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Post-game Reactions

• I promised a bit more on Tom Haberstroh’s piece at ESPN.com evaluating Ray Allen’s market value, so here are a couple of the more interesting tidbits:

Allen exposes his biggest weakness when he’s forced to take his man off the dribble. In fact, he was one of the worst in the NBA this past season, shooting just 11-for-39 in isolation situations. Luckily, those made up only 4.3 percent of his scoring plays, according to Synergy Sports Technology.

And:

All told, he generated 31.6 percent of his scoring plays from off-the-ball screens this past season, topping all NBA starters.

The stats paint a picture of a player that is becoming increasingly dependent on others for his offense, and one whose ability to take over primary ball-handling duties in a pinch—something Ray did often with the bench this season—is fading badly.

I’ll have much more on Ray this week, but I’ll say this now: The team should hold firm on two years, so that any Allen deal would expire at the same time as Garnett’s deal. If Ray’s team pushes for a third season, offer a team option and leave it at that. Allen turns 35 in about three weeks, and the track record for shooting guards over 35 is basically non-existent. Allen is a fitness freak and could absolutely be an exception, but the team should make him prove that. 

The thing is, though, that if Paul Pierce exercises his $21M option, Ray’s team will have the C’s in a tight-ish spot. The team will be well over the cap with few (if any) immediately desirable trade assets. The roster will be what it is, and Ray’s team could basically say, “Hey, you can re-sign your shooting guard or basically stand pat and take your chances with the mid-level exception. You’re stuck with what you’ve got.” 

The next week is going to be very interesting. 

• Danny Ainge knows he could lose his head coach soon, and he’s playing ever card possible to keep Doc around (via Scott Souza):

Doc Rivers, who expects to decide within the week whether he will return to coach the Celtics for the final year of his contract, said he listened to Ainge talk for two days about the strengths of potential picks. Finally, when it came time to determine the top target, Rivers said Ainge went to his closing argument.

“He said: ‘I really think you’d like coaching this guy,”‘ Rivers said.

CelticsBlog (via Ridiculous Upside) has a handy list of guys who will play for the C’s summer league team starting July 5th in Orlando.

That’s it for now. Enjoy your Sunday.

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Zach Lowe

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  • Zain

    @Zach

    Not sure if this has been reported here yet, but Adrian Woj reports the C’s will target Brad Miller (Remember him, Rajon?) in free agency.

  • brian Robb is posting on this now, I believe.

  • crizik

    I think the C’s have to start thinking about the future. Where will this team be in 3 years?

  • Jason

    I still think Ray has another good year, possibly two in him. While he badly struggled on offense for six games of the finals, at least he had enough legs to play very good defense throughout. That should indicate that he has fuel left in he has in legs. He also had enough spring in his legs to finish well around the basket.

    I’m not sure how relevant his isolation numbers for this year are. They were never a strong suit even when he was younger. They could very well have been similar for much of his career, maybe not as bad but maybe never good either.

  • al

    retiring rasheed is prob one of the biggest trade assets out there short of erick dampier’s contract, c’s can get a good player from a team looking to cut costs.

  • Remember! No team out there is going to do anything to help a conference champion maintain or get better.

    Anywhere possible, the competition is going to move their talent some place else, all things being close to equal.

    And the talented UFAs who have age on their side are going to matriculate to where the money is as opposed to pursuing teams who are stuck in the vice grips of the luxury tax.

    Ainge isn’t holding any cards here. The best he can do is look to land a former great player who’s well passed his prime (like Brad Miller).

    Even if there are slightly better choices for putting the MLE to work going after a younger, higher quality BIG, those types are not going to see the Celtics as a very good option for a lucrative multi-year deal.

    They know going into FA season that the Celtics are in no position to make that happen.

  • Perry

    Aside from being pulverized on the boards in game 7, the other glaring weakness (all season long) was nobody scoring off the dribble or getting to the rim. We all know the iso game with Pierce will never be as efficient as it was, and until Rondo develops a consistent jumper and shoots a higher FT% the problem won’t be solved.

  • Hypothetically, if I was Orlando and I decided that it was time to move Gortat because I now had Orton, I would never, ever consider trading him to the Celtics, even if they could make a package that met the cap requirements and had some intriguing elements to go along with it.

