Saturday, May 25, 2013

Celtics Mock Draft Room Pt.II: Depth in the Backcourt

When Rajon Rondo tore his ACL on January 25th against the Atlanta Hawks, the Boston Celtics faced a make or break portion of the 2012-2013 season. At that point they were three games under .500, at 20-23. The season looked like a complete wash without their star point guard the rest of the way, but in typical Celtics "Go ahead, tell us we have no chance. We'll prove you wrong" fashion, the Celtics railed off  eight wins out of their next nine games including wins against the Heat, Clippers, Lakers, Nuggets, and Bulls.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Terrence Williams faces judge in Washington

Celtics guard Terrence Williams is scheduled for a second court hearing Wednesday in Kent, Washington, where he will be investigated for second-degree domestic assault.

Williams, who was charged on Monday, was arrested Sunday afternoon after police said he threatened the mother of his 10-year-old son with a gun. If convicted, Williams may face a suspension by the NBA.

He was arraigned Monday, where a judge set his bail at $25,000. The backup point guard was released from jail after posting bail.

Williams tweeted this from his account Monday: "A Million Stories Not One Thats TRUE... Thanks To Those That Continue To Support Through Devil Testing Times ... Those Thats Negative ... THANKS"

Williams averaged 4.6 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists over 13.3 minutes in 24 games last season for the Celtics. He was signed mid-season and has a year left on his non-guaranteed contract.

This certainly won't help Williams' chances of making the team next season. The last time a Celtic was brought up on charges involving a firearm was Sebastian Telfair and he was immediately kicked off the team. Hopefully things will be different for Terrence. Celtics can opt to waive him before Oct. 31.

Celtics organization have not made any comments about the arrest.

Mock Celtics Draft Room Pt.1 : Addressing the Need for Offense

As the draft order is now set, the speculations begin. Just looking at the initial mock drafts from the so called 'experts', there is a wide range of possibilities for how the draft will play out. Instead of taking part in the  foolish and impossible task of trying to predict a full first round Mock Draft, lets set up a pretend draft day war room for the Celtics. (Much less foolish....right?)

Lets start first by addressing the Celtics needs. I think it is safe to say, the overwhelming need when looking at last years team was rebounding. The Celtics ranked 29th in the league rebounding the basketball, which is unacceptable for a team that had preseason championship aspirations.  So initially, that would be at the top of my list if I were Danny Ainge.

Along with a big man there was a glaring need in the playoffs for a back up point guard. The Celtics were foolish to not pick up a veteran ball handler at the deadline, knowing Rondo was out for the rest of the year.  In the playoffs, especially in the first three losses to the Knicks it was a embarrassing effort from the C's ball handlers turning the ball over 103 times in 6 playoff games. 
The last need that the Celtics will need to address is offensive firepower. Last season, there were times when if Paul Pierce was cold, there was literally no one the offense could run through. Now with the inevitable trade/release of Paul Pierce coming this off season, they need to get a swing man to compliment Jeff Green with the ability to score. It would also be nice to have someone who could shoot from distance. The Celtics were ranked 18th in points per game last season with 96.5, yet in the playoffs we all know about their brutal and borderline unwatchable struggles scoring the basketball went down to averaging only 82.5 ppg. 

So with all those needs considered and the looming rebuilding/ treading water period ahead of the Celtics it is vital they nail this pick. They currently have the 16th overall pick in the draft, right outside the lottery, and in a draft class filled with big man, slashers, and scorers the Celtics will have a few options.  

For Part 1 of the Celtics Mock War Room, lets look at three players the Celtics should set their sights on with the 16th overall pick. In this portion of the Celtics Mock Draft Room lets focus on adding some offensive fire power. 

Shabazz Muhammad : UCLA  SF  6-6  225lbs  Age: 21 Freshman 
2012 Stats: 17.9 ppg  5.2 rpg  

I'm actually shocked that Muhammad, who many thought at the beginning of the college season was in the conversation for top overall pick, has been on such a free fall down the draft board.  Shabazz came out of his senior season at Bishop Gorman High School, as the top recruit in the nation. He ran into some trouble at the beginning of his freshman season at UCLA, missing the first 4 games of the season for some alleged violations about a very expensive backpack he was spotted with. (side note...screw the NCAA and their hypocritical dumb ass sanctions that always penalize the kid, not the school, and definitely not the bottom line for the brass.  But that's another story for another day...)

Muhammad is a slasher, who definitely has NBA athleticism and body with a 6-11 wingspan. He can create his own shot. The knock on him though is his consistency, as there were entire games, or portions of games were he was invisible. He has a scorers mentality and hasn't met a shot he doesn't like. 

The Celtics could use a scorer with size, and Muhammad would be a great addition to a young core of Rondo, Sullinger, Bradley, and Green. He is the definition of a boom or bust pick.  He could pan out to be an absolute steal with the 16th pick, or be just another over hyped high school star that couldn't adjust his game to the next level. With that being said, if he is available the C's would be smart to snatch him up. 

