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Non-Hughes Notes From Around The League: Fear The Deer

 

Some news and notes from around the league:

Chris Forsberg at ESPNBoston.com makes an intriguing case for signing Shaq based on the fact that the C’s need rebounding:

Now the sobering reality: Of the top 25 free-agent rebounders (unrestricted and restricted) from last season (based on rebounds per game), only three remain on the market: Earl BarronShaquille O’Neal and Anthony Tolliver.

Daydreams of Shaq in green started last week when Ainge said the Celtics had conversations with him. But Ainge also stressed that with the addition of Jermaine O’Neal, any Shaq deal was “very unlikely.”

I’ll revisit this topic tomorrow, and I’ve touched on Shaq before here. Some random musings on the Diesel:

• For the first time in his career, Shaq was a negative in terms of plus/minus last season. The Cavs’ offense scored nearly 5 fewer points per 100 possessions when Shaq was on the floor, the worst number among all Cleveland’s rotation players save for Jamario Moon. It’s tough for a guy who shoots 56 percent from the floor to be an offensive anchor, but Shaq pulled it off last season.

The key is: Why?

 Did he slow up a Cleveland offense that was otherwise best designed to run the floor? That problem might not be relevant in Boston, where Shaq would be coming off the bench and thus playing in line-ups that do NOT include Rajon Rondo. On a Boston team that sometimes struggled to generate easy looks—particularly when four second-unit guys were on the floor—there is value in a player that can get a shot from within 10 feet of the hoop anytime he wants. 

• Is a Shaq/Jermaine O’Neal front court viable defensively against the Magic (with Rashard Lewis at the four) or Miami (Chris Bosh)? What about a Shaq/Davis front court? Your instinct is to say the C’s would be fine with the latter, since Davis shared the court last season with another aging big man who can’t defend screen/rolls (Sheed), but keep in mind many of the C’s worst defensive line-ups included the Sheed/Baby front court. 

Other notes from around the league:

• You Boston College fans can stop your dreaming about Craig Smith. He signed a one-year deal with the Clippers, terms (at this point) unknown. I am very curious to see what Smith got. 

• The Milwaukee Bucks might end up being the most unpleasant team to play against in the Eastern Conference. They acquired Jon Brockman from the Sacramento Kings today in exchange for Darnell Jackson (an afterought) and a 2nd-round pick. Jackson’s contract is unguaranteed, meaning the Kings may just waive him. 

But in Brockman, the Bucks are getting a nasty, nasty player. Nobody in the NBA—not one single player—rebounded a higher percentages of his team’s misses than did Brockman, according to Basketball-Reference. Throw in a front court that includes perhaps the 2nd-best defensive player in the game (Andrew Bogut), another true defensive menace (Luc Richard Mbah a Moute) and a rookie (Larry Sanders) who is going throw himself all over the paint? The Bucks are going to make your life miserable on the inside.

Despite rumblings that Yao might miss the start of next season, the Rockets remain my pick for the most intriguing team outside of Miami. But the Bucks are close behind. 

Eddy Rivera at Magic Basketball has a thoughtful look at what Quentin Richardson will bring to the Magic next season. I’ll say this: If he can approach the 40 percent mark from three-point range again, the Magic could be even better offensively next season than they were in 2010—and they ranked 4th in the league in offensive efficiency in 2010. 

The Celtics tilted their defense away from Matt Barnes during the Eastern Conference Finals, and Barnes, a career 33 percent shooter from three-point range, hurt them in just one of six games. 

• The Bulls acquired a useful player in C.J. Watson from Golden State in a sign-and-trade. The Bulls will give up nothing a second-round pick. Watson is a point guard who can shoot threes and fill in at the two in a pinch. The Bulls will pay him $10.2 million over three years. Nice deal for Chicago, especially considering the Warriors turned down a better trade offer from the Magic last season. 

Man, the Eastern Conference is going to be brutal next season.

  • I love Green

    Why is everyone improving except us!?!?!?!

    DANYY YOU’RE PISSING ME OFF!!!!

  • I love Green

    Why is everyone improving except us!?!?!?!

    DANNY YOU’RE PISSING ME OFF!!!!

  • Shooter

    Funny thing,i was just thinking about signing Shaq today.I mean what have we got to lose now,there’s no one left on the market,not that Shaq’s on the market, but, i would absolutely love to get Shaq here to backup JO.I think he would prefer coming off the bench as well,at his age and he would work well with our 2nd unit guys.Plus he brings an offensive dynamic we could really,really benefit from.
    DANNY, GET SHAQ!!!!!!!!!!

