Last season we've talked a lot on how Boston had difficulty creating offense, struggled in rebounding and had an uneven bench. At the start of this season, with no cap space and no assets to dangle, not much was expected to get solved and I honestly thought things might just get worse. But again we've underestimated DA. After the roster finally took shape, it looks like these problems can and will get solved:
1. Offense - I believe much of the problem with our offensive difficulties falls squarely on our thin bench. Doc was forced to play PP and RA (sometimes KG) with the second unit to have a go to guy when the offense can't get anything going. Instead of getting their needed rest they have to play an extended period of time. And when the second unit just falls apart, Doc has no choice but to bring back earlier than expected, most if not all of the starting five, to restore order. By the 4th quarter, naturally, they are winded and with an offense that mostly revolves around the players from the first five the opposing team doesn't even have to make a lot of adjustments, making it easier for them to figure out our offensive sets and stifle the offense.
Now with a bench consisting of Dooling, Daniels, Bass and Wilcox we have guys who can finish or create their own shots. Perhaps Doc will still play PP or RA with the second unit but hopefully, not so much as before with these additional offensive arsenals. Even the rookie Moore has shown a lot of potential with his shooting range and lack of hesitation in getting things done offensively.
2. Rebounding - I read before that partly the rebounding problem can be blamed to the C's commitment to defense. After they get their shots off they would scamper immediately on the other end to avoid any fastbreaks or easy shots, giving no or a very slim chance to get an offensive rebound. The other part I guess would be the frontcourt: JO was mostly limping, KG and Nenad are both jump shooters so they mostly hang around the outside.
Now with Bass and Wilcox we have 2 younger guys who are athletic and have the frames to battle for rebounds plus they play effectively around and above the rim. JO seem healthier this season as well and if KG,as reported, would really play the 5 occassionally this season, can lure the opposing C outside with his jump shooting threat, giving Bass or Wilcox or JO or even PP more chances to collar the offensive rebound.
3. Bench - We've given raves to how DA managed to assemble a better bench than expected so I wouldn't go on further about the merits and advantages of having Dooling, Daniels, Bass and Wilcox on the bench. The real story after these 4 players is who will step up among the younger guys in Johnson, Moore and Bradley (possibly even Brown). Doc has given Moore raves in the training camp and Moore showed us where these praises were coming from after his strong showing at the televised scrimmage and the pre season game against the Raptors. Even if he was initially overshadowed by the drafting of fellow Purdue teammate Johnson, he seemed determined to show that he is worth the roster spot with his strong plays, mental toughness and fearlessness. Now I am hoping that with the attention that Moore is getting, Johnson would take this as an additional motivation to elevate his game before he gets left out in the regular rotation that the team will work with when the season opens.
Admittedly, we are still going to have some difficulty matching the talent of teams like the Heat, Bulls or the 2 LA's but an upgraded roster means additional chances to compete better. The bench will provide added depth but as with all experts and fans, the fate of the season rests heavily still on the Big 3 and Rondo. For games to be won, despite all the talk of getting old and windows closing, the C's will be looking for them to win games for us.