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Posts Tagged ‘David Lee’


The NBA is back. The Celtics won their final pre-season game, and an ugly one at that, last night.

As I consider the upcoming season I have no idea what will happen. I was convinced last season they would end up with a lottery pick. A few changes around the trade deadline squashed my dream.

This season the changes aren’t about the rookies. I expect little to nothing out of the three rookies. They may spend plenty of time in Maine like Young did last season. They are largely for the future, or bench guys. Jordan Mickey may turn into an elite defender, or the second coming of Fab Melo. Rozier and Hunter will be good defenders on the perimeter.

The big questions surround the returning players, and new acquired players.

AveryBradley has gotten the memo about settling for the long 2 and stepping back to the 3. He’s apparently been watching Stephan Curry and doing the little dribble side-step to create space for his shot. This should help him take the next step, if he applies in during the season.

Marcus Smart has discovered that changing speeds is more effective than going full-speed ahead all the time. This may help him become a good point guard instead of just an elite perimeter defender.

Sullinger is rightfully still in the dog house. He has to prove he can play, night in and night out. This is why they now have Lee and Johnson. We will note that they were at their best with him sitting on the bench in a suit. It isn’t looking good for him right now.

Amir Johnson was not a name that impressed me. But he is a guy that may make the team better. He’s not a star, but does enough offensively to open shots for the smaller guys. And he can pass. Combined with Lee, they may actually have an inside game this year which will be a big improvement over last year.

Kelly Olynyk is the Celtics’ version of Kyle Arrington. It is all about confidence. When he has it- great. When he doesn’t- oy vey. This means a very talented guy who is inconsistent and therefore perpetually frustrating.

Sadly, the best part about the Celtics is Brad Stephens. He has done some great things with this team so far. He will continue to push spacing and passing. This has generally looked good in the pre-season, but that is the pre-season.

His other big challenge is managing Isaiah Thomas. Very talented scorer who wanted to start but was able to consider the good of the team over his own desires. Will he be the Randy Moss of 2007, or 2009? Will he continue to be about team and contribute that spark and scoring off the bend like Vinnie Microwave Johnson and Andrew Toney, or will he put self ahead of team and become a monstrous headache like Bad Randy?

Too many question marks with this team to really know how it will turn out. The good news is that they don’t need to get a lottery pick. They should get one courtesy of the Nets.

 

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