  • Tristan

    Tolliver is the man for me, young, has a good jumper and can rebound…and cheaper then the others!!!

  • Shooter

    Tolliver can’t do what Shaq can.Shaq would no doubt fit better in this system than Tolliver.Tolliver is 6’9,why do we need a shorter center? Uh that’s right,he’s not one.And don’t say he is,we all know Nelly likes small ball(s).
    Shaq is clearly the better option.

  • Shooter

    And we definitley don’t need another jumpshooting big.

  • Shooter is insane!!!

    Have u even looked at tollivers numbers? Hey went up in every category as the season progressed. Yah he’s 6’9″ but he can ball. He had 21 rebounds in 28 mins against Dallas who had dampier and Haywood!!! He’s 25, can shoot, rebound and is athletic with a freakish wingspan. DANNY SIGN THIS KID NOW!!!

  • shane

    ehh , maybe tolliver i like barron and shaq better .

  • shane

    i like theses stats Earl Barron #30 PF» Add Widget
    2009-10 STATS
    PPG RPG BPG
    11.7 11 0.6
    Birth Date August 14, 1981
    Birth Place Clarksdale, MS
    Age 28
    Weight 250 lbs.
    Height 7-0
    Position PF
    Experience 4 years
    College Memphis
    better than anthonys 11.7 ppg and 7 rebounds .

  • Jason

    The Rasheed and Davis pairing struggled so much on defense because they were horrible defensive rebounders. Yeah there were other factors like Rasheed being out of shape for most of the season and sometimes not even rolling out and contesting shots and Davis being limited by his size but the inability to finish of stops I thought was the biggest culprit. On paper, they would seem to complement each other: Rasheed, the big defensive presence center in the middle, Davis the agile PF; Rasheed the outside shooter, Davis the banger grabbing offensive boards or rolling to the basket off picks. But you can’t pair up two bad defensive rebounding bigs. Defensive rebounding is too important. No team has ever won a championship with a negative rebounding differential and the Celtics couldn’t become the first.

    Shaq has his warts at this stage of his career but at least he’s still a good rebounder. And he wouldn’t have to go up against Perkins, which takes away one of the few guys capable of stopping him one on one. If he’s out there for game 7, no way do Gasol, Bynum and Odom pound the boards. Shaq would have been too strong and large to let that happen. On the other hand, they might not have gotten as many stops because Shaq may be the worst pick and roll defender in the NBA. It’s a tradeoff but if Shaq is willing to come off the bench, I think he’s still too good to pass up. In the end, it’s probably infeasible because it sounds like he’s not willing to play for the veteran minimum and I doubt Ainge uses the Rasheed chip plus draft picks to sign and trade for him.

  • Tristan

    Shooter…why would we want another dinosaur? I’m a fan of shaq but at 38+ he isn’t the superman he use to b and about time we stop thinking he is…we already have perk as a big C who is only useful under the ring on the offensive end, don’t need another who is older, better to have a young athletic C, and when perk is back he won’t be called on as muchn, and could even spell KG, spread the floor and rebound…can’t see how this is a bad thing

  • Jon

    To all the people here who do not think we should get shaq should stop watching Celtic games and jump on the Miami Heat band wagon… To the rest of us educated celtic fans WE NEED SHAQ and t-mac….

  • NHBluesMan

    @ Tristan- you say we don’t need Shaq cause we have someone with the similar build in Perk… well what happened when Perk went down with the knee injury? It’s not like we’re going to rotate between the two, Shaq would give us consistancy off the bench. Sure he’s older, but get him the ball within 5 feet of the hoop, and theres still no stopping him from scoring without a hard foul (and even then, he can still get it done).

    I like the idea of Shaq if he can buy into being a role player. I’d just love to see Nate and Shaq running the 2nd unit, THEN we wouldn’t need to worry about our point production going down the drain whenever the starters get a rest

  • Dave

    Shane you do realize Earl Barron’s stats for this past season were for 7 total games? As opposed to Tolliver who played in 46 games for his averages.

  • Tristan

    @NHBLUESMAN
    I just can’t see shaq keeping up with the pace of the offence…also who is gonna loose out on minutes when we have perk healthy and JO coming in as the second C? Is Shaq really gonna be happy with being the 3rd option? That’s why I like the option of Tolliver as he can play PF and has the length to spell KG and he is much better then Williams…Shaq is awesome but I can’t see the use of an other dedicated centre down the stretch

  • Roberto

    I don’t want Shaq. If we trust him like Cleveland did, we are not going to be near a championship. Besides, I find it doubtful that he would be willing to take a role similar to Shelden Williams’ when Shelden was with us. Sign either Tolliver or Barron. They are the 2 most intriguing options left and they can still bring a lot to the table seeing as they’re not too old. They can sit at the end of the bench when Perkins is back but they can also help when Perkins isn’t here and be a big piece. Personally I say Tolliver.

