Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Celtic 2004-2005 Roster Review

Tony Allen-Maybe I'm the only one who sees a poor man's Ron Artest in this guy. He’s a very athletic guy who needs to hone his game. Could be trade bait this off-season.

Marcus Banks-Well the little guy finally showed me something in the playoffs. He can defend and he can move. What he doesn’t do is make smart decisions with the ball. He may be your starter next year and he just as easily could be traded.

Mark Blount-I don’t care what Danny Ainge says, this guy took the big money and went south. By playoff time he was on the bench permanently. He makes the Statue of Liberty appear mobile. They'll try to trade him but with his big salary, not likely.

Ricky Davis-This guy was arguably their most consistent player last year. Was terrific off the bench and won many a game for them. At 25 and low salary, he's a steal for them and also makes good trade bait. Personally, I hope he's back.

Al Jefferson- Here is the man they will build around. He’s their best low post player since McHale and Maxwell and he’s only 20. Did I mention he has a great attitude and was truly terrific against Indian? His presence will almost undoubtedly spell the real end for Toine here.

Raef Lafrentz- He finally stayed healthy and gave the Celts some key minutes. More of a bench guy than a starter, he too has an untradeable contract.

Gary Payton-He gave the Celts a veteran presence all year long but come playoff time, he looked like Dennis Johnson at the end. He was someone who came in and slowed the game down to a standstill. He’s a free agent who needs to move on.

Kendrick Perkins- This youngster showed something his second year. To me, a millennium version of Greg Kite at best but we'll know more this year.

Paul Pierce-One of the most talented guys in the league hands down. As Bob Ryan of “The Boston Globe” said, “Now, what about Pierce? He is the team's most skilled offensive player, he is perhaps the best rebounding two guard in the league, and he can do things no one else on the team can do. But he has gotten just plain weird. Can anyone get to him to see just what his problem is?He started the season in a funk and he ended it with that ludicrous display in Game 6 and a dud of a Game 7. How far can a team go if he is its best player? That's a very serious question?" All I can add is what I said yesterday, maybe time to shake up the stars; Pierce for Kobe?

Justin Reed- A bench player at best this year maybe he'll see more time next year. Really an incomplete.

Antoine Walker- Well the second coming of Toine brought them a more composed Paul Pierce, a first place finish, and some serious interest. As Bob Ryan also notes, "All his strengths and liabilities were on display in this series. He remains a curiously unathletic player whose lift, never great, almost completely has disappeared at age 28. Against most teams, he is at the offensive mercy of his 3-pointer and his funky in-between game. He is still a good rebounder and still should be an effective passer. Then there's the whole locker room lightning rod business I now realize has some merit. But what is the monetary worth of this package? Most people say $6 million annually, tops. It will be interesting to see if Antoine is one of those people." Me thinks we have seen the last of Walker, again.

Delonte West-As Peter May says, "The Celtics do really love this kid. He is nerveless on the floor and that is big for a point guard, not to mention a rookie. He also has a decent outside shot and, for his size, is an excellent rebounder. He had a lot of big moments for the team and you have to think he's in the plans for a lot more playing time next season." I think we are going to see much more of Delonte West next year. It wouldn’t surprise me if he were starting at point guard next year. He and Jefferson will be a big part of their future plans.

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