We're five games into the season and we're starting to get a feel for where the players are at right now.
The name of the game this year is "player development." And if we're honest, the subscript storyline is "trade chips." So I thought it would be fun to rank out players in a power poll format from top to bottom. The most valuable (to us and to anyone else) players are at the top.
I'm also going to try to track their progress on things that they need to work on over the course of the year. Hopefully by the end of the year we'll see progress with quite a few of these guys.
Needs to work on...
|1||Rajon Rondo||Rehab first. Then leadership, jumper, and ball movement.|
|2||Jeff Green||Consistent aggressiveness, closing games.|
|3||Avery Bradley||Ball handling. Jump shooting.|
|4||Brandon Bass||Just continue to play well and showcase for trade.|
|5||Jared Sullinger||Conditioning and defense.|
|6||Kelly Olynyk||Defense and getting used to the pace of NBA games.|
|7||Vitor Faverani||Team defense and consistency.|
|8||Kris Humphries||Stay off of TMZ. Value purely as an expiring contract.|
|9||Jordan Crawford||Less Steez (limit wildness, focus on discipline).|
|10||Courtney Lee||3 point shooting|
|11||MarShon Brooks||Defense and passing|
|12||Gerald Wallace||Stop talking to the media|
|13||Phil Pressey||Stay under control. Work hard in practice.|
|14||Kieth Bogans||Be a locker room leader. Expiring contract.|
Jeff Green is by far our leading scorer thus far, even if that scoring average is just 17 ppg. I notice that Stevens again went away from Green in the crunch time minutes last night and that isn't very comforting. Still, he's shown some fantastic stretches of aggressive play. This guy is a talented and versatile player. He's just not a number one option and he shouldn't be asked to be one.
I've seen some fans get down on Avery Bradley and I don't know why. He was miscast as a point guard, so much so that Stevens resorted to starting Jordan Crawford of all people at the point just to get Bradley off the ball. He only had 8 points last night but I thought it was one of his better games if only because he felt more comfortable out there. His form on his jumper looks very smooth. I think he'll progress nicely this year if he can ever be relieved of the point guard stuff.
Gerald Wallace is more valuable to wins and losses than his 12th rank above. But his contract makes him really hard to move and his mouth is making him uncomfortable as a teammate. By all accounts, it looks like we're suck with him. Danny Ainge had a chat with him after last night's game about his role on the team. Hopefully that will keep him happy for now.
I'm really getting excited about the offensive potential of the Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger combo. Let's call them Jelly Sullynyk (thank you twitter for helping me with that joke). Defensively they'll have their share of challenges, but hopefully the longer they spend in an NBA defensive system the better they can make up for that. Their interior passing was a beautiful thing last night and they are both so smart and resourceful that they are fun to watch.
Courtney Lee is trying hard but there's just too much duplication at his position and frankly I'd rather see Phil Pressey steal some of his minutes so we could have a point guard on the floor more often.
I may have Jordan Crawford too low considering that he's now our starting point guard, but I think Humphries' contract is going to be valuable to us, either as a trade chip or to clear cap room for this summer.
Those are my thoughts. Please feel free to tell me what you like and don't like about my list. What else do you think players need to work on? I'm happy to adapt this list and add/subtract things as we go. I don't have a set schedule for how often I'll post these, but maybe every 5 to 10 games or so.
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