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Your Morning Dump…where Lee deserves one more chance

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 “I wasn’t playing like my normal self,” admitted Lee. “Roles changed a little bit, they wanted me to focus more on being a defensive player and spot-up shooter. I have a whole summer to get involved in doing a lot of spot-up shots, and working on my role, what it is going to be next year and whatnot. I’ll be prepared for that, a lot better than I was this year.”

ESPN Boston: Will Boston Celtics guard Courtney Lee be back with team next season? 

Now that the season is over, the inevitable blame game has already started. Who is to blame for the Celtics fall? In some corners, Courtney Lee has taken a bit of heat, and understandably so with his underwhelming performance this season. Lee came to Boston in a sign and trade deal that landed him a pretty little contract, but failed to live up to the expectations that he and Jason Terry would replace Ray Allen.

Lee had his chances this season, he started almost half the season due to the Avery Bradley injury, and got his fair share of time off the bench as well; and in that time he did nothing to impress his coach enough to give him any meaningful minutes down the stretch. The highlight of his season coming after the Rondo injury when he was paired with Avery Bradley and the duo had some flashes of tenacious defense. Other than that, Lee’s shot struggled with was supposed to be his calling card, and he failed to catch on to the help defense philosophy of the Celtics.

So why does he deserve another chance then? Well, is this not the same team that kept giving Marquis Daniels chance after chance to find his role? I look at this as a similar situation. A player who showed flashes with other organizations that just hasn’t performed here yet (funny enough, anyone notice how well Marquis played in Milwaukee this year? Figures). Lee admits his faults and understands where the problems were, so that is a step in the right direction, admitting the problem is the first step towards solving it.

Lee expresses that he is going to work the entire offseason on acclimating himself better to the system and becoming a more efficient player in that system. At least he is saying all the right things, sounds as if he has the potential to be the player we expected if he does what he says that he is going to do. That said, his leash has to be short. The Celtics cannot afford to wait for him to flip the light switch next season and figure it out, or risk that it will just never happen as was the case with Marquis. Give Lee another chance at the 6th Man role next season, but any extended period of slumping and that could be it for Lee in Boston and time to move on.

The Links:

NESN: Doc Rivers, Celtics Do ‘Need More’ Next Season, But Fans Might Not Like What It Takes To Get There | Blakely’s Celtics report card: Final Grades are in | CSNNE: Suns hire Celtics assistant GM McDonough  | Boston Herald: Ainge’s roster hinges on Pierce-Garnett decision

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  • CountClaud

    I think something management needs to look at this season is why every player that used to play great somewhere else somehow always underperforms when he comes to Boston and then (miraculously) goes back to overperforming once he leaves (Lee, Terry, Marquis, Tony Allen, Nate Robinson, etc.). This is no coincidence, and I personally think Doc’s at fault.

    • McSleazyNYC

      Well, as far as I know, Lee and Terry have not left the Celtics and over performed….just sayin.


      Marquis Daniels averaged 5.5 pts, 2.5 boards, 1.1 assists in 18 minutes this year. You consider that overperforming?

      Tony Allen has developed his offensive skills since he left the celts, something that sometimes doesnt happen for defensive specialists til their late 20’s / early 30’s (read: Bruce Bowen).

      With Nate, maybe you’re right he plays better under a disciplinaian in Thibs rather than a player’s coach in Doc, but I don’t think you can put that on Doc in the least bit….

      You really think anyone other than Doc could have done a better job with the team he had? if so, Who?

      • eddysamson

        Was Marquis the best statistical defender this year?

        • McSleazyNYC

          Of the group mentioned above?

          I’m not a huge fan of defensive stats anyway, don’t capture many players’ impact on the game. And definitely don’t deserve my valuable time during trading hours…

          • eddysamson

            No I meant out of the league in 2012-2013. I remember John or Chuck pointed out the only person that had Bradley beat was Marquis.

