Blog Entry

Preseason Primers: Celtics

Posted on: September 20, 2010 11:04 am
 

Ah, it seems like The Decision was only yesterday. This week, CBSSports.com will be rolling out our team-by-team training camp primers, which can be found here in the BergerSphere and in the informative, snarky, rollicking neighborhood known as the Facts & Rumors blog . I'm starting with the defending Eastern Conference champion Celtics. You know, the Vintage Big Three. (I'm so 2008.) In keeping with the cloak of secrecy surrounding the Miami Heat's training camp, you will need a security clearance to find out when we're dropping the camp primer on the South Beach version of the Big Three.

Boston Celtics

Training camp site: Newport, R.I.

Training camp starts: Sept. 28

Key additions: Shaquille O’Neal (free agent), Jermaine O’Neal (free agent), Von Wafer (free agent), Delonte West (free agent)

Key subtractions: Tony Allen (free agent), Shelden Williams (free agent). • Likely starting lineup: Rajon Rondo, PG; Ray Allen, SG; Paul Pierce, SF; Kevin Garnett, PF; Jermaine O’Neal, C.

Player to watch: Kevin Garnett. Getting the Big Ticket back to health is of no small importance for the defending Eastern Conference champs. During the Celtics’ surprising run to the NBA Finals, KG finally started to move around better and was able to log substantial minutes without any obvious consequences. Will Garnett ever get back the explosiveness that he possessed before his knees started breaking down? No way. But if he can lose the limp and get some of his lateral mobility back – which he showed glimpses of during the Finals – his impact on the Celtics’ success cannot be overstated.

Chemistry check: Under Doc Rivers’ leadership, the Celtics have been more adept than any team in the league at incorporating new (and mostly zany) personalities into an established locker room. If the Celtics can withstand the potentially disruptive additions of Stephon Marbury, Nate Robinson and Rasheed Wallace, then bringing Shaq into the fold should be easy. But it’s worth wondering how enthusiastic O’Neal will be if asked to accept a secondary role – first to Jermaine O’Neal, and then to Kendrick Perkins once Perk recovers from his knee injury. Prediction: If Shaq didn’t make waves in Cleveland with the way Mike Brown underutilized him, there’s no way he causes trouble for Rivers. One thing about Shaq is that he respects those who’ve earned it. As for Delonte West: If anyone can harness his talents and help him get his personal life under control, it’s Rivers.

Camp battles: Boston has plenty of frontcourt depth. What Rivers will be looking to establish in camp at Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I., is a dependable backcourt rotation. Tony Allen, who became a defensive stopper of sorts during the playoffs, is a big loss. Rivers will be counting on Daniels, Robinson, West and perhaps someone who isn’t on the roster yet to give him quality minutes behind Rondo and Ray Allen.

Long shots: The Celtics recently worked out Adam Morrison, Rashad McCants, Cuttino Mobley and Trenton Hassell. There isn't much room at the inn, but it's a sign of how badly Boston needs some backcourt depth. Mobley, who has been cleared by doctors to resume his career after retiring due to a heart ailment, is the longest of these long shots.

Biggest strength: Experience. From the championship in ’08, to Garnett’s injuries, to Glen Davis’ shirtless, bloody fistfight in a moving car, to Rondo’s growth as the undisputed leader of the Big Four, to Perkins’ series-altering knee injury in the ’10 Finals, the Celtics have been galvanized by experiencing ups and downs together. Rivers’ decision to return for another season, coupled with extensions signed by Pierce and Ray Allen, has set the table for one more run with the Celtics’ core group before age catches up to them.

Glaring weakness: The glass-half-full version of the above says experience, exshmerience: The Celtics are too old for this stuff. But that’s what everybody thought last year when Boston played .500 ball from Christmas Day to the end of the regular season. At that point, my preseason Celtics-Spurs prediction for the Finals was looking about as dead in the water as the Celtics were. As it turned out, I was only half wrong. I wouldn’t advise counting them out until someone beats a fully healthy Celtics team in a seven-game series.


Comments

Since: Jul 22, 2010
Posted on: September 22, 2010 5:31 am
 

Preseason Primers: Celtics

One thing I cant stand bout some Laker fans is the bandwagon..they will argue you down if you say that Kobe is slowing down due to his injuries..and saying that Kobe has loss some explosiveness...they'd also argue you down if you say that the Lakers wont win next season...there is a good chance that the defending champs gets dethrone..yes I know they are basically the same team and they have gotten slightly even better..but as said an UNhealthy Celts took them to the limit in 7 games.  If the Celtics are healthy this season, there is no way that the Lakers win another one. 

Interesting to note tho...what if neither Celts or Lakes make it to the finals..i know that happening is slim to none but would be interesting.

Anyway back on track ill be rooting for Celts to pull away with one more ring..I dont think this year Heat will just run thru competition..their year is next season most likely.



