long post re: the celts' future
posted at 5/12/2011 2:41 PM EDT
i started typing and just couldn't stop...LOL
i wouldn't put (and i doubt doc and danny are putting) all our eggs in the dwight howard basket. i see it as a 60-70% chance that he ends up in LA. likely via a big time trade.
any evaluation of our team in this offseason begins with doc. i'm glad he's planning on staying. is doc the best coach in the league? no. have i at times been critical of him? yes. but he's decent. he does a good job. and we need the continuity of keeping our championship head coach to acquire whatever big name free agents we are going after. in other words, whether you're talking about howard, paul or anyone of that caliber, they need to know what they're getting into. and a brand new coach running a brand new scheme is not going to attract guys like that. plus, doc's just a good guy. so i'm glad he wants to be here. but he will have to show his coaching strategy can evolve; something he has not necessarily demonstrated to date.
then you have to look at ainge. he takes a lot of heat. he's an easy target for the monday morning QB crowd. and he certainly has taken some gambles. but most of them have paid off. not all, but most. we have been to 2 finals since he put this team together in '07 and won it all once. that's not bad. and, heck, it's been entertaining. but he will have his work cut out for him this summer.
then you look at the players we already have. in my mind, rondo and green represent the youth movement that's going to take place over the next 2 years. you have to keep them or get something in return for them. i'd rather see them both starting in boston next year.
then you gotta take a real hard look at the big 3. the reality is that they're too old to do what doc is trying to have them do. they can't play 40 minutes a night anymore. they're great players, but like all great players do, they're aging. they run out of gas easier and more often. so you have to look real hard at either trading them or moving them to the bench. are they willing to come off the bench? who knows. each of them would still make a nice addition to a team trying to get over the hump. ray allen coming off the bench in chicago? sounds awesome. KG spelling gasol in LA or nowitzki in dallas? sounds awesome. paul coming off the bench for (gasp) the heat? might be just the bench punch they need to make them unstoppable.
now i'm not saying we'd necessarily want to make chicago or miami stronger, since we'll have to face them all year long. i'm just saying that there are teams out there, in both conferences, that would want to add one of our big 3 to their bench to help them make it to finals. so you have to consider what you can get in exchange for them. even rondo dishing to lebron and wade might be something that would make miami fans' mouths water.
myself, i'd like to see rondo here and green starting, with paul coming off the bench to spell him. green is not a 4, as some would like to make him. no move than big baby is a 5. green is a wing player; one that would look good running with rondo for 35 minutes a night. and paul is not a 2-guard, as some are suggesting. he can't stay in front of most 3s now. most 2 would blow past him so fast his head would spin. again, no disrespect, he's just getting older.
as for the rest, i'd like to see what bradley can do with more PT. i liked what i saw from wafer in limited action. i think jermaine o'neal can contribute for one more year. i think big baby is valuable as a backup, even a starter in the right lineup. i don't see shaq, murphy, pavlovic or arroyo making the team next year. (wow, was murphy a bust or what?) west and krstic are on the bubble in my mind; i could take 'em or leave 'em.
so, doc and danny have got to get creative this summer. i think we'll see a very different celtics team 2 years from now. the question will be how much of that evolution will occur this summer. it should be fun. it should be interesting. and i'm looking forward to seeing what kind of team we assemble this fall and in the fall of 2012.
thanks, celtics. it's been an enjoyable few years!