-’09 BOS 57 57 31.1 0.531 0.841 1.4 7.1 8.5 2.5 1.2 1.1 15.8
’09-’10 BOS 69 69 29.9 0.521 0.837 1.1 6.2 7.3 2.7 0.8 1 14.3
’10-’11 BOS 71 71 31.3 0.528 0.862 1.2 7.7 8.9 2.4 0.8 1.3 14.9
’11-’12 BOS 60 60 31.1 0.503 0.857 1.1 7.1 8.2 2.9 1 0.9 15.8
SEASON TEAM GP GS MIN FG% FT% OR DR REB AST BLK STL PTS
’06-’07 MIN 76 76 39.4 0.476 0.835 2.4 10.4 12.8 4.1 1.7 1.2 22.4
’07-’08 BOS 71 71 32.8 0.539 0.801 1.9 7.3 9.2 3.4 1.3 1.4 18.8
’08-’09 BOS 57 57 31.1 0.531 0.841 1.4 7.1 8.5 2.5 1.2 1.1 15.8
’09-’10 BOS 69 69 29.9 0.521 0.837 1.1 6.2 7.3 2.7 0.8 1 14.3
’10-’11 BOS 71 71 31.3 0.528 0.862 1.2 7.7 8.9 2.4 0.8 1.3 14.9
’11-’12 BOS 60 60 31.1 0.503 0.857 1.1 7.1 8.2 2.9 1 0.9 15.8

Replacements Have Been Replaced

By now you’re probably well aware that the real NFL officials are back in business starting tonight and the replacement refs are heading back to their couches. Order has been restored to the NFL. I gotta say though, I think I might miss it. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer the regular refs over these jabronies any day, especially as it affected the Pats. But what I will miss is the excitement. I mean how could you not? Every play, a chance to hop on the bandwagon and rip the refs a new one. Of course they were a big joke, but that was the fun of it. With the Pats and my fantasy players out of the picture, I’ve never been more entertained watching games that didn’t matter to me in my life. Every night another chance to join the masses in laughing, yelling, and making fun of a bunch of average Joe’s. Now the regular refs are back and for this week everyone will be tuned in to see if they can live up to the hype. After that, it’s back to normal. They’ll still get ripped apart by fans, players, and coaches. So it begs the question, would you rather have seen the replacement refs last a little longer, or are you glad Goodell came to his senses when he did?

PS. Keep in mind the Pats are up against the Bills Sunday. I don’t think I would have minded one more week of the circus.

 

Celtics Player Preview: Paul Pierce

Next up for our player preview is Paul Pierce.

Brandon Bass | Courtney Lee | Paul Pierce

Our captain has been around for 14 years, and stuck with the team even when we sucked. Nicknamed The Truth, Pierce is still one of the most clutch players in the league and one of the best players in Celtics history, and that’s saying a lot. Bleacher Report came out with the all-time best Celtics and made a starting line up. Pierce was chosen for this accolade along with Bill Russell (11 titles), Bob Cousy (6 titles), John Havlicek (8 titles), and Larry Bird (3 titles). Other than the fact that he only has 1 title, Pierce deserves to be up here, and is behind only Havlicek on the scoring list all time. He is still about 4,000 points behind him, though.

Pierce was recently ranked as the 29th best player in the NBA.  Pierce’s assists and points numbers have gone up last season compared to what they were in the past few seasons.

He is still one of the best players on this team and some say this may be his last season in green, but I’m willing to bet that we re-sign him, and he deserves it after all that he has done for the organization. He deserves, more than anyone, to retire as a Celtic, and Danny Ainge will most certainly feel the same way. His number 34 will be retired in no time. His stats are below, but i only put the last few seasons, since the former big 3 was formed and he was forced to take on a smaller role.