            I think its idiotic to not care about defensive stats. Some teams are built on defense, I think to them those players are more important. Take for instance Brandon Bass. He has exceptional 1 on 1 defense stats. If you think that didnt have an impact on Melo and the entire Knicks series, you might be a bit crazy. Melo just shot 32 pts with 50% shooting on the Pacers, against Bass he was at like 30-35% shooting and an abysmal 8% 3pt shooting.

          • McSleazyNYC

            So, what defines the “best statistical defender” individually?

            Totally agree with you that Bass did a great job on Melo, but don’t neccesarily need a % to tell me that. I get that much from watching him body up Melo either on the wing or on the low-mid post (time and time again). I’d rather form my opinion of a player’s defense based on watching him play. No stat for when Melo drives hard baseline and Bass moves his feet to cut him off and forces him to give up the rock or take a bad shot. Or maybe there is but I just don’t know how to analyze these defensive stats that are being thrown around more and more..

            I just think defense can’t be fully captured in stats, need to see how physical guys are, do they box out, do they help in the right situations, do they dive on the floor for a loose ball, etc.

          • eddysamson

            But thats the whole point. No one is watching Bucks games so when discussing Daniels’ defense all we have to go on is the defensive stats.

          • McSleazyNYC

            very true, well played sir.

            but what defensive stats do you use to determine the “best” defensive player??

          • eddysamson

            To be honest, I don’t know a whole lot about defensive stats, just things I’ve read around here. I am sure front office people will look at the whole picture and compare stats versus fouls generated and aim for the balance that fits their needs. Personally, I think avg opp fg% is pretty big though it doesnt take into account fouls so you could have a great stat there but get 5 shooting fouls in less than 10 minutes or something at the same time. If there was a stat that took both into account, probably that.

          • wilfreakinred

            but he was an offensive black hole with out rondo. and he often gets left behind when kg sits down in which thats the time we lose on boards and the opponent catches up. i dont agree on keeping bass just so he can defend lebron or melo. he played so bad in the regular season, he cant get a rebound, and he doesnt rotate well on the floor and often gets called for defensive 3

    • tvor03

      Terry, Marquis, and Tony Allen shouldn’t be on that list. Terry is at the end of his career and may just be playing old and not bad. Tony Allen was never a starter in Boston as he is in Memphis, so he’s getting a lot more playing time while having virtually no star power to compete with. Marquis’s stats for this season are nearly identical to his years in Boston, so I’m not sure what Nick’s talking about there. Last season, Daniels’ numbers were down slightly, but he also played less mpg. Nate is an anomaly, I have no idea about him. Jury is still out on Lee.

      What about Perkins who clearly played better in Boston? Brandon Bass? Eddie House?

      • Bledgreen

        Leon powe James posy perk . Look at how many key players from our fhsmpionship year are not even in the leauge or on the verge of being amnestied(perk)

    • Mike

      I think the reason players may stumble a bit when they play in boston is the fear of messing up around KG mostly and the history too. ITs always easier to play when your teammates tell you to shoot and give you confidence no matter what. In boston I’m not so sure thats the case. I saw a special on Mat Barnes yesterday and he said he was told he could only shoot in certain situations when he was on the lakers and this bothered his game. On the clippers he has free reign to be who he can be. If Lee is being told he can only shoot in certain situations it limits his ability because he doesnt want to be yelled at or benched(like he was for the playoffs for some reason) for doing somthing more than what he’s told.

    • Double P

      I literally came here to post the exact ssame thing.. I put this directly on Doc. He has a huge problem letting guys just play their game

      • dk

        Same here! I was going to say the same–it feels like the same old song and dance where guys come here and don’t perform b/c their too deferential or dont know their role or are being asked to do things they dont normally do

    • Stephanie McGovern

      The reason there better is its a lot easier to look good on a bad team that’s why Courtney lee was a mistake a above average player on a bad team is usually just average or below on a team where every opponent is trying to give it there all on a nightly basis.

  • Stephanie McGovern

    Didnt like this move from the start there’s a reason he can’t stay with a team Danny def over paid him I’d rather twill get his min he’s cheaper and if he keeps working will be better. But we’re def stuck with him no one will take that contract.

