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Your Morning Dump… Where I’m prematurely previewing the season

RedsArmyAdmin September 13, 2010 Uncategorized 10 Comments

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Every year, Jeff Clark at Celtics Blog organizes team previews by bloggers from every team.  It's a fun way to get through the September doldrums.  So here's my crack at the Celtics preview.  We'll be linking to everyone's previews when Jeff does all the organizing.

Team Name: Boston Celtics
Last Year’s Record: 50-32
Key Losses: BRIAN SCALABRINE!!
Key Additions: Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal, Von Wafer. Delonte West

1. What Significant Moves were made during the off-season?

Oh, you know… your run of the mill addition of one of the best centers of all time and a former multiple All-Star.

I know all the fuss has been made about Miami’s additions, and deservedly so.  But the fact is Boston has had a fantastic offseason that not only fills holes in their roster, it does so in a way that jives with their long-term vision of building around Rajon Rondo.  Paul Pierce is the only other current player on the Celtics roster under contract in the 2012/13 season.

So the additions of the O’Neal twins, Von Wafer and Delonte West are not only significant to the this year’s team because they fill much needed roles.  They are significant in that they are all low-cost, low-risk, low-duration contracts that are not only easily jettisoned should they not pan out… they are easily jettisoned for younger players when the time comes to get younger and more athletic.  

Praise Danny for doing what he needed to do for this year’s team to make a run.  But also praise him for not handcuffing himself when it comes to building for the future.

2. What are the team’s biggest strengths?

Depth and Experience.  Doc can practically make NHL-like line changes with this group.  You need an advanced math degree to figure out all the possible different combinations Doc can use.  And while that has not necessarily always been a good problem for Doc to have… it’s a great one when your average age is “Methuselah.”  

Minutes can be doled out judiciously.  Guys can be given extended time off in the regular season without completely jeopardizing wins and losses because there are experienced, quality players behind them.  Doc can ride hot hands and if he needs to and if that equals big minutes one game, he can limit them the next game or give the player a day off (I’m looking at you, KG).  

This current Celtics roster has nearly 900 playoff games worth of experience.  There’s very little these guys haven’t seen or been through.  So no matter who is on the court… and no matter what the situation that finds them on the court… they’ve been there before.  You can trust most of these guys to get the job done.

3. What are the team’s biggest weaknesses?


The whole “Methuselah” thing.  

Yeah, they’re old.  Which means at some point, we’re all going to be figuring out how to deal with an injured player.  And yes, we’re lucky enough to have the depth to deal with it, but we’re already dealing with an injured center in Kendrick Perkins.  And O’Neals 1 and 2 are at higher risk of going down than the average center.  

And yes, KG is another year off his knee surgery… so we’re guessing (hoping?  praying?) that he’ll be stronger this year than last.  But he’s also another year closer to the sunset… which just makes it so hard to trust his joints.  

And of course our biggest fear should be at the small forward spot.  Paul Pierce has been durable… but durability only lasts so long.  And when your backup, sadly, is made of paper mache’, there’s a little big of a concern that we’ll have some patchwork filling-in to do at the 3.  Considering the number of really good 3’s out there… that’s not an appetizing proposition.

4. What are the goals for this team?

Can I copy and paste last year’s answer?  Championship or bust.  

Look… you don’t load a roster up with old stars with their tanks licking “E” if you’ll be happy with an OK playoff seed and maybe a series win or two.  This team is built to combat the strengths of our biggest playoff obstacles.  They have depth to counter the mega-front-loaded Miami Heat… they’ve got a bunch of big guys to run at Dwight Howard (and the guards to stick to their shooters), and that same size will battle with LA’s trees.

This team is built as best as it can be to make anothe run… maaaaaaybe 2… at a title.

5. Are we going to suffer through another blown-off regular season?

Maybe… but probably not.  

Yeah, I just asked myself a question that I can’t even answer.  But we all saw what happened last year.  Call it flipping a switch.  Call it whatever you want.  The regular season Celtics looked bored, disinterested and old.  The playoff Celtics looked intense and, dare I say, spry.  

Doc admitted that he had to limit minutes to make sure that these guys were ready for the playoffs.  If you don’t think that’s going to happen again, you’re nuts.

BUT…

If you just rolled your eyes at and said “here we go again…” you’re not paying attention to what I said earlier about the depth.

The fact is, the C’s have enough depth to counteract that the “limited minutes” thing.  Of course, that’s not to say we’re looking at a 65 win team here.  We’re probably looking at a 55 win team here.  Which is enough to pull the team out of the 4th seed.  And 5 more wins than last season…. even with the limiting of minutes… is pretty good.  When you think about it… having a second unit that can win games that you lost last year is great.  And when you have that added to a playoff team that actually gives a crap, it’s a pretty potent deal.

Predicted record:  55-27

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston: Erden Watch: Finals  |  WEEI:  Celtics countdown: No. 7, Perk's surgery and Sheed's departure  |  Herald:  Golden again: US captures world championship  |  ESPN: 'Toine shimmying to Charlotte, but for how long  

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  • http://twitteer.com Laker fan

    Whats up guys? I know we got the rivalry going on but its the offseason so I’ll save it for the court. No hate.
    Good luck this season, looking forward to the Lakers healthy taking on a healthy Celtics team. Lets make it another Finals rematch with both teams being 100% healthy to truly work out the champs.

  • thetitleisours

    One thing to watch is how healthy we can stay this season. Hopefully we have Perk back sooner rather than later, as I cannot see the O’Neals not having a few bruises and bumps on the way, leaving only Semih Erden for depth. KG could help but it would not be worth risking his health.

  • http://www.myspace.com/metaleminent Green_In_LA

    for sure we are stacked at the power forward/center positions – but I am really concerned about the wing and point guard slot. Delonte is very consistent and has proved that throughout his years in Cleveland, but he doesn’t have the size to guard the players ::cringe:; TA did. And the thought of having a shoot first PG like Nate running with guys who need to get their motor running makes me worry. I’m generally concerned about this following season.

  • Viva

    So Lakers do have some nice fans. Who would know…

  • JImmy

    and by your comment Viva, it’s apparent that Celtics don’t have nice fans.

  • Lee in Oregon

    Without Perk or Sheed to start the season, will they still lead the league in T’s?
    I expect Doc to play it close to last years plan, so while they may compete for one of the top seeds, it’s all about being healthy come playoff time.
    Semih Erden got a couple buckets yesterday, but his free-throw stroke was painful to watch.

  • thetitleisours

    I bet the that most if not all the guys here never trolled on other fans sights like the Laker’s fans who come here

  • pungadoo

    I actualy think the celtics will win more than 55 games this I think they will win at least anywhere from 55-60 games.Last year they could have won 55 games going half speed alot of games they lost this year where games in which alot of guys where injured.And I think they lost a few games at the end of the season that it look like they gave 25 percent of effort.

  • http://www.olc.com.tr Alex Hawk – Yurtdışı Eğitim

    If we can keep the motivation till the end of the season including play off games, a great year of entertainment is ahead of us. I am looking forward to the rookie Semih Erden, after his performance in FIBA World Basketball CS.

  • http://jtshoopsblog.blogspot.com jtshoopsblog

    Brain Scalibrine the biggest loss? ur kidding right? That guy was the ultimate waste of space