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.
As Danny Ainge said, this was about seeing what they have and deciding who will fit as he continues to rework the roster. We’ll be doing some of the same here, which will necessitate some hopefully educated guesswork. But it’s important to note that who stays and who goes will largely be dependent on what the Celts can get in the draft and what is available to them in the trade market.
Celtics Final Report Card-Steve Bulpett
As Steve Bulpett notes above, the future of the Boston Celtics, and many of it’s players, hinges hugely on the events that will take place over the next two months. On May 20th, the NBA will hold the draft lottery, and Danny Ainge & company will find out if the ping-pong Gods will be nice to the Celts, or if they will crush their dreams. (again) The actual draft will then take place on June 26th. Between now & then, Celtics ownership will take a look at the 2013-14 performances of it’s players and determine who’ll stay, and who’ll go.
Bulpett’s report card is pretty accurate in my opinion, or at least I agree with most of his grades. He says that they are based on what people could “reasonably expect” from each player, but we all know that as Celtics fans we can be a bit unreasonable. The first grade that really caught my attention was Bulpett’s “B” for Avery Bradley. The fan base’s biggest beef with Bradley has been his tendency to get hurt. Bulpett flips the script a bit though:
I hate that people simply dismiss Bradley as injury prone and leave it at that. Yes, he’s gotten hurt on a too-regular-for-comfort basis, but some of his problems in this area come from trying to play through pain. He maybe shouldn’t have kept playing when he had the shoulder separation incidents two years ago, and he came back too soon from an ankle injury this year. Perhaps we should celebrate his desire more than chastise him for getting injured. Bradley showed a better outside element to his game this season, something that may have been surprisingly late considering he’s had good mechanics all along.
AB seemed to be finally getting comfortable again towards the end of this season. His shooting was lights-out at times, and it was clear that when healthy, “when” obviously being the key part of that phrase, Bradley can be a guy who can make a difference on both sides of the ball. Over the last five games of the season, Bradley averaged 22.4 PPG and shot 53% from beyond the arc.
The only player to receive an “A” from Bulpett was Brandon Bass. Granted, it was an A-, but his overall review of BB’s season was positive, and deservedly so. Bass was quietly one of the Celtics’ most consistent players. He played in all of Boston’s 82 games, and finished with averages of 11.1 pts & 5.7 rebs in just over 27 minutes a night. Bulpett was surprised, as were many Celtics fans, that a playoff bound team did not look to pick-up Bass at the trade deadline:
He’s not a superstar type, but he gets this grade because he did everything that was asked of him, and he did it hard. Bass wasn’t brought here for this. He signed to be a complementary player on a better team. But when that fell away, he didn’t stop working. It’s a bit surprising a contender didn’t deal for him at the deadline, but maybe that happens now as he heads into the final year of his contract at $6.9 million.
One thing is certain, while last year’s Celtics played at varying degrees of skill, they did so during a very frenetic season. Coach Brad Stevens used a gaggle of different starting lineups, guys were in & out of the rotation due to injuries and players & staff were getting to know each other. While we are all looking for some significant upgrades to the roster this off season, things are still a bit cloudy. As May & June approach, we should get a clearer picture of just who will comprise the 2014-15 Boston Celtics’ roster.
Page 2: NBA.com votes Green’s Heat killer #1
NBA.com released it’s “Top 10 Plays of 2013″ video this morning, and Jeff Green’s amazing buzzer-beater to beat the Heat was selected as #1. Uncle Jeff’s shot beat out some amazing plays by Andre Iguodala, John Wall & others to take top honors. However I’m a little miffed at how a wide-open dunk by Paul George takes #3, while an incredible game-winner by Randy Foyes is at #7. Oh well, I’m just thankful they didn’t put you-know-who in the top spot.
The rest of the links: