Re: Who should start?
posted at 11/16/2012 12:13 PM EST
I'm not sure it matters. Taking into account a philosophy that often does not have the team attacking on the offensive boards, there's a rebounding problem. Hard to believe that an NBA team with the caliber of players the Celtics have would be struggling with something as seemingly basic as boxing out, but there it is. Think it also has something to do with confusion over defensive assignments and positioning. The confusion factor is diminishing, but there is still a lot of looking around after baskets and still too many wide open, uncontested shots being conceded. The rust on players like Green and Wilcox and the green on someone like Sullinger is readily apparent, though Wilcox at least can hang with the opposition bigs. Bass is giving a lot of effort, and Sullinger clearly has some talent, but both have serious problems competing with players over 6 "9". And as should have been expected (despite a lot of peoples excitement) Sullinger is struggling in a number of aspects of the game.
When you're as deep as the Celtics are and you're having major trouble with depleted teams like Washington (minus Nene and Wall); the 76rs (minus Bynum); Chicago (minus Rose), etc. something is wrong. Think most fans realize they're lacking a solid big, but obtaining a quality guy going forward is not going to be easy - Smith, Varejao would both work, but what do you give up? Also, can you sign them long term as opposed to gutting your bench for a half year rental? Are these the guys you want to give max contracts to for the future? Maybe if the team feels it's close enough, and they don't have to give up too much, making a move for someone like Smith might be worth a shot at the title even if there is no guarentee he stays?
One thing this stretch has highlighted is just how good the Celtics defense has been for the past five years and how the contributions of solid defenders (PJ Brown; Perk; T Allen; Posey, etc.) have contributed to a great philosophy insitituted by Tom Thibodeau. Of course it all revolves around Garnett and ever since Perk left he has been without a partner in crime down low. No one could have predicted Green's health issues, but his ongoing struggles on the court continue to highlight a blunder that may have cost the Celtics one championship, and is still haunting them.
Lastly, Darko obviously has had some issues with the wrist, and he struggles mightily with moving his feet (a must to play defense with the Celts), but it seems like he could at least help out when they are having major problems with someone with real size like Brooke Lopez. Obviously Doc chose to go with Collins and while he's more mobile than Darko, at least Darko's big and strong enough to put a body on players no one else on the squad can contend with. I guess if they don't solve some of the more pressing issues (rebounding on both ends/overall D/transition D/Dwhen Garnett leaves the court, etc.).