Celtics

Celtics

LAS VEGAS -– When the news surfaced that the Boston Celtics were acquiring David Lee from the Golden State Warriors, it was a time of mixed emotions for Ron Adams.

Adams spent this past season as an assistant coach with the NBA champion Warriors, a season removed from serving in a similar capacity with the Boston Celtics.

So if there’s anyone who has a feel for how this basketball marriage will work, it’s Adams.

The veteran assistant coach has often talked fondly of his time in Boston and believes Lee would be an ideal addition to the Celtics roster under head coach Brad Stevens.

Lee’s talent alone will help make the transition a relatively smooth one, Adams said.

But more than that, Lee has shown the ability to handle adversity and unexpected setbacks in a professional manner by not allowing it to affect the team in a negative way – the kind of thing that matters greatly to the Celtics and the culture that Stevens is trying to develop.

Lee, a two-time All-Star, was in the starting lineup before being sidelined with a hamstring injury. While he was out, Draymond Green moved into the starting lineup and the Warriors took off for unprecedented success.

Upon Lee’s return he was not only not starting, but for the first time in his career he wasn’t a sure thing to be in the rotation, either.

“It was a tough year for David,” Adams said. “David showed a great deal of character this year; I complimented him on that during the course of the year. I thought he was a really great team player for us and was integral to our winning as were a number of other people.”

But his role with the Celtics will likely be significantly different than it was in Golden State with Lee most likely inserted with the starting unit at either power forward or center.

Despite his limited role upon returning from his hamstring injury, Lee appears to be a player with still something left to prove.

When he had an opportunity in the NBA Finals to play, he made the most of it by doing what he does best – scoring the ball and rebounding.

Boston will be looking for him to do both of those things once the deal becomes official.

“David is a very active offensive player,” Adams said. “Great on finding seams and dribble-penetration. He has a clever post-up game. He has a perimeter game. He’s a really well-rounded offensive player and a good offensive rebounder. He has a good nose for the ball.”

Lee’s defense has been the biggest knock against him.

“Defensively, I thought he improved for us this year, challenged shots well, did a lot of things well. He made a step up with his defense; he can continue to do that. Just a good active, all-around offensive player and a guy that has a defensive dimension to him also.”

And now he will be bringing his game to Boston which brings about mixed emotions for Adams.

“It’s tough to see anyone leave,” he said. “We liked David a lot. He’s a very intelligent and clever and funny guy. I will miss him.”