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The Celtics have a shooting guard problem*

 

The Celtics lost one of the game’s best shooting guards this offseason, and they have responded like any newly available scorned lover: they’ve tried to make it with every available replacement.  Luckily for the C’s, they can hang their hat on the fact that they’ve snagged two hot commdodities in the SG game in Jason Terry and Courtney Lee.  The C’s may be old, but they’re still hot.

On paper it looks like Ray Allen left for the younger, more zestful Miami Heat but in actuality the parting was more mutual than you’d expect.  Sure, Paul Pierce is “a little bitter” and Doc Rivers is claiming responsibility for not being a good marriage counselor.  But really, the C’s and Allen both left each other for younger, more desirable replacements. 

Only the C’s have gone completely overboard in their attempts to feel wanted again.  They signed Terry to replace the projected off-the-bench scoring Allen was to provide.  They traded away their two draft picks from last season, money, and some roster flexibility three years from now in order to nab to ultimate athletic Three and D guy in Lee.  The C’s even invited Dionte Christmas and Jamar Smith to training camp with the idea that one of them would make enough of an impression to take the path once forged by the great Goldie Blocks himself, Greg Stiemsma

That’s four guys already, but the C’s are apparently not done.

Speaking from under his ambassador hat at this summer’s Olympic Games, Doc Rivers told Ole that he would love to sign Carlos Delfino but can’t afford him. 

Replacing Ray Allen was an obvious concern after he defected, but the Celtics appear to be consumed with it.  So much so, that they are sacrificing valuable time that should be spent polishing other parts of the roster. 

It would be silly to quibble about third and fourth options behind first ballot hall-of-famers if it weren’t for how badly the C’s roster was decimated last season.  The Celtics started the year with Stiemsma being the third center off the bench behind Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Wilcox and ended the season with Stiemah as the first person off the bench to back up Kevin Garnett.   

With the team’s injury history, the C’s will have to be prepared to use every single player on their roster.  Right now, the Celtics best option to backup Garnett and Brandon Bass is Chris Wilcox.  Since he can’t play both backup roles at the same time, especially with the expected decrease in minutes for Garnett, the Celtics will have to rely on someone else.  The other options include Jason Collins and rookie Jared Sullinger: one unproven player and one player proven to be limited offensively. 

There is a thought that the C’s could play Delfino at the three in short bursts but the data at 82Games seems to suggest that it would be a bad idea.   When defending the SF position, Delfino’s opponents put up an average of a shade under 20 in PER.  That is B.A.D. bad.  To put that in perspective, Mickael Pietrus fared much better in defending small forwards as they averaged just under a 16 in PER.  As you can imagine, Pietrus also defended SGs much better than Delfino.  The only competition that’s still undecided between the two is for worst tattoo (basketball dragon or barbed wire arm band?).  The point is, why waste time thinking about Delfino when the C’s could be trying to convince Pietrus to come back on the cheap.  Or explore signing another small forward, power forward, or center?

The questions that still remain: why is the interest in shooting guards still so strong?  Are Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge on the same page when it comes to Dionte Christmas and/or Jamar Smith?  As in, does Ainge want at least one of them as a cheap alternative to an established veteran and Rivers doesn’t want to play an inexperienced player?  Is Avery Bradley’s health more of a concern than originally thought?  Was Doc Rivers just asked a question by an Argentine website and was just making political niceties?  Ultimately, it’s probably just that but none of the other explanations are out of the realm of possibility. 

*maybe I just have a shooting guard problem.

  • Phil

    I just can't get worked up over who the Cs decide to add to the end of the team. If it actually matters in the playoffs, something (read; something with KG) went horribly wrong and they're not winning anyway.

    Jason Collins is already the prototypical end of the bench seven footer that won't play in the playoffs, and they're not getting better than him at this point. If we're talking about who will eat up 10 minutes in the regular season in the case of injury, just throw Christmas out there at the 5 for all it matters. Having another big guy may help, but I don't think its an issue either. I'm comfortable with the roster the Cs have now.