  • Chief_00

    I think he was a good pickup by us, give him another off season to adjust and he should be good, also playing with rondo for a whole season should help his game.
    And while he underperformed this season I prefer him over Crawford any day.

  • Step

    I think it’s a mixture of player and coaching staff. They want him to be a spot up shooter when that wasn’t his game. When he was with the Rockets he hit the corner 3’s ,but was also getting his points in transition. Also, his role was never set in stone. I think with a clearer role he knows what he needs to work on.

  • pierce Hart

    Lee and terry should be moved on if we are benching Pierce we’ll have plenty of Bench Scoring, Barbosa and T Williams are enough in the back court I guess try and trade the two guys off for front court help

    • The celtics trade Barbosa midway through the season…did you not notice?!

      • pierce Hart


  • I still think Lee is important. He is much better than he showed this year, in part because THEY NEVER RAN PLAYS FOR HIM. It seemed anytime Courtney got off a shot, it was a broken play that was intended for PP or KG. And when the ball got to him he was probably still thinking “should I be shooting this?” Doc is great but relies WAY too much on 2 players for scoring, and I think part of it is his respect for them. This needs to change for us to have a shot at 18 next year, because I think that is a legitimate reason our roster underperformed this season.

    • wilfreakinred

      Lee can be a good player. but he is not the one we need. Ab, rondo and twill, kg retires and paul cant hit a three point shot, what do you think will happen to our offense? Lee is bad at spacing the floor, unless twill and rondo suddenly shoots 40% three pointshooting.

      i want tom thibidou back, and doc should take a rest. Shavlik and twill are very talented offensive players but they will be limited if they play for doc rivers.

  • Reggie35RIP

    I like Lee, good defender, but just didn’t manage to find his shot and was pretty inconsistent all season. I have no problem keeping him, but If he needs to be added into the mix for a trade for a decent player I don’t have a problem with that either.

    Same goes for Bass. I honestly think this whole “Melo-stopper” thing got a bit out of hand. He did a decent job on him, but he didn’t shut him down by any stretch of the imagination. Bass defended him well in the post, but Melo could take him off the dribble whenever he wanted. It was a combination of good help defense and Melo having some off nights that made Bass look good. Again I wouldn’t mind seeing him back next season, but I don’t see him as being a critical piece.

  • I’m a believer in Lee. However, I’m not buying that “they told me my role was to play D and be a spot up shooter” thing. First of all, if that really is what Doc told him, then 1. Danny shouldn’t have brought him in in the first place 2. Doc might as well not have played him if he told him that. Many became overconfident in Lee and Bradley’s shooting abilities after their previous seasons performances. However, to treat these guys as if they are the second coming of Ray Allen and rely on them to consistently hit 3s is just plain old bad evaluation of talent.

    However, I don’t think that’s probably what Doc and Ainge wanted, considering they struggled MIGHTILY on the offensive end and had no one who would penetrate and create shots, I’m sure they would have been more than happy for Lee to get into the paint if he wanted to. So I’m not totally buying that.

    • Step

      I sort of agree, but I don’t think Lee would just make that up (especially knowing that it would be printed and he’s trying to remain on the team). I remember Ray saying he wanted to post more instead of being a decoy or spot up shooter. Maybe that’s what Doc wants out of his shooters. Who knows.

  • wilfreakinred

    i dont know what you what you see in lee, but he is a terrible offensive player. even if he starts to knock down that corner three, imagine a back court of twill , ab rondo and lee.

    Spacing will be so bad. we need a shooter. we dont need courtney lee. and if we do need another defensive guard, we need some one like shumper who can guard taller ones.

  • wilfreakinred

    doc is really a bad offensive coach, he can make fancy plays out of time out but guys really get limited when they play for him. He relies too much on the big three’s ability to get you a basket which limits all the other pieces in offense. we should hire and offensive coach, and some one to make substitiputipons for doc

  • Leave him, he is AWESOME. Let him play more. He plays excellent defene< can shoot 3s( AB doesn't) and capable of defending bigger guards( AB doesn't). I am for leaving him in Boston.