    And that’s going to be the case with 90% of the teams out there this summer.

    No GM is going to help Danny resurrect his franchise for one last run. He’s going to have to do that all by himself.

    That’s why Danny couldn’t move the Celtics number one pick last week despite the fact that there were teams that otherwise would have been interested.

  • Conversely teams also know that taking players like Ray Allen and to a lessser extent Pearce off Danny’s hands through FA, is just another way of helping the Celtics out from under their problem.

    Teams don’t have to take that route in an FA market like this one. There are just as many viable options elsewhere.

    Leave the Celtics to stew in the financial mess they’ve created for themselves is subtly going to be the sentiment out there.

  • dslack

    @Dave —
    But Orlando isn’t looking to create cap space. So Sheed’s contract isn’t that valuable to them. They’d rather move Gortat for talent, and the Celtics don’t have talent to offer. So of course Orlando wouldn’t trade Gortat to Boston.

    You said “all things being close to equal.” But all things aren’t close to equal. The Celtics have cap relief to offer, in the form of Sheed’s contract. Not too many other teams have that. Miami could trade Beasley to Boston for cap relief; I can’t think of too many other teams they could do that with (besides teams that are also looking to sign major free agents, and not to tie up their cap-space with an underachiever like Beasley).

  • complexity

    Let me preface this by saying that I’m a big Ray Allen fan.

    Here’s the thing.

    Ray wasn’t very good in the finals at all. There is no excuse for an allstar or a future hall of famer. But he played 38 minutes a game, if Tony Allen did anything at all on offense, we could have had a different outcome in the Finals. A lot of people on this blog were really big on Tony Allen because of his performances in the Magic series yet he came up real short in the Finals. Defense is great and all but when you don’t score at all when the bench is in, its real hard for the starters.

    One other thing to consider is when Pierce wasn’t doing good on offense when he was guarding Lebron. That was cool because Lebron was the best player in the world. When Ray is guarding Kobe, nobody barely mentions that. And if you listened to the press conference from Kobe at the end of the game, his ears were buzzing because he was working so hard out there, much thanks to Ray.

  • dslack

    Tony Allen did limit Kobe to 25% shooting or so during the series. Turning Kobe into essentially a non-entity is worth a lot.

  • complexity

    Dslack, I mentioned that. But nobody wants to give Ray any credit for D. And Kobe’s ears were freaking buzzing at the end of game 7.

  • dslack

    Eh, I give Ray credit for D. But Tony definitely D’d Kobe up better than Ray or anyone else.

  • @dslack: Teams looking to create cap space need only find teams that have cap space and a desire to take on the talent that’s costing said team too much money. They don’t need Boston or Sheed’s contract to do that.

    By example, Chicago didn’t have any problem creating more cap space. All they had to do was be willing to dump Hinrich and their number one pick to Washington for nothing in return (useless future second rounder).

    Most teams would sooner do it that way then help the Eastern Conference Champs stay competitive by easing their financial woes so that they can acquire more talent.

    Bottom Line: Every other alternative will be exhausted by teams before they will lift a finger to do anything that would benefit the Celtics this free agent summer.

    The Celtics are going to have to do it all on their own.

    The Spurs have been the recipients of that same treatment for several seasons now.

    The Lakers will soon have their turn in the barrel too though their core players are younger than either the Spurs or the Celtics.

  • dslack

    @Dave —
    I agree that that’s a possibility, and I pointed out that possibility in the parenthetical part of my comment, except why do the teams with cap space have cap space? In general, they have tried very hard to create that cap space in order to be players in the free agent market. This is why I found it so surprising that Washington was willing to soak up Hinrich’s contract.

    But anyway, I don’t think that other GMs are as concerned about helping competition as you seem to think. I mean, Memphis gave LA Pau Gasol for free (Kwame + second round pick, plus late first round picks). Heck, even the Washington trade you mention is a good example of this — What’s scarier, the Celtics plus Luol Deng? Or the Bulls with Rose, Noah, LeBron, and Bosh? I think the latter is far scarier for the rest of the league, and yet Washington was totally willing to help make that happen.