With the recent deals made by the Celtics they freed up several roster spots making everyone wonder who those are for, if for anyone. Obviously, with free agency and bought out contract being the only option, their options are limited. But although there are no All Stars available there are players that could potentially help and here is a list of some potential signees:
1. Rasheed Wallace
Obviously, he was on the team last year and people had mixed feelings about him. He retired but since then has displayed interest in returning to the team. With the lack of size and rebounding the Celtics have after the Perkins trade and the roster space opened up he could definitely be a good sign. The chemistry he already would share with his old teammates and his indifference to playing a full season make this the ideal conditions for both sides. If I were the Celtics I would definitely look into him. If they are to sign him though, they better check his conditioning first because he will not have the whole season to "play himself into shape".
2. Leon Powe
While we are on the subject of resigning former Celtics players, Leon Powe was bought out of his Cavs contract and is available. I think I speak for everyone when I say that I loved him when he was in Boston and would love to have him back. Unfortunately, with his knee injury (he played six minutes on a torn ACL in the playoffs) his game has taken a huge hit. So, you can take those visions of Game Two of the NBA Finals (one of the best individual unexpected performances in NBA Finals history) out of your head. He won't come back and get and ones and then let out a yell, he won't throw down on two Lakers or drive the length of the court and make Gasol look like a stiff as he goes by him for a two handed jam or explode for 21 points. That's not to say he wouldn't help though. His energy and defense can always help off the bench and it would be a nice homecoming and there would be no chemistry issues. He is not a bad choice but remember it won't be the 2008 Powe we would get.
3. Troy Murphy
Recently receiving a buyout from the Warriors he is available. Although not producing as much this season, he has proved to be a solid player in the past with the Pacers (averaged a double double with the Pacers, 15 and 10). His three point shooting and rebounding would definitely help. With trading for Jeff Green though I don't think that the Celtics will make a move for a similar type player, but with Green's versatility it is possible to have both of them and even play them together. The size and rebounding he would provide is much needed. The Celtics should definitely try to sign him (Heat are also interested).
4. Jason Kapono
Everyone remembers him as the guy who won two three point shootouts and not much more. And to be honest, that is very accurate, he averages a hair under one point a game and plays a mere 5 minutes a game for the 76ers. So, the question is: Why is he even in the conversation? The answer is, he has great potential and has shown it in the past (averaged 16 points a game in the '08 playoffs). His three point accuracy would also find a home on an elite team where he could be set up for open three's. He could find a home in Boston and shouldn't be overlooked.
5. Larry Hughes
A versatile guard that has a career average of 15 points a game and 9 points a game last season, what's not to like? He's old. But not necessarily too old, his game has not taken much of a hit lately and on a better team (like the Celtics) his game would benefit. He would fit in nicely and could be the two guard off the bench and take some pressure off of Delonte West. He is definitely worth a look and if he can come cheap, he would be a good sign.
6. Rasual Butler
Yes, the Greg Oden protege who tweeted several pictures of his penis (he claims his twitter got hacked). But turns out size isn't the only thing he has (didn't see the pictures, just what I hear. I also refuse to look at the Greg Oden pictures, I have a feeling nightmares might ensue). He has a career average of 9 points a game and 5 for the year. His contract was bought out by the Clippers making him available. Although not the best player at his position (guard/forward) on this list he still could help. If they can't get any of the aforementioned guard/forwards then he could be a good sign.
7. Dan Gadzuric
Gadzuric would definitely provide the size that the Celtics need, at 6'11" he is very lengthy. He is not the best player on this list only averaging a 3 and 3 in 10 minutes a game but that doesn't mean he can't help. He is a decent defensive talent and can rebound well. If anything he's an option for the Celtics and could take the pressure off the other bigs for the rest of the regular season.
8. Mike Bibby
Honestly? The "experts" are talking about the Celtics picking up Bibby. I would rather bring Sasha Vujajic to Boston. No, I'm just kidding, but you get the point. There are few players as hated in Boston (Lebron, Vujajic, Varejao, Noah, the entire Lakers team). He called the Celtics fans "bandwagon jumpers" in 2008 during the playoff series against the Hawks (come to think of it, add Zaza Pachulia to that list). I would boo him even if he was in a Celtics uniform. Needless to say, the Celtics will not be signing him.
(Sidenote- He is likely to sign with the Heat. Him and Eddie House are brother in laws and played together in Sacramento. Family or not, they will be fighting each other for minutes in the three point shooter off the bench role.)
9. Corey Brewer
Just recently bought out by Knicks Brewer is a great player. A shooting guard in a forwards body, at 6'9". He scores around 9 points a game and would be great to bring off the bench. Also, if looking into the long term, he is only 24 and still developing as a player. The Celtics should definitely look into signing him.
