Ray Allen - I can't imagine any Celtic fan being surprised by Scott Souza's article on Allen's ankle issues. It is impossible to watch this team on a consistent basis and not wonder if Allen's health is ailing. But what's next? Do the Celtics reduce his minutes or shut him down for a stretch of games altogether? And if Boston chooses to do the latter will it even matter? Is Ray Allen capable of playing at a high level over an extended period of time? The crazy thing is that no one really knows. When right his jump shot is simply outstanding and he gets to the rim a lot better than I expected. He looms as an X-Factor of sorts for the Celtics to make a run in the playoffs, where Allen has not ventured since 2005. Hollinger's Most Similar By Age: Mitch Richmond. I do not feel the need to discuss what happened to Richmond at that point in his career. Let's move on.
Tony Allen - Some Celtics fans wish Kevin Garnett were more assertive offensively at the end of games. Some Celtics fans wonder if Paul Pierce can truly overcome the hero complex and play a key role in a championship team. Some Celtics fans wish Rajon Rondo had more experience and Brian Scalabrine played less. However, Celtics fans still agree that Garnett brings a ton to the team, Pierce is one of the better players in the league, Rondo is a player on the rise and Scalabrine is not good. It is a lot harder to get any kind of a consensus on Tony Allen. Granted due to his playing time and role, he can't come anywhere close to dividing the fan base like Antoine Walker used to do. However, Allen is either a turnover machine with sketchy focus and fundamentals, a tremendous athlete that can get to the rim and defend while slowly returning to form or a little bit of both. He excites fans with 20 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks and only 1 turnover, with solid defense no less, against a depleted Miami Heat team. And then in his next game he plays just under 15 minutes against the Dallas Mavericks and notches an assist, two fouls and a turnover. Personally I'm just glad to see him dunking again, prefer to see him not running the point and look for him to take some of Ray Allen's minutes over the next month or so. Hollinger's Most Similar By Age: Bonzi Wells. There is no doubt that Wells is a scorer. But I'm not convinced that being compared to him, under any circumstances, is a good thing.
Glen Davis - Remember when he scored 20 points on the road against Detroit and essentially took over the game down stretch? Now he earns the occasional DNP and has been surpassed by Leon Powe. And even Steve Bulpett's recent article about how Big Baby fans should relax included this epic back handed compliment, if it is even a compliment:
In fact it's not a compliment. And you can't hide the fact that it would be nice if Davis dropped a few pounds. Still he has one of the best offensive repertoires on the team and often finds himself at the right place on the court. Hollinger's Most Similar By Age: Unfortunately players need 500 minutes of NBA action to gain a comparison. Hollinger does warn about Michael Sweetney and Robert Traylor.
Kevin Garnett - There might not be another NBA player with more riding on this season. Think about it. The Pistons have a ring. Kobe has three. LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are young. You could make the case for Allen Iverson, given his age, but the Answer has been to the Finals and out of the first round several times, albeit in the Eastern Conference. Maybe Dirk Nowitzki, given his MVP and collapse to the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs last season. Paul Pierce is out because he is not the best player on his team. In the end it's either KG or Steve Nash. Factor in that Jim Souhan and others see Garnett as the world's greatest complementary player" and it has to be the Big Ticket. Can he be the man on a championship team? Is one of his greatest strength's - his intensity - one of Garnett's biggest flaws as well? Hollinger's Most Similar By Age Patrick Ewing?! You know it's about the numbers because no other player is quite like KG. And I enjoyed Hollinger's comparison to Hakeem Olajuwon's dream shake and I'm intrigued by his contention that KG regularly travels when making his go to move.
Eddie House - If his shot is falling House is incredibly effective. When his shot is not falling House's flaws as a player - defense and ability to bring the ball up under pressure - are more pronounced, even though he does not turn the ball over often. He does talk a bit too much for a guy that has bounced all over the league, but still seems like the kind of guy that is good to have around. Hollinger's Most Similar By Age: Tony Delk.
Kendrick Perkins - There might not be a more up and down player on the Celtics. I say that because he's a starter and on a day-to-day basis I'm never sure what to expect. Sometimes he gets in foul trouble and is a non-factor. At other points he's a strong defender and rebounder. And, he's had big offensive performances such as the first Lakers game and the second Knicks game. I look for him to continue to improve as the season progresses, throw down some dunks and of course play with a chip on his shoulder. Hollinger's Most Similar By Age: Jermaine O'Neal. Did no see that coming. When O'Neal was 23 he was on the verge of putting up numbers that would get him ridiculously overpaid. And while O'Neal's offensive repertoire is limited, it is definitely more advanced than Perk and his love of the mini hook.
Paul Pierce - I feel like everything has been said or written. So I will keep this short:
- I have thoroughly enjoyed his season thus far.
- The Truth has filled the box score in all sorts of ways and it has been fun to watch.
- Somehow it gets lost that Pierce leads the team in points per game (20.3), is second in rebounds (5.7) and first in assists (4.9). Hollinger's Most Similar By Age: Vince Carter. Noooooooooooooooooooooo! Strangely Carter is ten months older than Pierce and most similar by age to Jamal Mashburn.
- He has not played more than 15 minutes in any one game.
- He has appeared in fewer games each month: November (10), December (6) and January (4).
James Posey - Over the past few months I've done a few question and answer posts with other bloggers. I'm too lazy to go to the archives right now so take my word for it. Every time I do one I strongly push Posey's game. So it was great to see him play such a prominent role in the victory over the Dallas Mavericks on TNT. He will have to play a big role if the Celtics are going anywhere in the spring. Hollinger's Most Similar By Age: Scott Padgett. I don't see it.
Leon Powe - Wouldn't Tyrus Thomas be awesome if he played like Powe? Just watch Powe sprint up and down the court and battle for rebounds. Though undersized for his position at 6-8, he does have ridiculously long arms. Celtics fans love his approach to the game and wonder where exactly he was over the first two and a half months of the season. Hollinger's Most Similar By Age: Adam Keefe.
Gabe Pruitt - Rajon Rondo has missed some time and Eddie House is not a great back up point guard option. Yet Pruitt has only played in 11 games. Although he is not shy about shooting, I don't expect much from Pruitt this season. In closing I am a little bothered by the fact that he got Delonte West's number, but realize I'm the only person who even remotely cares, outside of possibly West. Most Similar By Age: No one.
Rajon Rondo - Remember when Rondo befuddled the reigning MVP, Dirk Nowitzki, with his patented fake behind the back pass. Granted Rondo then drove to the hoop and missed the lay up. Still it was an exciting moment. But then Rondo outdid himself by ripping his 12th rebound of the evening away from Nowitzki and following it up with a game winning reverse lay up. I just want everyone to recognize that I've been supporting Rondo for quite some time now. Hollinger's Most Similar By Age: Baron Davis. Intriguing.
Brian Scalabrine - Celtics fans are not askins Doc Rivers not to play Scalabrine. They're demanding it. That lame joke should make sense when you read the Hollinger comparison below. Unfortunately it will not make it funny. Hollinger's Most Similar By Age: Keith Askins.
14th and 15th Roster Spots - Do they remain open for the remainder of the season? I would say no. But who do the Celtics trade for or sign? With the trade deadline, February 21st, rapidly approaching I don't expect much action on that front. Meanwhile, the available free agents are mediocre at best. There is a chance the Celtics add no one of note. Stay tuned...