SEASON TEAM GP GS MIN FG% 3P% FT% OR DR REB AST BLK STL PTS
’07-’08 BOS 80 80 35.9 0.464 0.392 0.843 0.7 4.5 5.2 4.5 0.5 1.3 19.6
’08-’09 BOS 81 81 37.5 0.457 0.391 0.83 0.7 5 5.7 3.6 0.3 1 20.5
’09-’10 BOS 71 71 34 0.472 0.414 0.852 0.6 3.8 4.3 3.1 0.4 1.2 18.3
’10-’11 BOS 80 80 34.7 0.497 0.374 0.86 0.4 5 5.4 3.3 0.6 1 18.9
’11-’12 BOS 61 61 34 0.443 0.366 0.852 0.6 4.6 5.2 4.5 0.4 1.1 19.4

Celtics Player Preview: Courtney Lee

Next up on the list of starters is Courtney Lee. Although he is a great player, it is expected that when Avery Bradley comes back in late December-early January (hopefully), he will take back his role that he beat Ray Allen out for last season. But you can still expect a lot of minutes off the bench for Lee.

Brandon Bass | Courtney Lee

Courtney was recently ranked as the #117 best player in the league (Bradley was 106). Lee is best known for his tenacious defense which should make the duo of him and Rondo tough to beat. He will be a good match up on Dwayne Wade since we will not have Avery to shut him down like he did last season.

At the bottom I have listed his stats for his 4 years in the NBA since he left Western Kentucky. He averages exactly 10 PPG in his career and can score off the dribble. He needs a little bit of practice distributing the ball, but that should be easy considering he is now on a great looking team, not the Houston Rockets. I think he will score in the double digits again this season and will be a go-to defender in big games. Look for him to be a big factor on this team now that Ray Allen is gone.

SEASON TEAM GP GS MIN 3P% FT% OR DR REB AST BLK STL PTS
’08-’09 ORL 77 42 25.2 0.404 0.83 0.2 2.1 2.3 1.2 0.2 1 8.4
’09-’10 NJ 71 66 33.5 0.338 0.869 0.9 2.7 3.5 1.7 0.3 1.3 12.5
’10-’11 HOU 81 1 21.3 0.408 0.792 0.6 2 2.6 1.2 0.2 0.7 8.3
’11-’12 HOU 58 26 30.3 0.401 0.826 0.5 2.3 2.7 1.5 0.4 1.2 11.4

Celtics Player Preview: Brandon Bass

Since the Celtics begin camp on Friday, I thought we’d take a look at each of the projected starters that should be suiting up for the Green and White this season. First, we will start with the Power Forward position: Brandon Bass.

Brandon Bass had a breakthrough season for the Celtics in 2011. Danny Ainge went outside the box and traded Glen Davis. Although many people barely heard of Bass prior to the trade with Orlando, he quickly made a name for himself on the Celts. I think it was the most underrated move we made last season.

John Hollinger of ESPN has predicted that he will score 15.7 PPG and 7.8 RPG. He was recently ranked as the 97th best player in the NBA.

Below are Bass’ stats for his 7 seasons in the NBA. Brandon averaged the most points, rebounds, assist, steals, blocks, and minutes played of his career.

SEASON TEAM GP GS MIN FT% OR DR REB AST BLK STL PTS
’05-’06 NO 29 1 9.2 0.632 0.6 1.7 2.3 0.1 0.2 0.1 2.3
’06-’07 NO 21 3 7.7 0.75 0.6 1.4 2 0.1 0.1 0.1 2
’07-’08 DAL 79 1 19.7 0.822 1.5 2.9 4.4 0.7 0.6 0.3 8.3
’08-’09 DAL 81 0 19.4 0.867 1.6 2.9 4.5 0.5 0.7 0.3 8.5
’09-’10 ORL 50 3 13 0.825 1.1 1.5 2.6 0.4 0.5 0.2 5.8
’10-’11 ORL 76 51 26.1 0.815 1.8 3.8 5.6 0.8 0.7 0.4 11.2
’11-’12 BOS 59 39 31.7 0.81 1.6 4.6 6.2 0.9 0.9 0.6 12.5

Are the Celts Better Than 2008?

