A lot has transpired since those dreary days before the All Star break. The Celtics, through great play and good fortune, can see the ECF in their future... a thought that was at very least preposterous just a short time ago. Injuries to others (and some of our own) have paved the way to a possible showdown with the Heat... as long as we play Celtic basketball.
A few thoughts/opinions on where we are... and where we are possibly headed.
NOW: BASS is slowly playing his way into a smaller contract. His limitations are showing (post play, defense, passing)... and his value IMO is as a sub, not a starter. KG needs to be resigned. Of anyone on the Celtcs, he is the most influential and consistent. Losing him to injury would eliminate us as contenders.
RONDO is maddeningly consistent in his inconsistency... but he seems to be more comfortable in exploring HIS OWN offense recently, while still providing assists and rebounds. He seems to get too much criticism lately, and I see him as an adaptable player (good for the future).
PP and Ray are still capable of hot and cold nights... but will do what it takes to win. If we continue to play slow (because of Bradley injury?) it will require more minutes from them... which could be dangerous to an offense that was humming along thanks to more of an uptempo pace in the last 2 weeks of the season.
MP has been a non factor recently... and again raises questions about his role / production. GS ditto (wonder about injuries/matchups being the factor here) DOC has to be careful in overplaying the starters... and should at least try some lineups that encourage transition basketball... even if only for spurts during the game (like RR, AB, Sasha, Hollins, KG).
I dont think it was an accident that when we limited the big three's minutes a bit, it made us a better team. LATER: Keepers (for sure) for next year: KG, AB, PP, RR, JJJ Possibles (for the right price) EM, RA, BB, GS or RH, CW, 1 of KD,SP,MP Leaving: MD, 2 of KD, SP, MP Needs:
If KG is resigned,we would need him to stay at Center. If we sign a FA like Magee or Hibbert, then things change. Draft the BPA if KG stays 9with one being a pF/C and the other a SG/SF. I believe we are/have been overstating several things on these posts, and will go out on a limb to speak candidly.
1. GS is way overrated. We tend to look at his improvement instead of observing other backups in the league (Hill, Mahini, Magee, Gibson, Mosgov, and others). I just dont see major upside, and an injury issue complicates things further.
2. MP and BB. Good value signings for a second unit... not starters. They both are great teammates, but are limited in their game. Both may want more money... and add a bad knee with each of them, which complicates things further.
3. RA is certainly important and talented.. but can be replaced with maybe 2 guys; like Brewer (Denver) and Dragic (Houston) IMO. Not just because they might be cheaper, but they are guys that you could package later in a bigger deal (asset collection). Those two would give us more athleticism, can play multiple positions,... and fit into Rondo's skill set. And of Course Ray's ankles complicate things further.
4. Wilcox (see 1 above). Would you rather have him or GS? Of course his medical issues may complicate things.
5. Jeff Green can be a nice addition... but medical issues complicate things. If you haven't yet picked up on the theme, the decisions going forward need to be examined closely from a talent, flexibility, AND durability standpoint. It is natural to overvalue your "home" players (as on the Hawks sight they were saying heck no to a trade of ALL of our picks for Josh Smith). I like Smith, but that is clasic overvaluing their guy IMO. Either way, the roster tweaking will certainly begin from what KG does, and I'm sure DA has a plan for both options. I am excited about the rest of the year... and the summer as well.