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10 Things on the State of the Celtics
1) Why Didn't You Lie To Me?!?
Danny Ainge told the truth and in doing so made many people mad. He
said he wasn't going to make any deals. He said it would be a
quiet draft night. He said it would be pretty boring for Celtic
fans… …and it was. Danny, you can't just go around telling people
the truth! Think of the precedent you're setting!
2) Rondo Stays
It's a fantastic thing too. Rajon Rondo is 23 years old and a great
defender. He rebounds, passes and runs the floor far better than most
at his position. He has significantly improved every year and he'll
improve again this coming season too. He's a match up nightmare for
the vast majority of teams.
Years ahead when the big three are gone the Celtics can build a true
running team around Rajon. I am SO glad he's staying.
3) No Press Conference
In a normal year Lester Hudson would have taken part in a
day-after-the-draft press conference in Boston. Of course it wouldn't
really have been HIS press conference; it would have been the first
round draft pick's press conference. 58th selection Lester would have
stood next to a more prominent rookie, basking in the shared glow. He
would have held up a green jersey and put on a green cap, and politely
answered questions from fine sportswriters like Marc Spears and Steve
4) Can Lester Make The Team?
…not so this year. Lester Hudson already has a steep enough climb to
make the roster, let alone the rotation. #58's generally last about as
long as soap bubbles. This guy could be different though. Mr. Hudson
is tough, can create his own shot, and can score like crazy. He's got
long arms too.
He's also older; a year and a half older than Rondo. His age might
have hurt his draft position but it helps his chance to make the team.
The Celtics are looking for guys who can contribute now, and Lester
being physically mature has that advantage.
Also summer league favors guards- particularly guards who have the
ball in their hands a lot- and even more particularly guards who have
the ball in their hands a lot and can create their own shot. So Lester
Hudson will get his opportunity. Normally we would all strongly bet
against a 58th pick wearing a pro jersey in November. With this guy
we'll wait and see.
5) Great Starting Five
In case anyone forgot, the Celtics have the best starting five in the
universe. It's the bench that needs help…
6) Free Agents
…There are two urgent needs: A big man who can come in and be rock
solid and give some rest to Perkins and Garnett, and a wing who can
spell Paul Pierce and function on both ends.
A while back Wyc spoke about a mysterious 6 foot 8 inch somebody they
had their collective eyes on. Who could that be? Shawn Marion? Trevor
Ariza? Both are 6'8".
With Garnett coming off knee surgery, Leon out for at least half the
year and maybe longer, Perkins having that sensitive shoulder, and Big
Baby unsigned, the Celtics need BIG help. I won't even hazard a guess
who they'll be going after, that is aside from Rasheed Wallace and
Antonio McDyess. I also won't guess that maybe they'll look at Gortat
and Zaza and Birdman.
9) One Other Note On The Draft
You know it's a terrible draft when David Stern is in no danger of
neck strain. I think he only had to crane his neck twice all night:
once for Grizzly Hasheem Thabeet, and once for Knickerbocker Jordan
Hill. I mean half the evening Mr. Stern was practically looking at
first rounders straight in the eye. Oh man, that is bad. When a
significant portion of first rounders are barely taller than the
diminutive commish, it's a weak class. Very weak.
10) Who's Really Improved?
There were six teams with a legitimate shot at the title this past
year- three in each conference: LA, San Antonio and Denver in the
West; Boston, Orlando and Cleveland in the East. The Spurs and Celtics
got derailed by injuries. Orlando exploited Cleveland's weak spot
before unleashing their collective inner poodle. Denver wasn't quite
Of those six teams who has made the best additions so far?
Cleveland added Shaq.
Orlando added Vince Carter and gets Jameer Nelson back, while losing
Courtney Lee and probably Hedo Turkoglu.
Denver added a rookie point guard.
LA hasn't done anything yet and has to try to resign Ariza and Odom.
San Antonio has so far gained more than any of those teams: In
addition to their good draft, they've added Richard Jefferson and will
get Manu Ginobili back.
But the team that's added the most to their playoff roster: The Boston
Celtics. They've added Kevin Garnett, the best power forward in the
…all the Celtics need now is a fortified bench…