Are you ready for the Keith Bogans era?
Do you even know what position he plays?
Maybe don’t answer that.
Still, Bogans will be in uniform tonight along with Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and number of other guys who may or may not be Celtics come the trade deadline. To celebrate the new season, we’re doing a double dose of 3-on-3’s today, with a gaggle of CelticsHub writers and our friend Chris Forsberg from ESPNBoston.
Onwards to the burning questions!
1. Explain Jeff Green to me. I still don’t fully get him.
Brendan Jackson: Who does? Green is an extremely athletic and talented player with some pretty severe shortcomings. He lacks the size and rebounding ability to be a power forward. He doesn’t have the ball-handling and the ability to create off the dribble required to be a SF/swingman. And he certainly doesn’t possess the aggression and passion to be a number one option.
Chris Forsberg: If Green were a Facebook relationship status, he’d be “It’s complicated.” There’s a whole lot of talent in that body, but we’ve only seen it in small bursts (most tantalizingly in last year’s playoffs). Green said this summer that he was ready to be the focal point of Boston’s offense, then underperformed for much of the preseason. On the eve of the season-opener, Green said he wants to average 20+ points. One of the biggest challenges for Brad Stevens this season is figuring out how to maximize the potential, talent, and versatility of Green, because no one else has quite figured out how.
Hayes Davenport: As far as the Celtics are concerned, Jeff Green is a trade chip. He’s never demonstrated himself to be an offensive leader, and even if the rebuild goes according to plan, Green will be past thirty at the tail end of his contract by the time it’s over. If Ainge is smart, he’ll manage to flip Green at the trade deadline to a contender: someplace where he can camp out in the corner and shoot the spot-up threes he loves so much.
2. Who will be the pleasant surprise out of Boston’s batch of ex-Brooklynites?
Jackson: If there’s a pleasant surprise, it has to be MarShon Brooks. He’s the only player out of the four acquired that has the opportunity to be a part of the next Celtics era. That said, if any of the Brooklynites net the Celtics future assets it would be the most pleasant of surprises.
Forsberg: Early returns suggest the only answer here is Gerald Wallace (assuming we can’t choose the draft picks). MarShon Brooks barely got on the floor in the preseason (78 minutes in six games) and Kris Humphries had an underwhelming exhibition slate. Wallace emerged as a leader on the court and off, muscling his way into the starting lineup with his play and challenging this young teammates to bring more effort.
Davenport: Other than whoever they pick with any of Brooklyn’s three first-rounders? Or whoever Ainge ends up with in return for Kris Humphries’s expiring deal? I guess that leaves MarShon Brooks. He showed flashes as a shooter in college, but his three-point percentage declined in his second year, even though he shot fewer threes. If nothing else, getting Brooks allows Ainge to effectively undo his draft-night flip of Brooks for JaJuan Johnson, the only player from the 2011 first round who’s currently on an NBDL roster.
3. Imagine it’s next summer. The season’s over. Write your 2013-14 season recap.
Jackson: They did it! By only winning 25 games, the Celtics have put themselves in the best position to secure the top overall pick in the up-coming draft. Brad Stevens did a masterful job as evidenced by the great strides made by Kelly Olynyk, MarShon Brooks, Vitor Faverani, and Phil Pressey. The future is bright in Beantown. (Hey, I’m an optimist)
Forsberg: After stumbling through much of the 2013-14 season, the Boston Celtics closed out coach Brad Stevens’ rookie campaign with a flourish, winning five of eight games in April. Stevens said he’s fine with sacrificing potential premium draft position at the expense of victories. “We made progress throughout the season and that showed over the final month of the season,” Stevens said after a 26-46 campaign which featured a 13th-place finish in the East and some roster turnover at the February deadline. “Our young guys see we are moving in the right direction, with guidance from Rajon [Rondo]. We’ll get back to work this summer and keep building.”
Davenport: Rajon Rondo got traded to the Bucks for Caron Butler, Brandon Knight, and two first-rounders in February. Brad Stevens molded the pasty modeling clay that is Kelly Olynyk into an All-Rookie first teamer, but by season’s end Ainge had traded the entire rest of the roster, forcing Stevens to play Olynyk for 48 minutes alongside four 2015 draft picks. The Celtics somehow managed to lose 89 games and finish 17th in the East, behind midseason expansion team the Bar Harbor Beagles. In conclusion, the season was a huge success that went exactly according to plan.
Check back later today for part two.