Likelihood of Shabazz Muhammad being available : Low, but at the same time last year, Jared Sullinger was still in the conversation as being a top 5 pick, we know what happened there. Yes, he is dropping but it's not injury concerns, more attitude and maturity issues, so we'll see how his stock is as we inch closer to the draft. 

NBA Comparisons: Like I said Boom or Bust - If he Booms-James Harden. Seriously, watch Hardens college game tape.  His body and skill set at Arizona State is eerily similar to Muhammad. The maturity was definitely there with Harden though, so that's one major difference. 
If He busts- Nick Young, Jordan Crawford, or anyone else that just will jack up shots to the point it hurts their team. 

Tony Snell : New Mexico  SG 6-7 198lbs Junior
2012 Stats : 12.5 ppg  2.6 rpg  2.9 apg
I'd like to start off saying that I am extremely intrigued by this player. He is a freak size-wise at 6-7 for a shooting guard. He has a wingspan of 7ft and is an absolute lights out shooter. Watch some film of this guy and the first thing you'll notice is how fluid his game is. In reading some comments about Snell from certain scouts one thing stood out. "If Snell doesn't do it smooth, he doesn't do it." That statement is extremely refreshing for a Celtics fan who have been dealing with choppy and uncoordinated game of Courtney Lee at the 2-guard spot last year. 
Since Ray Allen has left the Celtics have been in need of an outside threat in their back court. Snell can certainly add that dimension to the C's offense. That being said he can also do things like this... 
and then this...

Now, I'm not going as far as the commentator with any more James Worthy comparisons but that explosiveness, mixed with the smooth stroke and quick release could be an  extremely interesting road for the Celtics to go down. 
The ascend up draft boards for Snell, and his strong showing at the NBA Draft Combine is a good sign for the shooting guards draft stock and is projected right now as a mid first round pick. He is also known as being a player that thrives in the late moments and pressure situations.  
The only knock would be his production and ability to take over a game, scoring only a modest 12 points a game in his junior season. He also was very ineffective in the first round loss to Harvard in the the opening round of the NCAA tournament. 
Likelihood of Tony Snell being available: High- He is projected in the mid to late first round and to be available for the Celtics, but like stated earlier he is rising up draft boards. 
NBA Comparisons : The NBA has seen it's share of lanky and skinny shooting guards coming out of the draft.  The Wesley Person and Andre Iguodala comparison seems to be the norm, I've also seen projections and comparisons to  Chandler Parsons game. Based on the idea that he still has room to grow and build off his college production.  The track record for players like Snell is usually toward the bust side of things, but it seems different with this guy, due to his outside shooting and confidence. 

Erick Green Virginia Tech SG 6-3 180 
2012 Stats  25.0 ppg 4.0 rpg  3.8 apg
The NCAA's leading scorer and ACC Player of the year has consistently improved his game and production over his 4 year career at Virginia Tech. He was on a bad VT squad and was basically their only offensive weapon. However, he has improved his shooting every year finishing with 47%/39%/81% shooting splits from his senior season. 
When you're the only player the other team is trying to stop, shooting 47 % from the field is pretty impressive, just ask Carmelo. 
He is average size wise and before balling out in his senior season, he was probably going to be fighting for a D-League roster spot in the fall. 
I wouldn't necessarily reach for Green at 16 but the potential for the C's to grab him would be an interesting move. Since the deletion of High School players participating in the draft, teams have been  big on 4-year college players and usually are interested with a guy they can plug in right away. If your looking for offense, Green may be an option for teams picking in the late first round. 

Likelihood of Erick Green Being Available : Extremely High - Green will be available, it will be a reach but the C's only have the one pick in the draft this year, so I'm not ruling anything out. 

NBA Comparibles : Poor mans Eric Gordon, most likely a Delonte West type player, with a sound head on his shoulders. 

Stay tunes for Parts Two and Three of the Mock Celtics Draft Room coming soon! Next up we'll look at the potential prospects to help back up Rondo, and add some stability to the backcourt when he's on the bench. 

-Sean Dutra
Get at me on Twitter @seandutra

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Greg Oden still on Celtics radar

The Celtics will continue to keep an eye on center Greg Oden throughout the summer as the former number one pick attempts a comeback into the NBA.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Boston Herald that he hasn't forgotten about Oden, and that he hopes to see him sometime during the offseason.

Oden met with the Celtics in early February but wasn't able to have a full workout with the Celtics, according to Ainge.
"We'll look into Greg still," Ainge said. "He wasn't ready to play when we saw him last. He wasn't ready to work out - I mean, not like a real workout. We'll probably check into that some time this summer."  
Oden supposedly looks unbelievable according to Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas, who has been working out with Oden. According to a there are a hand full of teams that are interested in Oden, including the Spurs, Hornets, Bobcats, Pacers, and Mavericks.

Celtics could benefit greatly with Oden in the paint, if he can stay healthy. When healthy, Oden was a consistent shot blocker for Portland and finished around the hoop offensively.