  • CJ

    Anyone notice that the Bulls are just stacking up with ex-Jazz players? Korver, Boozer, Brewer, Watson. What’s up with that?

  • CJ

    woops not watson I guess I got him confused with someone else

  • Ryan

    CJ you are right the Bulls are looking like the Jazz

  • Rich

    Everyone needs to understand that Shaq is wanting 5mil a year +. As long as his number is there, the Cs are not even in contention. That’s to much for Shaq…but if brad Miller can get it, then Shaq figures he should to (and why not?).

    CJ Watson is a fantastic pick-up for the Bulls at a nice price. Guy is lightning quick and can shoot the ball. Gives the Bulls two legit shooters coming off the bench. Man, I really do like the Bucks and Bulls more than the Heat. They will just blitz Miami in the paint and with their second units. LBJ went to Miami because he didn’t want to have to carry the load, but what he doesn’t realize is that he’s going to have to do everything he did in CLE + Wade will too in order for them to get through the extremely tough East now.

    If LBJ OR Wade has an off night, they aren’t winning that game in the East playoffs. They simply don’t have the role players to pick up the slack.

  • Rich

    And why didn’t the Cs pursue this trade btw? Maybe they did, but my lord the Bucks gave up basically nothing for Brockman. You’d think the Cs would have had no problem beating that offer while not feeling like they were getting ripped off. Brockman is pretty much what the Cs needed.

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    no shaq. he would kill the chemistry of this team. would much rather have sheed back.

    tolliver, yes sir.

    i must saying i’m lovin both the bucks and the bulls rosters. will be cheering for them when not playing the Cs. i think both will leapfrog atlanta and even challenge orlando.

    atlanta is going to get ugly this year… U-G-L-Y, you ain’t got no alibi, you ugly, you ugly, yo momma say you ugly.

  • I love Green

    Utah lineup last year. (with Brewer)

    D-Williams
    Brewer
    A.K.
    Boozer
    Okur

    Bulls lineup this year

    Rose
    Brewer
    Deng
    Boozer
    Noah

    I’d take Williams over Rose, and Okur over Noah. Utah was better than them. Don’t be scared boys.

  • Freshberries

    I think Shaq would be great. If anyone would lose minutes I think it would be Baby cuz Jermaine can play the 4. Whoever said Perk could play PF is insane. Dude is WAAAAY to slow to play the 4 where u get a lot of quick guys that can shoot and dribble. Perk on Rashard Lewis would get murdered. Shaq can play center and Jermaine can play the 4. U have to think we will have some sort of injury at some point, beyond Perk missing half the season. Plus, even when Perk gets back its not like he will be starting right away, and even if he is he will be at drastically reduced minutes for a while until he gets his game back. Shaq just takes up space around the hoop, which is the ONLY reason we aren’t champions from last year. Shaq’s ability to box out like 19 guys at once will help other guys get rebounds, plus he gets fouled A LOT and always puts other bigs into foul trouble. Shaq would be AMAZING for the Celtics, we would win the championship no doubt. We aren’t the Cavs from last year, he fits here

  • Rich

    You would take Okur over Noah….what? Does defense and rebounding mean nothing?

  • I love Green

    Okur isn’t bad on defense, he doesn’t get trashed by other centers. He averages 7 rebounds per game for his career, and is a whole lot better on offense than Noah.

  • george

    shaq will be the finishing touch on a great offseason by ainge well done i hope??1!!

  • Rich

    Noah shoots a higher percentage that Okur (by quite a bit)and gets 4 more rebounds per game. The one thing Okur gives you is 3 pt. shooting, but having your C shoot 45-46% from the field and only getting 7 boards a game….give me the guy who actually plays in the paint every day.

  • I love Green

    Noah also scores about 6 points per game. He’s too small to guard D12 or Bynum.

  • http://www.truecloud.com Dave

    Rich is right!!

    Shaq isn’t interested in a team that can only pay him the VLE and expects him to be willing to accept a role of the 4th or 5th BIG off the bench.

    You’re delusional if you think that’s going be a fit for him.

    That’s not how Shaq’s ego works people! I get that you all think it would be wonderful for the Celtics.

    But it doesn’t work for Shaq. He has a completely different expectation.

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