Kevork Djansezian (AP)
TNT analyst Doug Collins lauded the Celtics and believes, if healthy, they have a good chance to return to the NBA Finals.
Here are his comments:
RE: Rajon Rondo allowing his contract situation to affect his play:
Collins: I donít think the Rondo situation is a factor at all. When you are Rajon Rondo and you are out on the floor every single night and you are looking to Paul Pierce and Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace not only great players but great competitors who are going to bring it every night. I donít think thatís going to be a factor. Personally, I was never in that situation as a player so I never had those kind of thoughts. I think heís going to be fine. Heís coming off a brilliant playoff series. Heís the one guy on that team that gives them speed and enables them to get some easy baskets.
ON RONDO AS A PLAYER:
When I look at Boston, they donít have great team speed now. And so heís that guy who gives them that push. And so I think heís going to be fine. I like Bostonís versatility. I am a big guy, in terms of being a coach. I always look at closing teams. Who can I put out on the floor that could close the last eight minutes of a game? Do I have good defense? And more importantly, do I have the ability to score? Some much is put on defense at the end of the game. But you are not going to pitch a shutout. You got to score.
ON THE WEAPONS LATE IN GAMES:
So if I am Boston and I am Doc Rivers and I know Iíve got Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Garnett, Rasheed Wallace and/or Kendrick Perkins, I really like my closing team because that team can defend. And if you close with Garnett and Rasheed Wallace and Rasheed is out behind that 3-point line, youíve got all kinds of spacing to work together. Youíve got a post game now with Garnett being able to throw that ball into the block. And I didnít even mention the fact that they are probably the best defensive team in the league. Theyíve added Marquis Daniels and he gives them a versatile guy off the bench and he can play the 1 or the 2. Shelden Williams gives them another big body. Big Baby played well in the playoffs. This to me is a deep team and they answered some weakness off their bench. If they stay healthy, I think they have a great chance to get back to the NBA Finals.