Crunching Some Celtics Numbers
The endless amount of statistics available in sports can be overwhelming. Obviously the numbers don't always tell the true story behind success and failure. But trends can be analyzed and conclusions can be made. Check out some of the nuggets that were of interest about on the Boston Celtics as they enter an off-season with several decisions...
The Celtics don't have a lot of wiggle room this offseason if Danny AInge decides to bring the band back together for one more run. They do have some trade pieces to reshape things, but unless Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are not returning, the options are limited for what they will be able to add.
While Danny Ainge said yesterday on WEEI that he expects Doc Rivers to return to the sidelines, it is not a guarantee. As you can see, Doc stacks up as one of the most successful coaches in Celtics history.
The Last of Paul Pierce?
The biggest decision for the Celtics is what to do with Captain Paul Pierce. The team has a $5 million dollar buyout they can exercise to save themselves cap room and cash in the owners wallets. There is also the option to amnesty Pierce altogether, and of course the trade option exists. Should the C's bring back Pierce, he is owed $15 million next season.
Season 19 for KG?
Kevin Garnett has 2 years remaining on his contract, but he will be 37 years-old when the season starts, and has played almost 53,000 (!) minutes in his career.
Running the Point
Rajon Rondo's 2012/13 season had its peaks and valleys. There was the assist streak and being anointed as the leader on and off the floor by Doc, KG and Pierce. Rondo unknowingly tore his ACL January 25th in Atlanta. That night the team blew a huge lead and had lost 6 in a row. They won the following 7 games after the injury. Were they better without him on the floor? Regular season? Debatable. Playoffs? YUP.
After missing the entire 2011/12 season due to heart surgery, Jeff Green returned to the floor. Fans impression of him in a Celtics uniform was mixed, as he never seem to fit after being acquired for Kendrick Perkins. As the season progressed, Green continued to see more minutes, and fans saw more and more flashes of what his potential could bring.
A Difference Maker
Avery Bradley missed the first 2 months of the season recovering from surgery to both shoulders. The team immediately started to play to the level fans expected upon his return. Bradley regressed towards the end of the season, most likely because of the added pressure of replacing Rondo in the lineup.
Ray vs The Jet
The New "Big 3" was dismantled before last season with Ray Allen taking his talents to South Beach. The Celtics reacted by signing Mavs super 6th man Jason Terry (a full 2 years younger than Allen). Terry was forced to start much more than anyone anticipated with the injuries to Bradley to start the season and Rondo in January.
Most assumed Jared Sullinger was a sure lottery pick. However, red flags appeared concerning his back, and the Ohio St. All-American fell right into the C's laps at the 21st pick. Ainge saw great value at this point in the Draft. Sullinger impressed in NBA Summer League, during the preseason, and with more playing time, produced as a legit NBA starter. The medical red flags came to fruition at the end of January as the 21 year-old had to have back surgery.