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More from Bill Russell

Bill Russell was back blogging again yesterday. He focused on the San Antonio Spurs and Tim Duncan. As usual he had some great insight:

Russell praised the Spurs for their passing ability, which he views as the key skill in today's NBA:

"During a game, if you play good, hard defense, it makes you tired. Defense is hard work. So if you go down the other end and have to work just as hard offensively, you're not as good. But if you're a good passing team, you don't have to work as hard to get shots. You don't have to break somebody down every time. It doesn't take any energy. What you have to understand is that energy and energy flows are an extraordinary part of the game. A good passing team doesn't use a lot of energy."

Somewhere Paul Pierce is nodding his head, hoping that Rajon Rondo is legit. As Tommy Heinsohn likes to say, Rondo could add a few seasons to Pierce's career by making offense easier for him.

Meanwhile, Russell also speaks highly of Tim Duncan's movement without the ball, passing ability, and overall contributions on both ends of the court. It is important to note that Russell did not call Duncan a great player. This is something I have noticed with Russell. He is reluctant to call anyone great. In fact I have heard him say that he has only seen a few great players. Contrast that with people today, myself included. I call Paul Pierce great. Well if Duncan is not great, who is from this generation? For the record Russell described Duncan as the following:

"Tim Duncan is a really, really good player..."

Finally Russell praises the Spurs team in general:

"The Spurs have some players that can play inside and out, they have some players that can shoot the long shot, and then the same player can break down the defense and go to the hoop one-on-one. You can't just say, if we stop this, we stop them, because their talent is spread out all over the floor. And they have a couple of defensive stoppers."

This is what worries me about the Celtics. There is this assumption that if they obtain the #1 or #2 pick they will contend for the title within a year or two. Granted the east is so terrible that they should be a playoff team for sure. But I worry that they are just a random assortment of talent. How will everyone fit together? That seems to be the fatal flaw with Danny Ainge's "gather as much young talent as possible and then trade some of it" plan. Well that and the fact that everybody else values that talent less. Contrast that with the Spurs roster, which was built to win. And to top it all off I do not trust Doc Rivers to define roles, set a rotation, and overall make this team a winner.