Since: Apr 30, 2008
Posted on: September 21, 2010 3:41 pm
 

Preseason Primers: Celtics

I hear everyone talking about Garnett and  Allen and Rondo and rightfully so. Also everyone has mentioned Shaq AND Jermaine O'Neal and the addition of Delonte West,again rightfully so. These players are great veteran players and could carry the Celtics to another Finals victory. Of course with Perkins in the line up and healthy and the back up of Glen Davis, Nate Robinson and hopefully Daniels can be a factor as well. Everyone is saying they have no depth in the back court,i just named more than enough back court players but, ....but they have left out one rookie name actually two but one in the back court who will be a huge impact , in the second half of the season, Avery Bradley. Once Avery Bradley get's some experience in the first half he will be something to behold in the second half.The biggest name left out who will be an impact the second he steps on the court will be Luke Harangody.  This kid has so much talent and heart and competitiveness ,that it is scary,or will be for opposing teams, remember i said that come playoff time this year. Luke on the court with Perkins,Pierce, Garnett, and Bradley, plus Rondo. That would be my starting five, and they will be awesome. Remember i said this come playoff time.

    PEACE

     



Since: Mar 10, 2008
Posted on: September 21, 2010 1:18 pm
 

Preseason Primers: Celtics

The SHAQ ATTACK will take out KOBEME specially will his shooting finger about to fall off...And then what?????Gas Face Pau will run the team... hahahahaha 



Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: September 21, 2010 8:30 am
 

Preseason Primers: Celtics

Its a non guarenteed contract, he has to make the team first. The 60 wins a leap, but improvement should be steady. The Thunder are for real



Since: Sep 17, 2010
Posted on: September 21, 2010 4:39 am
 

Preseason Primers: Celtics

I think it's great commentary to discuss NBA championships before training camp begins.. One thing I can say is that the NBA will be exciting this year.  I am thrilled to see the additions that the Celts made in the offseason and I think the additions definitely gives them a chance, and sets up a potentially great encounter with the Heat. In the end, it will be great to see the Lakers hang up #17 against either a great Celtics team or Heat team to tie the Celts for the most all-time.  I look forward to this season...



Since: May 16, 2007
Posted on: September 20, 2010 9:20 pm
 

Preseason Primers: Celtics

The key to this season for the Celtics: Play Shaquille O'Neal, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Jermaine O'Neal, and Kevin Garnett for the first five minutes of the first quarter and last five minutes of the last quarter of each game throughout the regular season and hope 1)they can come up with just enough energy to play the last half of each playoff game like they played in the 20th century and 2)the rest of the team needs to win the 35 or so regular season games it takes to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.



Since: Apr 16, 2007
Posted on: September 20, 2010 8:19 pm
 

Preseason Primers: Celtics

I can't wait for _another_ Lakers vs Celtics Finals! The 2010 Finals were just epic, with all the stars, personalities (Ron, Rasheed, etc.), and history between the 2 teams.

And now Kobe vs Shaq in the Finals just puts 2011 over-the-top. It's going to be a long 9 month wait until the Main Event!

The Heat are a good team, but the Celtics have one more run left in them before the window closes on the Big 3. Lakers & Celtics are stacked, even more so than last year. 2011 Finals is going to be crazy!




Since: Sep 12, 2008
Posted on: September 20, 2010 6:55 pm
 

Preseason Primers: Celtics

The Celtics can easily beat every team in the League.... In the Playoffs. See the Celtics always go under the radar in the regular season behind the Cavilers, Magic and Hawks but when they get into the Playoffs they have so many veterans with experience. I think they cant get rid of Garnett, he brings so much electricity to that team come Playoff time. With the additions of Shaquile O'Neal, Jermaine O'Neal and Delonte West the leadership just keeps Piling up. While other teams have superstars and youth, the Celtics have Leadership, Heart and Veterans. Rajon Rondo is the number 1 point guard in the league in front of Rose, Paul and Derron Williams. He averages a Triple Double virtually every playoff game, he cant be stopped his passing abilities and new found shot is undependable. This year the Celtics will make it back to the NBA Finals and WIN this year. 



Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: September 20, 2010 5:07 pm
 

Preseason Primers: Celtics

I expect the Celtics to be good this year, but not great. They'll probably finish around 3rd or so in the East, and win a playoff series or two,  but I don't think another Finals run is in store, although you never know! The frontcourt depth is nice, but the guards on the bench aren't great. Robinson will provide a spark, but beyond him, who is there? Hopefully Avery Bradley can contribute, and maybe Delonte West can get it together enough to be a factor.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: September 20, 2010 4:04 pm
 

Preseason Primers: Celtics

The Celtics showed last year what can happen when a team plays well towards the end of the year.  They took literally everyone by surprise and gave the Lakers all they could handle in the playoffs.

As a Lakers fan, I know better than to count out the Celtics.

I do think the Celtics can press the Heat in the East and especially with literally every other team cheering against the Heat they have a good chance at advancing far this year.

Shaq will be a good pickup for them.  Jermaine O'Neal hasn't been worth a crap in a couple of years but he is just a younger body and won't be expected to do much besides take up space and foul.

Celtics probably have another run in them.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com