Here are seven legit options that the Celtics could sign. While none of them will make or break the title run, they can all contribute whether it's taking some pressure off the starters during the rest of the season or scoring off the bench all these players are capable. The way I see it is that the Celtics need another big man for more depth and in case one of the O'Neals goes down for good, another swing man that can shoot the 3 and another 2 guard to take some pressure off of Delonte and in case he gets injured again. The three people I see best equipped for those roles are, Rasheed Wallace, Jason Kapono and Corey Brewer.
"Gloria: My mother died when I was six. My father raped me when I was twelve.
Arthur: So, you had six relatively good years?"
To follow up on that last article saying farewell to Perk, Quis, Nate, Luke and Semih, I think that it's only fair to welcome the newcomers Jeff Green and Nenad Kristic to the brotherhood. I think it's time to show what we are getting.
With Jeff Green we are getting a capable back up for Pierce and a starter on any other team playing off the bench. Along with that, we will also be getting more than our fair share of high flying dunks, as you will see in this highlight video. What it doesn't show however is the jump shot that Green has added to his game, making him a very versatile threat, he can shoot, pound it in the post and drive to the hoop finishing strong. He can also guard the other teams best player and if any player was built to stop Lebron, Jeff Green at 6'9" 230 pounds is it. He also is only 24 and in the future, building a team around him and Rondo will be the focus.
(In the highlight video, the real action starts at 56 seconds)
The only Krstic videos I could find was one incredibly low quality video from five years ago and one of him hitting some guy with a chair in a brawl during an international game. But he provides good offense and he, while not as much as Green, will certainly help.
Boston is a brotherhood. And inevitably, every player that puts on the Celtics jersey is part of that brotherhood. As fans we welcome them in and cheer for them. We love them for whatever their specific talents are and we will defend them no matter what. That is what a brotherhood is all about. Well, five of the brotherhood will no longer be wearing Celtic green. We will still root for them and wish them the best, but it won't be the same. We loved them as Celtics and they were part of the brotherhood. It is always hard to say goodbye to members of the brotherhood but now we must. For now we will remember them as they were (I feel like I'm writing a eulogy) with highlights and remember the good times with them.
Perkins defense and rebounding in the Celtics system was unmatched. He will be missed.
Nate Robinson was a fan favorite to say the least. His energy off the bench and on it invigorated not only the team but also the fans. He was the Donkey to Glen Davis' Shrek and I think I speak for all Celtics fans when I say, we loved Nate.
Quis came in and guarded the other teams best player while also playing good offense. I couldn't find any highlight videos but he can't only play basketball and here is him rapping (am I the only one who thinks he looks like Lil Wayne?).
Not surprisingly, I couldn't find any Luke Harangody or Semih Erden highlight videos but remember them as they were, token white guys (a step above Scal in my book).
In short, the success of this trade depends on the health of Shaq. We played the majority of this season without Perkins and without fault, when Shaq was healthy. If he is healthy this is a great trade as we got what will be the best back up for Pierce. If Shaq is not healthy, the Celtics get demolished inside and the trade potentially costs the Celtics the championship. I hope it's the former and there's no reason it shouldn't be.
(See previous article for a more in depth analysis of the trade and its affect.)
I would love to sit here and justify the trading of Perk, Marquis, Nate[i]
, Semih and Harangody (Semih and Harangody separate trade for Cavs draft pick) for Jeff Green[ii]
and Nenad Kristic but I’m not sure I can. I mean you could argue that Perk wouldn’t resign next year or that his injury is worse than we think and he will never be the same player again and Marquis will not play again this year and even if he does he will never be the same. But even with that in mind it still doesn’t make much sense to me. I just don’t believe this is the best deal we could have got in trading one third of our roster. If we trade Perk and Quis, then it makes sense. I don’t see why Nate had to be included. We just traded our depth, and more importantly, front court depth for perimeter talent and defense (I actually think he will be a perfect fit in Boston and can cover Lebron. He will be like James Posey 2.0), in Jeff Green, and a defensive liability, in Nenad Kristic (him, as you may be able to tell, I’m not so excited about). As it is, with both O’Neals out indefinitely with injuries, Kristic is the only center on the roster. I think (and hope) that the C’s have a plan in free agency and have a center to sign. I would put my money on them signing back Rasheed Wallace, as I wrote a few months ago
. Love him or hate him (I would be the former but I think I’m in the minority there), the Celtics need size and their options are limited at this point. I fear that if this is the Celtics final roster come playoff time then we will have a repeat of Game 7 and (assuming a Celtics-Lakers finals rematch but it could apply against any lengthy team) the Celtics lack of size and front court depth will be exploited and cause them to lose.