  • Mike

    I feel Ainge has assembled the deepest and probably most talented Celtics team in many years. I don't think they'll add anymore bigs because Ainge wants Sullinger to get some minutes and sees him as a "now" contributor.
    I still wish we had another player off the bench who could guard Lebron. Right now the only players we have who can really guard Lebron are Pierce and Green ( Bass isn't quick enough and Lee is too small). One sprained ankle or foul trouble to one of these two could mean make or break us inn the inevitable match-up with the Heat in the conference finals. I still think in a championship or bust mentality, bringing back Mickael Pietrus at the biannual or someone like Marquis Daniels at the minimum is worthwhile, even if it means sacrificing a promising young player like Joseph or Christmas at the final cut. Pietrus is a beast physically and did an admirable job guarding Lebron. if he can actually start hitting some shots, he would be a very valuable asset come playoff time and would be very helpful to have if it takes Avery Bradley longer than expected to return.

    • Rav

      Kris Joseph is a prototypical SF – he's long and athletic, so theoretically should be able to defend Lebron. He's our 3rd SF in the rotation right now. I don't think Pietrus or Daniels would really want to occupy that spot seeing as it would mean barely any minutes during the regular season (or playoffs, really, unless there's an injury).

  • Spencer

    Why not go for a capable proven PF like Kenyon Martin? Offer him the bi-annual and make Sully the 3rd big off the bench.

    • Robel

      I also think that would be a great idea, but actually let him play both pf/c since he has been known to guard all 5 positions. I think we should get another big man, and he'll do just perfectly as one. & plus the lakers got to many PF's anyway. Haha

    • Rav

      Like that idea – will he come here for the BAE?

    • Mark

      I like the idea but not sure Kmart is the guy. The Celts didnt address their biggest need and that is rebounding, rebounding. Not going to win if you dont have the ball. They had a chance to draft A. Moultrin from Miss State who I think was a top 10 pick. 6"11 260

  • Vince

    I think the roster is set. Peaches and/or Kenyon Martin and/or anyone 6'5 or taller that can make an NBA roster is already on a roster and making more than bi-annual. We have enough depth, just need decent health

  • KJandHondo

    Sounds to me like Cs are loading up for Miami and no one else. Guess they want as man options as possible to counter Miami’s small ball lineup. I still think another big is need. Front line needs help especially if injuries occur. I'm satisfied with the roster though.

  • skeeds

    I don't think Doc really means he wants another SG. It's just that he'd love to have Delfino on the team. I would to. Maybe it's the Manu fanboy inside me talking, but I have a soft spot for Argentinians. Ginobili, Prigioni, Scola, and definitely Delfino. Anyone who's watched this Argentina squad play over the past decade has to like these guys. It's perplexing how under appreciated they've been…
    Also, I'm pretty sure Delfino's got the best looking 3pt shot in the league. Highest arc I've seen, looks like a mortar bomb. And yes. That IS a good enough reason to want him in green.

  • Hiro

    Yi jian lian anyone?

  • Rain

    no Yi please :p

  • rondeezy

    how come people mention delfino and kmart but not the birdman? we need size rebounding and shotblocking off the bench. hes like a proven fab melo

    • CG12

      The Birdman may be occupied for a while. His home was recently searched by the local sheriff's Internet Crimes Against Children department. Don't know exactly what that means, other than we probably don't want him on our team.

  • pedro

    Yup Birdman would be a great add for them, there are still definite concerns with the bigs. He's still a good rebounder and great shot-blocker at this stage, and would provide a great fifteen minutes of energy a game. Do it, Danny!

  • Booboo

    I like the idea of Birdman, but if I were Danny I would try Salah Mejri from Tunisian. He is a hard Working 7,1 footer, with great ballhandling for a C and able to shoot the 3.

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