Celtics Offseason Plans Will Play a Part Going Forward
Enough has been made of the teamâ€™s current state of development, roster make up, and the decisions that have been made in the past. None of that is relevant to this article. The purpose of this piece is to talk about the actions the current Celtics need to execute in order to take their own games up another level and solidify themselves as a unit going forward.
Most of the projected rotation players have been covered exhaustively as well. The impending draft throws these discussions into fits of combinations that are theoretically based at best at this point. Leaving Wally, Pierce, and Jefferson out of these discussions as well as talks of potential draft picks, letâ€™s change gears a bit.
Focusing on the players that are truly locked into Personal improvement battles seems to be the one sure way to understand what this team can accomplish internally going forward. Note that Ryan Gomes isnâ€™t amongst the players being analyzed below, but not because he isnâ€™t a developing player coming into a pivotal offseason. Gomes is in this group of players, but was accosted by the media after the season finale and couldnâ€™t speak to the specific points brought up in this piece.
Listen to the interview with Doc Rivers
Gomes did however take the time to chat during the Sixerâ€™s game and explained heâ€™ll be spear-heading a team movement out to Vegas in order to workout at Impactbball with noted trainer Joe Abunassar, the former IMG Academy basketball guru who helped Gomes and many other prospects round into championship form. Tony Allen and Rajon Rondo are coming along to work on some things and Allan Ray may join them. Other Celtics, such as team captain Paul Pierce and rookie Leon Powe might find their way out there as both spend the offseason in relative proximity to the facilities.
Abunassarâ€™s programs are very progressive, heavily leveraging the expertise of Athletes Performance, an Arizona based firm that has won renown for its performance training work with NFL athletes. The program focuses on different areas, such as carefully constructed diet plans, muscle strength and coordination measurement, flexibility, and strength and conditioning. All of this is of course centered around the skills training work that Abunassar does himself. All the facilities and team members work together to implement the most effective strategy for accomplishing player and team goals with precise, measurable outcomes.
The quality of the daily scrimmage at this facility is top-notch, as many players come in and out of the city all summer to get some high level games and tweak their workout regiments. Top prospects will also be out there including Yi Jianlian and Rudy Fernandez. So, the level of competition and degree of preparation each of the attending Celtics will get should help them improve leaps and bounds over where they left off this season.
Listen To The Interview With Allan Ray
Listen To The Interview With Leon Powe
Listen To The Interview With Rajon Rondo
Deep in the Heart of Texas:
Though Gerald Green may be the most tradable commodity on the Celtics squad, heâ€™s been vastly over-criticized for the season he just put in. Green was a 3-5 year project when he was drafted, which is one of the principle reasons he slipped as far as he did. Injuries forced Green into a role he was never intended to play this season, yet he responded with a 10 point scoring average and a number of big time games that speak strongly to his potential.
The fluctuations in performance were to be expected from a player that had absolutely no idea how to play organized ball coming into the league. Reading the game and applying his skill set to it is going to take much longer at the wing than it did for Jefferson in the post. Those expecting big things from Green in year two were warned of the odds against during Greenâ€™s inaugural Summer League campaign. Despite the overwhelming statistics against 2nd year players becoming competent starters, (less than 25%) too much put on his shoulders this season-one would think astute Celtics fans would know.
But Green made substantial progress between year one and year two. Much of this, if not all, was due to the boot-camp style training that Green received in Houston working with John Lucas. The raspy voice of Lucas and the will of Green to succeed proved to be an excellent pairing as both Green and Lucas have decided to renew their relationship this offseason. While last offseason was solely focused on skill development, strength, and conditioning; a good portion of this offseason should be dedicated to film study.
Listen To The Interview With Gerald Green:
Meanwhile at the Bat Cave:
While the other young Celtics are off doing their work abroad, the close-knit crew of Al Jefferson, Delonte West, and Kendrick Perkins are planning on putting their work in at Healthpoint. Most of the rest of their teammates are expected to head back to the bay state by mid-August to join the trio. It has been a Celtic team custom for most everyone on the roster to be together for a good month or more before training camp, a huge advantage in terms of team chemistry.
Jefferson and Perkins will be focusing on further skill development with coach Clifford Ray, and Perk has stated his goal of losing 30 pounds in order to increase his versatility and alleviate the burden on his sore foot. Perk missed out on a larger portion of last offseason in terms of skill development as his injured shoulder prevented him from participating in true basketball activity until late August. Expect Perk to fight tooth and nail for his starting spot if/when either Oden or Durant come walking into the practice facility. Those expecting either one of the teenagers to take the starting gig may be surprised with what they see from Perkins next season.
West has just begun to recognize how his offensive explosiveness mixes with his multi-positional responsibility. West will continue to work on the areas he is weakest at while harnessing his skill with a constant review of his own performance with a mind toward improvement. Look for West to be the big breakout performer next season with a consistent role for the first time in his career.
Listen To The Interview With Delonte West
Listen To The Interview With Kendrick Perkins