Let’s compare the before and after of the trade as it is right now:
Starters- Rondo, Allen, Pierce, KG, Perk
Bench-Nate, West/Wafer, ---, Davis, Semih (rotation) Bradley and Harangody
Starters- Rondo, Allen, Pierce, Davis, Garnett (usual crunch time squad)
Bench- West, Wafer, Green, Kristic (rotation) and Bradley
For right now the advantage goes to after the trade, the starting five while lacking in size and rebounding makes up for it with offense. And Pierce having a backup (and a capable one at that) is just what we need. Now let’s compare the roster fully healthy:
Starters- Rondo, Allen, Pierce, Garnett, Perk
Bench- Nate, West, Quis, Davis, Shaq/J. O’Neal (rotation) Semih, Harangody and Bradley
Starters- Rondo, Allen, Pierce, Garnett, Shaq
Bench- West, Wafer, Green, Davis, J’ONeal/Kristic (rotation) Bradley
Assuming that Marquis, Perk and both O’Neals get to full strength then the before trade has the advantage but I doubt that Quis gets to 100% so I think after trade has advantage. And after the trade, four of the five bench players could start on most teams.
So, I guess this trade might be for the better. Looking at the numbers, Jeff Green averages 15 points and 6 rebounds a game in 37 minutes that will be just incredible to be bringing off the bench and it will take the pressure of off Pierce. And Kristic averages 8 points and 4 rebounds a game in around 21 minutes which, although he’s not a good defender, his offensive numbers will help.
It is very hard to see fan favorites like Kendrick Perkins, Marquis Daniels and Nate Robinson go. But it’s part of the business and it’s happened before, remember Eddie House, James Posey, Tony Allen and Leon Powe all fan favorites in their time as Celtics but now we don’t even think of them, ever. Soon, you’ll see Jeff Green jerseys in the streets and come playoff time you’ll even be a Nenad Kristic fan. What I’m most worried about right now is the Celtics chemistry. Perkins was a pivotal part of both the offense and defense and team and how they react to playing without him is yet to be seen. So for now, we say Adieu to Perk, Nate, Quis, Harangody and Semih and thank them for their time as Celtics and welcome Jeff Green and Nenad Kristic.
(Sidenote- Sorry it took so long for me to write this. I am in a place where Internet connection apparently doesn't exist. In fact I wouldn't have even heard of the trade if a friend didn't text me about it (imagine how shocked I would've been finding out a few days later). Where am I writing this you may ask? In my grandmother's empty house. You know somethings a big deal when you break into your grandmothers house to write about it. (she actually let me use her computer but she isn't home so I needed to break in, desperate times call for desperate measures).[i]
To be honest, I’m most upset about Nate being traded. He’s a fan favorite and we will probably never see Shrek and Donkey together again.[ii]
Just recently I was thinking about how things would’ve turned out had the Celtics not traded Jeff Green to the Seattle (soon to be OKC) for Ray Allen and the rights to Big Baby. What I came up with was this:
Celtics have core of young Rondo, Pierce, Green and Al Jefferson. OKC has core of Westbrook, Allen and Durant. A good team and with the soon emergence of Big Baby potentially a championship team. The winners there are the Thunder but I don’t think it stops there. And this where it gets crazy, the Celtics are looking to deal Al Jefferson for another forward, they had two people they were considering that wanted trades, Kevin Garnett and Pau Gasol. Garnett wouldn’t come without Allen and a good chance of a championship so the C’s make the Garnett trade for Gasol and wait for it….the Lakers make the Gasol trade for Garnett. Leaving us with a C’s team that has a big two of Pierce and Gasol while the Lakers have a Big Two of Kobe and Garnett and the Thunder have a Big Two Allen and Durant. Who wins it all? Probably the KG Lakers. If you thought that was crazy then this will blow your mind, both Kobe and Pierce publicly expressed the desire to be traded and if either were to be traded it would be for another superstar. It was possible that Pierce and Kobe could have been traded for each other, think about it, they both wanted out, Pierce would love to come home and neither of them had really experienced the rivalry. Then the Garnett and Gasol trades go the same way as aforementioned and we have an NBA Finals where a Celtics team of Kobe and Gasol face a Lakers team of Pierce and Garnett. Wow, my head hurts. Crazy the impact that one move in the NBA can have.
The Caltech Beavers won the other day 46-45 over Occidental (I had never heard of it but apparently Ben Affleck and Barack Obama went there) to break their 26 year losing streak. Yeah, you read that right, not a 26 game losing streak, a 26 year, 310 game losing streak. I still can't wrap my head around this, 26 years? How does that happen? You have to be trying to lose 310 straight, right? I don't care how bad your teams are, in basketball, you have to get lucky at least once every five years. The way I see it is after, at most, five years without a victory you have five choices:
1. Move into a smaller league or division
Granted, they were probably in the smallest league in Div. III but maybe just a change in opponents might change their luck.
