So I was thinking about life when I came up with what I think is an interesting question: who takes the game winning shots for the celtics next season? Ray, our number one option most of the times, is gone now (i know lets not talk about it anymore). So options are there. I started a quick poll on twitter asking my followers this. Some answers came up and I wasn't surprised at all with them. Pierce and Terry were getting all the love, with The Truth having slightly more votes than JET. KG didnt show up, and of course Rondo didnt either. But as I thought the issue deeper, I realized that our options are much greater that just Paul or Jason. More guys in the team have what it takes to shoot and hit a game wiiner.
Lets start with KG and Rondo. Those two are clearly the most important members of the team. However we dont want them taking a game winner. Why? I dont know. Garnett has a more than reliable jump shot. Besides he has the guts. Last season he hit a key shot against GSW, with under 5 seconds in regulation. Garnett wont ever back down from a game winner. Doc should always have him right up there while thinking about his options. In the only Celtics game I have gone in my entire life, KG hit the most important shot of them all. A hook shot over Jared Jeffries for the win. Yep, it was Game 2 of the 2011 playoffs series againts the Knicks. So yea, KG is definetely an option when the game is on the line. Now, Rondo. most of us will take him our of the discussion because of his below average shooting. I understand this, but his shooting isn't as bad as everybody thinks it is. Just recall games from the last playoffs in which he simply took over with Pierce fouled out. Rondo also has the confidence in himself to not think twice about shooting if he has a clean look. Besides, Rondo can also attack the paint as no one else in the team can. Getting some free throws could also be a solid option at the end of games. The other two members of our Big Three should also be taken into account when the game is on the line.
Now the role players: Bass, Avery and Lee. I know what you are thinking, "thats absolutely ridicoulous!". But, is it? I'm not gonna get into the numbers because I'm not going to pretend I understand them, but this three guys have proven that they can hit shots. I remember a game last season (against the Lakesr if I'm not mistaken) in which Bass took a key fourth quarter shot, with under a miinute left in the game. Bass he missed, but the important thing is he took it. It proves that Doc knows he has options and he trusts his players. Bass has one of he best, if not the best, mid-range jumpers in the NBA. Why not go to him then? It makes sense to give the ball to Bass. Same applies to Lee and Avery. Both guys are deadly 3pt shooters from the corners. With all of the attention in Terry and Paul, they could be wide open in the corner anytime they wanted. Do they have the guts to take a game winner? I dont know. But they sure have the ability to hit the shot. These 3 role players could really take advantage in late game situations where all the attention goes to the likes of Terry and Pierce. They should be ready to take a game winner.
Is it better to watch Terry and Pierce play hero ball? Probably, probably not. It it better to go for an alley opp to Rondo like in Miami years ago? Probbly, depending on the situation. Is it better to run a pick and roll/pop between KG and Rondo with Paul and JET in the wings? Or maybe a simple pick and pop between Terry or Rondo and Bass? I have no idea, but there are plenty of possible situations. Doc is the best in the league at calling out of bounds plays. This year, he has a lot to work with and that will be very important for the team.
Still, I realize our main options will always be (and should be) Terry and The Truth. Both have hit many clutch shots throughout their NBA careers. They will be Doc's first options next season when we need a big time shot. However, this post is to make us realize that there are other players capable of shooting a game winner. It's a fun discussion to have, specially with such a creative coach in Doc. We'll have a whole year to see what happens, right now anyone's guess is as good as mine.
You can follow me on twitter at @boceltics18