Blog Entry

Celtics Weekly: Life Without KG a Good Thing?

Posted on: February 23, 2009 1:36 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2009 2:28 pm
 

Okay, I wouldn't go that far, but the Celtics haven't exactly folded under the pressure when Kevin Garnett hasn't been able to suit up. Don't get me wrong, I would much rather see #5 in the lineup than not, but over the last two seasons The Big Ticket has missed a total of 15 games, during which the C's have gone an impressive 13-2 including last night's 128-108 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

With Garnett out of the lineup, there were several nagging aspects of the Celtics' game that were highlighted:

Can Perkins, Davis, and Powe carry Boston down low for 3 weeks? When the trio of "centers" on the Celtics' roster picked up a combined 5 personal fouls in the first 6 minutes of the game last night working on Shaq, I know I wasn't the only one saying, "this is going to be a long 2-3 weeks with these three knuckleheads as the only options to play the five." The three-amigos went on to shoot 8-9 from the field for a combined 20 points and 15 boards and only picked up 6 fouls the rest of the way. If Big Baby can show some consistancy shooting jumpers, Powe maintains his intensity down low, and Perkins keeps developing offensively down low the C's should be able to fight the Cavs for the #1 playoff spot in the East until KG gets back.

Can Perkins, Davis, Powe, and Garnett carry Boston down low throughout the playoffs? When the trade between the Hornets and Thunder fell through there was much rejoicing in Beantown because Joe Smith was not only once again on the block, but outwardly saying he wanted to come and play for the Celtics. Even after the trade deadline passed, the 13-year vet, who at 6-10 and accustomed to coming off the bench, would be the perfect fit in the Boston lineup, said that he was looking for a buyout of his contract so he could join the defending champs. Yesterday the former #1 overall pick quelled those rumors saying he was staying in Oklahoma City for the remainder of the season. I wouldn't give up hope, however. Oklahoma City has no shot at the playoffs, and since they were unable to move Smith's expiring $4.7 million contract he has no value left, and the team could use Smith's playing time to develop younger talent. Although Smith said he's staying put, it wouldn't be the first time that an athlete said something that was changed later.

How good is Rajon Rondo? Simple answer, he's pretty good. However, don't expect the Celtics' point guard to start consistantly hitting threes as the shot clock expires, shooting 75% from the field, and dropping 30 points a night. Remember, earlier this year Rondo set his career high in points against these same Suns at 25 before besting that number by 1 the following night. It is no secret that the Suns' defensive is utterly miserable and expect Rondo to come back to Earth tonight when he matches up against Chauncey Billups in Denver. He will score more without KG in the lineup, but I'm thinking somewhere along the lines of 18 points per night, up from his season average of nearly 12.

Comments

Since: Apr 22, 2008
Posted on: February 25, 2009 2:26 pm
 

Celtics Weekly: Life Without KG a Good Thing?


I want to know what happened to the wonderuflly blossoming Loen Powe of last year? While most people say that the loss of P.J. Brown is a one reason why they don't have it sealed for this year, I would argue that the pressence of Powe as gretly decreased. His numbers havn't taken a huge hit, but you can tell that he isn't the same force.

Powe is really a one trick pony, he pulls down offensive boards and puts the ball right back up. As a result he is in the top ten in the league in free throws per minute played, but because he is such a marginal free throw shooter (67.2%) the fouls he draws aren't that productive.

Powe is going to be a solid presence off the bench, but you can't expect him to develop into a dominating player. The 7 points and 5 boards he is averaging this season (as compared to 8 and 4 from 07-08) in 16 minutes per game seems to be his ceiling, and I'll take that from a back up center.




Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2009 1:47 pm
 

Celtics Weekly: Life Without KG a Good Thing?

While I agree that the loss of Kevin Garnett will boost the productivity of Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo, this team will definitely feel the pain without their big man. I can think of 2 maybe 3 games this season that Kevin got into foul trouble and eventually fouled out, resulting in a Celtic's loss. In both of those games, it seems as if Pierce and Allen think they need to carry the wait, and it just spreads throughout the whole team.

 

I want to know what happened to the wonderuflly blossoming Loen Powe of last year? While most people say that the loss of P.J. Brown is a one reason why they don't have it sealed for this year, I would argue that the pressence of Powe as gretly decreased. His numbers havn't taken a huge hit, but you can tell that he isn't the same force.

 

 




Since: Apr 22, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2009 3:18 pm
 

Celtics Weekly: Life Without KG a Good Thing?

While they didn't get many minutes yesterday, Walker and Pruitt should see more of the floor when the game means something.

Yesterday Pruitt was on the floor when the game was close in the first half, and after passing up an open shot with 2 seconds on the shot clock promptly chucked a pass over Eddie House's head which House was barely able to grab and not get off the shot before the shot clock expired. Rivers pulled him out of the game directly after that. On one hand, Rondo was having a career day and should have been on the floor, but Pruitt is the back up point guard on this team, and as such needs to be seeing more than the 5 minutes of playing time he got yesterday.

On the flip side, the Celts DON'T miss Tony Allen coming off the bench.

Couldn't agree more. Less Tony and more Pruitt with House moving up to take Tony's time at the 2 is what the C's need.




Since: Nov 19, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2009 2:59 pm
 

Celtics Weekly: Life Without KG a Good Thing?

Some other positive things came out of yesterday's game and it will be interesting to see if they continue during the time that KG is on the shelf.

1. I NEVER thought I would say this, but I think the Celts actually MISSED Scal when he was out with his concussions. He changes the way the Cs play, especially on offense. His game is more conducive to playing on the perimeter than Garnett's and with him standing out by the three-point arc, the middle opens up for slashing drives by Rondo, Pierce, and Ray Allen. Of course, Scal has to keep making his shots to be effective. On the flip side, the Celts DON'T miss Tony Allen coming off the bench.

2. Pierce and Allen seem to thrive on the extra responsibility when KG is out. I'm sure its not something they would like to do for a full season, but for the next 6-8 games they appear to like the fact that they will see more opportunities on the offensive end.

3. While they didn't get many minutes yesterday, Walker and Pruitt should see more of the floor when the game means something. Both of these kids are talented and Doc is going to have to suck it up and let them make mistakes and learn from them. He can't have Pierce and Allen playing 40+ minutes a night while letting these two languish on the bench. They're on the team, give them 8-12 minutes and see what they can do.

4. The Celts team D is THE best in the league. Without the reigning NBA Defensive player of the year, they "held" a team that scored 140+ a game for the past three to 108. The Suns were never in this game because of the Celt's defense.

The Celts have apparently offered Mikki Moore a contract for the remainder of the season. While not Joe Smith, he offers size (7 footer) and experience off the bench and should be able to spell Perk against some of the more athletic 5s in the league.

I'm not ready to concede the top seed in the East to the Cavs just yet. Losing KG for 3 weeks won't make it easy but this has proven to be a resilient bunch and I believe that they can at least keep the Cavs in range until The Big Ticket returns.




Since: Apr 22, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2009 2:28 pm
 

Celtics Weekly: Live Without KG a Good Thing?

On a positive note, remember also that this is the same time of the year last season when Ray Allen really started to heat up...if last night was any indication Ray could carry the C's for the long haul.



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