2. Start offering scholarships
Okay, so athletic scholarships are illegal in Div. III but they could throw some extra financial aid to convince athletes to come there. You can't tell me the rest of Div. III isn't doing the same thing.
3. Start illegally recruiting
Desperate times call for desperate measures. And I mean otherwise that's a hard pitch to make to players, "Well we haven't won in 26 years but we were in the process of rebuilding. And we think you could be the missing piece for that one win."
4. Drop the program all together
If there is no chance of winning then what's the point of wasting money on the team. They could just drop it for a few years, regroup then start the program all over again.
5. Go through 21 more years of agony before getting one win
Unfortunately for the Caltech faithful (no I'm just kidding there are no Caltech faithful) they chose choice #5. For me, #4 is the obvious decision. It's just a waste of Caltech's money. They should have dropped the program 20 years ago and with the money they saved built a new Physics center or something. At this point it's just embarassing that them winning one
31 years ago yesterday, the US Olympic Hockey team defeated the heavily favored USSR team in the Olympics. It has become known as the "Miracle On Ice" and the movie Miracle came from it. It was without question, the greatest moment in United States sports history. Four players on the US team came from Massachusetts, Dave Silk, Jack O'Callaghan, the captain and most remembered for scoring the game winning goal, Mike Eruzione and Jim Craig the goalie who had the game of his life to shut down the USSR, the greatest team in the world. Never again, as a country, will we see anything like it again. It was the perfect time (a tough time for the US and during the Cold War with the USSR), perfect group of players (a bunch of no name college players), perfect coach (Herb Brooks), perfect fan base (the entire United States), the perfect team to beat (the hated powerhouse USSR that had players that, illegally, played professionally in Russia and as a team also, illegally, held illegal practices), the perfect upset (a group of college kids beating the greatest team in the world) and the perfect call ("Do you believe in miracles?....YES!" -Ken Dryden). It was the greatest moment in sports and never again will anything match it, it truly was a miracle and on February 22, 1980 the entire United States believed in miracles.
After the All-Star break is always the worst time for both the Celtics and the Bruins, not because of the "All Star Hangover" or a tough schedule. But for both teams, they go to the west coast for a road trip every year after the NBA All Star break because the Circus is usually occupying the TD Garden. No doubt it's tough on the players but what about the fans? Staying up until one in the morning to watch a Celtics-Warriors game is not exactly in my Tuesday plans. Because of this, I missed a great Celtics game in which the 12 active players on the roster all played and contributed, something that, with all the injuries, hasn't happened for a while. And of those 12 players, many had great performances including an unheard of 3 double- doubles. Garnett had a double-double with 24 points on an efficient 11-16 shooting and 12 rebounds. He rounded out his performance adding 6 assists, 2 blocks and a steal. On his 25th birthday, Rondo had another double-double on yet another great performance. He scored 19 points on 9-12 shooting and 1-1 from three and also dropped 15 dimes. Like KG he rounded out his performance with 6 rebounds, including 2 offensive, and 2 steals. The third double-double came from Big Baby in only 26 minutes. He scored 10 points and pulled in 10 rebounds. On top of that he had 3 steals and a block. Pierce scored a typical 23 points but shot 9-13 from the field and 3-5 from deep. Allen also scored a typical 18 points on 8-16 shooting and 2-5 from deep. Along with the typical performances from the starters, Avery Bradley made use of his 2 minutes on the floor and, for the first time, we got to witness the first round pick's offensive potential. In the two minutes he was on the floor he scored 5 points including an offensive rebound, a drive to the hoop that resulted in an and-one and a made jump shot. Delonte also returned and although he didn't play well (0 points on 0-4 shooting) that is to be expected because it will take a while to adjust back into game speed and for his wrist to get the shooting touch back. It is good to have him back and with him back now he will have plenty of time to get back to 100 percent before the playoffs and at this point, this is what we need.
As a team, they shot 56 percent from the field and 41 percent from deep. And dominated the Warriors down low outscoring them 54-36 in points in the paint. The performance of the Big Four was just incredible. They combined for 84 points on an incredible 65 percent shooting from the field and 55 percent from downtown. Also, they had a combined total of 29 assists, 27 rebounds and 5 steals. If you add in Glen Davis, who although didn't start with them played the fifth most minutes, and his 12 points and ten rebounds, then the Celtics win 96-93 with just five players. Lucky for the Celtics they didn't need to sweat out a close game like that because they have, at this time, 7 more players that can contribute. And hopefully, 3 more players will soon be added to those 7 willing to contribute.