I will not be bias folks, have some trust in me. Yes, I’m a Lakers fan, but you can’t deny that when the Celtics acquired the big 3 they had something special. 2 of the last 4 years the Celtics have made the NBA finals, winning the ‘ship once. Not a bad run at all, this year they were old, beat up and ran into a buzz-saw in the Miami Heat, losing the series in 5 games.
There were a lot of changes the C’s made this year, the major move happening before the trade deadline in trading their paint protecter aka goon Kendrick Perkins and spark plug guard Nate Robinson for talented stretch-forward Jeff Green and pick-and-pop Nenad Kristic. The trade hurt the chemistry so much for a while there were reports Rondo cried for a few weeks, but honestly a lot of the players were sad they traded Perkins who was their heart and soul on defense. With the trade they gave the paint duties to Shaq daddy and Jermaine O’Neal, both of which battled injuries. The C’s made other minor deals but none bigger than this one.
One key in the off-season is to re-sign Jeff Green, so they don’t lose Perkins for nothing. Then they need to build up the team chemistry with Green. As the roster currently stands it looks like he will be the 6th man, unless they want to start him at the 4 and KG at the 5. Green has a post game and can shoot the 3 making him an option at the 3 or 4 giving the C’s some versatility.
The biggest improvement must come from Rondo, yes Rondo is already an all-star guard, great defender, good passer, but whose shooting is terrible, point-blank. He also has a big heart, coming back from a dislocated elbow during game 3 to basically play the rest of the series with one hand. The big 3 are not getting any younger so he needs to improve his shooting to take some of the load off of them and become the face of the franchise. When your PG can’t hit pull up jumpshots and free throws that’s a problem. He needs to hit the Westbrook and Rose camp this summer, so he can help the big 3 survive the long season. The days of people laying off of Rondo need to be over if the C’s are going to make another run.
Also, they need to sign another banger to replace what they traded away in Kendrick Perks. A key to their previous run was the way they protected the paint and made it very difficult to score. With Shaq under contract for only one more year and his recent battle with injuries, who knows if he will play again, and Jermaine having major wrist surgery and Big Baby wanting a chance to start somewhere they need to upgrade so they can help KG in the post. Maybe Big Baby has value for a decent return piece?
The C’s must use this off-season to develop 2010 1st rd pick Avery Bradley. Bradley is kind of a tweener at this stage in his career. He was known for his defense more than scoring at Texas, maybe he can develop a nice offensive game coming off of the bench because who knows if they re-sign Delonte West, who when healthy provided a good punch off the pine.
It wouldn’t hurt for the C’s to get a scorer of off the bench, if Green comes off of the bench he will have to be that scorer, but if he starts they definitely will need some firepower off of the bench. A scoring big man and a scoring wing man will be their major needs. The more bench firepower they can assemble the better off the big 3 will be during the playoffs.
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