Although it is impossible to predict the NBA season already, I think it is safe to say that the team that Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers assembled this summer could be the best one that we have seen in at least 4 years, maybe even longer. Sure, we lost the best shooter the game has ever seen and KG and Pierce are that much older, but we brought in the perfect kind of players to fit into our system. Pierce averaged roughly the same PPG last season (19.4) as the year we won it in 2008 (19.6). Garnett’s numbers are significantly different and he is not feared by every player breaking through the lane anymore, but he is still a leader on this veteran team.

In 2008, Leon Powe  and James Posey were arguably our best bench players, both averaging about 7.5 PPG. I am willing to bet that Jeff Green, Jason Terry and Courtney Lee will all average above 10, or close to it. And with their amount of energy, experience, and Lee’s outstanding defense, they will be one of the most feared guard groups in the league, especially once Bradley is back.

There is one other major difference between the then-and-now teams, and that is Rajon Rondo. He averaged 10.6 PPG, 5.1 APG, and 4.2 RPG in the 07-08 Season.  Last year, he averaged 11.9 PPG, 11.7 APG, and 4.8 RPG. He has also developed into one of the best point guards in the league and a leader on a team that is mostly older than he.

Chris Wilcox is a solid bench player who was having a great season before getting injured. Jared Sullinger will play right away, and Brandon Bass will pick up right where he left off last season (12.5 PPG, 6.2 RPG). Not to mention Christmas, Joseph, Fab, Collins, and Smith who have all had great summer sessions and are prepared to fight for the last few spots. Plus we signed Darko Milicic who is 7’1. For those of you who don’t know him, he was selected #2 in the 2003 draft behind LeBron but ahead of Melo, Bosh, and Wade. Talk about a great pick up by the Pistons…

Although we have clearly re-fueled our roster, other teams have also gotten better. The Heat are obviously the team to beat, the Lakers had a huge summer trading for Howard and picking up Nash, and the Thunder are one year more experienced. The Spurs are always good and our division just got tougher with the new Brooklyn Nets. For anyone who thinks the Knicks are finally going to be good are mistaken. It should be an interesting season, as long as we can stay healthy for a change.

Replacement Refs Fail Video

The NFL can’t seriously go another week with these guys. Not to mention I don’t think these refs can bare another week of getting shredded by every single football fan in America. There’s got to be a point where they just quit themselves. I mean it’s just an all around embarrassment. It’s your move Roger.

Patriots Work Out 6 Players Monday

Reported first by Tom Curran of Comcast Sports Net, the Patriots worked out six players on Monday. All of the players maintain practice squad eligibility.

Name

Position

Previous Team

College

Key Stat

Chandler Fenner

DB

Chiefs

Holy Cross

1st Team All Patriot League, 158 career tackles

Jerry Franklin

LB

Broncos

Arkansas

4 Year starter, 370 career tackles

Buddy Jackson

DB

Colts

Pittsburgh

4.32 40 Yard Dash

Ricardo Lockette

WR

Seahawks

Fort Valley St

2 Catches, 105 yds., 1 TD

Tyler Nielsen

LB

Vikings

Iowa

Honorable Mention Big Ten

J.K. Schaffer

LB

Bucs

Cincinnati

114 Tackles last year, ST Stud

From what it looks like the Patriots are trying to add speed. Fenner, Franklin, Jackson, and Lockette are all guys whose entire careers have been based on them just being faster than anyone else. Fenner was the former football and track star at Holy Cross and would be a great hometown story. Lockette is the only guy with any real NFL action catching two passes, one for 44 and one for 61 and a score. Nielsen and Schaffer offer both special teams play and run stopping ability. 

Most likely none of these players will see the field for the Patriots, but its just a little snapshot into Belicheck’s head for what he feels that the Patriots are missing.