The offseason has officially begun. It’s very hard to speculate on what moves the Celtics may make with the new CBA up in the air, and the possibility of a hard cap floating around. Now is a good time to look back on the season and evaluate how each player performed during the season.
We’ll start at the point guard position.
- Rajon Rondo, A-
Rondo started off the season on an absolute tear, racking up assists that would make John Stockton proud. He was also the best perimeter defender on his team, and was named to the All-Defensive Team, with only Dwight Howard getting more points.
He still wasn’t a consistent enough jump shooter, and the Kentucky alum will need to work on that to make the next step. But for God’s sake, at least make your free throws! You’re a guard, you can’t be shooting 62% from the line.
- Carlos Arroyo, D
A late season acquisition who really didn’t contribute at all. Not his fault, we all knew he was only on the team for emergency purposes.
- Avery Bradley, C-
Another player who didn’t have much of an impact on this y
ear’s team. However, he did make strides in the D-League and showed how good of a defender he can be in short glimpses at the NBA level. Expect him to play a role soon.
Moving on to shooting guard…
- Ray Allen, A-
Ray Ray had another strong season, despite the fact that he’s not getting any younger. He shot the ball very well, even by his high standards. There were a lot of times this season where Allen seemed to be exiled from the offense, even when he was getting hot. The Celtics are at their best when Ray is getting the ball of screens and spreading the floor.
He continues to log a lot of minutes, and the front office needs to take this into consideration this offseason. A few more minutes of rest here and there would pay dividends.
- Delonte West, C+
The Celtics knew they were taking a chance on this guy, and it could have gone much worse. Delonte was actually very effective at times, proving that he could score in spurts, as well as handle the ball and play tough defense.
With that said, he only played in 24 regular season games. To his credit, he stepped up his game when Rondo got hurt against Miami. Hard for me to give him a “B” with only 33 combined games.
- Von Wafer, D+
After a year of not playing in the NBA, maybe Wafer wasn’t ready. He never was able to really crack into the rotation. In all fairness, however, he did back up Ray Allen, who has been an ironman for the Celtics. Wafer never made much of an impact this season.
On to small forward, starting with the captain.
- Paul Pierce, B+
Pierce didn’t have numbers that jumped off the page this year, but he shot the ball at high efficiency and was the go-to scorer down the stretch. For someone who doesn’t look terribly athletic, the captain managed to play decent perimeter defense in a league with some very good small forwards.
Nothing spectacular here, just another solid year for The Truth. In the Big 3 era, don’t expect him to be scoring 25 points per game like he used to.
- Jeff Green, C
I might get some heat for this one. But as I’ve stated, I am a fan of the Georgetown standout. He was in a tough situation of not really knowing his role and not having enough time to become comfortable on either end of the floor. And he came at a time where all the players were upset about the Perk trade. All that being said, expect him to work hard this offseason, learn the playbook, and have a very good year next season.
- Sasha Pavlovic, D
Uhh…..yeah. He helped the Celtics a little more than I did. Which is to say not at all.
Let’s grade the power forwards, shall we?
- Kevin Garnett, B+
The Big Ticket finally looked like he was reasonably healthy this season, and it showed. At 35, he’s obviously not the same player he once was. But he still plays tenacious defense and raises the energy level of this team every night.
There were a few games in the playoffs where he seemed to vanish against younger power forwards Stoudemire and Bosh.
- Glen Davis, C
For parts of the season, Big Baby was playing great and looked like he was playing for a big contract. Next thing we know, he’s taking terrible shots during crunch time and falling off the face of the earth in the postseason. I personally think that most of his problems are mental, because he is a very capable player. Regardless, I cringe watching him sometimes. He does have his fair share of good moments, to be fair. Just not consistent enough.
- Troy Murphy, D
I actually like Troy Murphy as a player. But he’s in the Pavlovic league of contributors for this season.
Last, but not least, the centers.
- Shaquille O’Neal, C+
I love Shaq and would love to give him a higher grade, I really would. At 39, he just couldn’t stay on the floor, especially when we needed him in the playoffs. I don’t blame The Big Shamrock for this, I blame the Celtics for putting so much confidence in his health. Actually, I just blame Danny Ainge for trading Perk. But that’s neither here nor there.
- Jermaine O’Neal, C
Another older big man who couldn’t stay on the floor. Hard for me to give him a higher grade considering the injury problems and 33 combined games played. I give alot of credit to Jermaine, however, for his toughness and defense that he provided when he was in the game, specifically against the Knicks in the first round.
- Nenad Krstic, C-
Decent offensive player, but has anyone seen him down low? Wow. Soft is an understatement. Again, didn’t get to learn the system and get comfortable in Boston. So he went to Russia. Oh well.
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