Oden, 25, hasn't played a game since 2009 because of knee injuries. He has only played 82 games out of his four-year career with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ainge yet to talk to Pierce about his future

While rumors continue to swirl about Pierce expecting to either be dealt or released, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has continually told reporters that he has not communicated with Paul Pierce since the season ended.

The 2013-14 season will be the final season of Pierce's contract, but only $5 million of his $15.3 million is guaranteed. Celtics have to decide if they want to buyout Pierce's contract, bring him back for another season or trade the future hall-of-famer.

Even though Ainge and Pierce haven't sat down to discuss Pierce's future in Boston, some media members think Pierce returning for another season is unlikely.

CSNNE's reporter Greg Dickerson believes Pierce has played his last season in Boston.
'I don't think they will (bring Pierce back)," said Dickerson. "And I know the company that Paul Pierce hangs around in, they do not believe - and I don't think Paul Pierce believes that he is going to be brought back at $15 million. I know for a fact that people around Paul Pierce have pretty much resigned themselves to the fact that he's played his final game in a Boston Celtics uniform. Again, Paul want to stay - obviously for $15 million, but he wants to finish his career in a Celtics uniform."
Rumor has it that Pierce has already come to terms with the situation and that his family is actually already preparing to relocate this summer, according to the Boston Globe. 
"The Celtics have to decide by June 30 whether to buy out Pierce's contract at $5 million. Ainge said the sides have not had discussions, but an NBA source said Pierce's family is already beginning to prepare for relocation from Boston, assuming the Celtics will execute the buyout or trade his expiring contract in the offseason" [Boston Globe]
In a league where it's rare to see players stay on one team for an entire career, it seems wrong to let go of Pierce and not allow him to finish his contract. He's been loyal to the Celtics throughout his career and has stuck with the team throughout the tough seasons in Boston.

Even though Pierce didn't shoot well against the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs, he put up great numbers during the regular season, especially after Rondo's season-ending injury.

Pierce averaged 17 points, 6 assists and 7 rebounds from when Rondo went down in late January until the end of the season. The only other player that put up better numbers in that span was Mr. MVP himself, LeBron James.

Celtics guard Terrence Williams arrested

Celtics guard Terrence Williams was arrested by police in Kent, Washington, for allegedly making gun threats towards the mother of his 10 year-old son early Sunday afternoon.

Kent police say Williams was allegedly brandishing a gun at the mother of his son during a scheduled visitation exchange and was booked into the King County Jail in Seattle early Monday morning.

Officials say the woman called police around 1 p.m. Sunday and said that she had been threatened with a gun. Williams had left the house when the call was made but was arrested later in the day.
"We investigate and treat all cases such as this very serious regardless of the status of this involved," Kent police detective Melanie Frazier told the Kent reporter. 
Williams, who grew up in Seattle, is scheduled to appear in court later today.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Rivers will return with Celtics for 2013-14 season

Although it's unclear if the aging core of the team will return, Doc Rivers will be back on the bench coaching for the Celtics next season.

At the NBA Draft combine Thursday afternoon, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge confirmed that Doc Rivers will return to coach his club next season.

Rivers' return is good news for Celtics fans after some speculation that he was considering not coming back. This is also promising news, so far, for those hoping to see the Celtics "run it back" next season with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

Although Ainge has stated that he is confident that Garnett will return with the Celtics next season, nothing has been confirmed.

There's no doubt that Garnett would have had an easy decision to make if Rivers decided to step down. He's made it clear in the past that there is no other coach in the NBA that he would rather play for and if Rivers had decided to move on from the Celtics, Garnett ultimately would have done the same.

Ainge's next decision is the biggest one he'll have this summer: Paul Pierce. Celtics have to decide by June 30 whether to buy out Pierce's contract at $5 million or to bring him back for another season at $15 million.

Whether Ainge decides to move on next season without Pierce and Garnett, bringing Doc back for a tenth season in Boston is a great start to a very crucial offseason.

In a summer when Ainge has a lot of tough decisions to make, this one has to be his easiest.

Avery Bradley Named to NBA All-Defensive Second Team

Celtics guard Avery Bradley was elected to the 2012-13 NBA All-Defensive second team this week for the first time in his career.

Voted by the league's 30 head coaches, Bradley made the team despite missing 31 games this season. It is his first time making either NBA Defensive teams in his career.

Bradley played a big role for the Celtics this season. After Rondo went down with a season-ending injury, Bradley stepped up.

It's great to see him be recognized by the NBA for his tough man-to-man defense. Bradley received ten first team votes and five second team votes out of all 30 NBA coaches.

Here are both 2013 NBA Defensive teams:


F LeBron James 
F Serge Ibaka
C Tyson Chandler 
C Joakim Noah
G Tony Allen
G Chris Paul 


F Tim Duncan
F Paul George
C Marc Gasol
G Avery Bradley
G Mike Conley