Many players will have a breakout year this upcoming season, but for the Celtics, here are my candidates for the breakout year:
1) Chris Wilcox
2) Courtney Lee
3) Jeff Green
Chris Wilcox: Many people overlook Chris Wilcox because his stats don't jump out at you (8 points, 5 rebounds in 21 minutes of playing time for his career), and the fact that he's 30 years old, however Chris Wilcox in my opinion, is the most efficient player on the Celtic roster. Wilcox averaged 5.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, shooting 60% (career high) from the field in 17 minutes of playing time. Wilcox also collected 9.8% of the offensive rebounds, even higher than Kevin Garnett. Wilcox was still new to the team and only got to play 28 games. I believe with a full training camp, as well as a few more minutes (perhaps 20-30 minutes like Glen Davis), Chris Wilcox could be averaging career numbers in all categories. I fully believe that his numbers this upcoming season can exceed the numbers he had with the Sonics/Thunder.
Courtney Lee: The 26 year-old shooting guard from Western Kentucky University has been known as a sharp shooter. shooting over 40% from 3-point range for his last 2 seasons, and 39% for his career. His problem seems to lie inside the arch. He shoots only 44% from the field for his career. He plays excellent defense with a rating of 106.3 per 100 possessions. Offensively, I believe he can improve his statistics with Rajon Rondo as his point guard. When Lee was with Kyle Lowry in Houston, Lowry only had an assist percentage of 32.3%. Rajon Rondo averages an assist percentage of 53%, so I believe Lee can get more shot attempts, (In the last 82-game season, Ray Allen averaged about 12 shots a game). Courtney Lee averaged just over 8 shot attempts in his last 2 seasons with the Rockets. I believe that Lee has the potential to be a great shooting guard for the Celtics with an increase in points, and overall field goal percentage.
Jeff Green: I believe he's been anticipating another crack at the NBA in a Celtic uniform for months. He's faced a lot of criticism for his last stint with Boston but I believe he's ready to give the best performance of his career. I don't believe he'll exceed his 16-point average in Oklahoma City, but I believe he has the ability to become a better overall player. In OKC he attempted 13 shots a game, I don't believe that will be the case for him anymore until Paul Pierce or someone else is injured. Green's defensive rating has increased to 102 since being in Boston. That's the best of his career. I believe that time heals all, and that is no exception from Jeff Green. I believe Green can have a breakout year with the Celtics, running with Rondo.
Avery Bradley: This name comes as no surprise to anybody. He's also my candidate for most Improved Player of the Year. Bradley impressed people all over the Celtic universe with his 23-point performance vs the Wizards, and especially when he dropped 28 points on the Atlanta Hawks. I believe his performance against the Hawks let everybody know that Bradley is a shooting guard that the Celtics will want to keep. A defensive rating of 102, his defensive prowess scares any opposing guard in the NBA. In the Hawks game, people (non-Celtic fans) tend to forget that the Celtic Big Four didn't play in the game, while the Hawks played the full squad. The Celtics still lost, but they lost by single digits, and gave me a lot of faith in Avery Bradley.
What are your thoughts? Who do you believe will be a pleasant surprise for the Celtic roster?