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Do the Celtics have any players who are very good?

Discussion in 'Mark Blount's Port Cellar: Celtics Forum' started by Koufax, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. Koufax

    Koufax Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    4,213
    I don't recall every being so discouraged about the Celtics and their future.  Back when they were last terrible, they had at least one legitimate star player (PP) and others who were at least good.  Now it appears that they don't have a star and very few who are good.  Let me review the bidding and you tell me if I am being too pessimistic:
     
    Rajon Rondo -  He is exposed now that he is without stars around him.  He can't shoot, doesn't play good defense, shoots the moon with attempts at highlight reel passes that bounce out of bounds, and now he can't even play in crunch time because opponents will foul him and he will miss his free throws.  No way that is star-quality play.
     
    Avery Bradley - A shooting guard who can't shoot, and a defender whose intensity and level of play has been cut in half since his shoulder operations a few years ago.  He's a shell of his former self and will be out of the league in two years.
     
    Jeff Green - He disappears for large chunks of games and is too passive.  Great talent, poor ability to put that talent to work.
     
    Jared Sullinger -  He's the one player who may evolve into a star.  He can't jump and his defense is suspect, but he has a knack for rebounds and putbacks, and he shoots better than any guard on the team. 
     
    Brandon Bass -  He's a solid complementary player.  He's a good shooter, can hit his foul shots and plays hard.  He's good but not very good.  Soon he will be gone, traded for more draft picks that will turn into yet another Phil Pressey.
     
    Kelly Olynyk - he has the potential to be very good but at the moment he's not.  His defense is weak and he has stretches where his offense disappears.  He's intriguing but at the moment not very good.
     
    Tyler Zeller - He's starting in place of Kelly Olynyk, but he's not on the floor at the end of the game.  Like Kelly, he has the potential to be very good.  Right now he's a legitimate NBA player who is a little below average for his position.  That's a great result for a trade in which the Celtics gave up absolutely nothing, but he's not exciting to watch as a budding star because he isn't.
     
    Marcus Smart - I haven't seen much of him but it appears that he's another guard who can't shoot.  Really, what's the point?  It's like having an outfielder who can't hit. 
     
    James Young - He's getting his playing time in Maine.  Maybe there is a reason to see him as a valuable part of the future, but that's hard to see from here. 
     
    Marcus Thornton - A sparkplug off the bench and good player.  Just not at the very good level.
     
    Phil Pressey - An energetic player who at least pushes the ball up the court rather than walking it up.  He seems to be more of a playmaker than Rondo right now, but like all the guards on this team, his shooting is suspect.   And at his height, he has to be a lights out shooter or he's useless.  So he's useless.
     
    Evan Turner - Athletic and young, so maybe there's hope.  But at the moment he is far from very good.
     
    Vitor - Not terrible but not good either.  Slow and not as athletic as the competition.
     
    Gerald Wallace - A defensive specialist who took his first shot of the season last night.  Definitely on the back nine.
     
    Dwight Powell - Who is he?  Why is he playing in Maine?
     
    So while the team currently has no players who are very good, their good players may be just good enough to keep the Celtics out of position to garner a top three lottery pick.  Without one of those, the team's chances of landing a young stud are close to zero.  And the top free agents have no reason or desire to come here either.  To play with Rondo? Not likely. 
     
    In sum, the crowds at the Garden will start to thin out real soon, and it will be years and years before we have a contender again.  If I owned the Celtics, I'd sell now.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  2. Devizier

    Devizier Member SoSH Member

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    The Celtics have three, maybe four (if you think Rondo is just tanking and not washed up) players who could be plus rotation pieces on a contending team right now. Granted, it's more than I thought they would have before they began the season, so that's something.
     
  3. Cellar-Door

    Cellar-Door Member SoSH Member

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    Thoughts:
    Rondo- he's been bad this year, though his defense has been better if inconsistent.
    Bradley- He can shoot, he's middle of the pack among starting NBA guards in eFG% and TS% his defensive fall off is concerning.
    Jeff Green- He's a good player, but he should be the 3rd option on a team not the first.
    Sullinger- He can score, and he's a decent rebounder but he's a really bad defender, I don't think he has Al Jefferson upside, but he'll be ok, should really be the first big off the bench for a decent team.
    Bass- as you say is what he is, bench role player, good asset on a good team, will be too old by the time this team is good.
    Olynyk- Really efficient scorer, needs to rebound and pass better. He defends better than Sullinger, but is still quite bad at it.
    Zeller- I think this is what he is, a solid backup C if your team is good.
    Smart- Too soon to tell
    Young- too soon to tell.
    THE REST- shouldn't be playing minutes on an NBA team.
     
  4. nighthob

    nighthob Member SoSH Member

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    In fairness they didn't draft Pressey, he was an undrafted free agent. Bradley's defensive fall-off is overblown, he's suffering from the same problem that Pierce was a decade ago when Boston traded away all its defensively competent forwards and turned over the minutes to chuckleheads. His comment at the time was that people thought he was a bad defender because there were no interior defenders behind him, and he was exactly right.

    Similarly Bradley's problem is that he's now asked to blanket bigger/stronger players with interior defenders that are horrifically bad at positional defense and who move with all the speed and quickness of a constipated 96 year old. Olynyk and Sullinger may be the two worst defensive PF/Cs in the NBA today, and Boston not only has both of them, but they're forced to give them simultaneous minutes.
     
  5. Kliq

    Kliq Member SoSH Member

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    That was um, harsh.
     
    Rondo's shooting is ugly, but everything else is pretty solid. He is averaging a 8-7.5-11 this season, which is pretty fucking impressive. The Celtics lack rebounders in the post, so somebody has to get that those rebounds, but to average that many rebounds as a 6" guard in the NBA is pretty incredible. He is at the least, a very average defender, and he doesn't have a whole lot of help as others have mentioned. You say he got exposed,  but what player is going to play better when his 3-4 best teammates simultaneously leave.  I don't know what your definition of very good is, but Rondo is a "very good" player in my book. Is he a superstar, or even a great player? Probably not, but I think he is very good.
     
    Everyone else is hit or miss. Olynyk, Green, and Sullinger are all talented players with significant flaws that really detract from their positive attributes. Green has pretty much every skill you would want out of a modern NBA forward, but he is just so inconsistent and drifts in and out of plays that he can never be relied upon as a star. His ideal situation would be one like the role that Trevor Ariza is in right now.
     
    Your assertion that a short PG needs to be able to shoot well to be a good player is both unfair and inaccurate.
     
  6. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    It's the NBDL but Young lit it up tonight. Way too early to tell anything about him other than he can score.
     
  7. ALiveH

    ALiveH Member SoSH Member

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    Rondo, Green, Bass (and maybe Bradley) have shown they can be anywhere from a #3-#6 guy on a contending team.  That's not awesome but it's not chopped liver either.
     
    With the other guys, one really has to take age into account:
     
    Sully is finally fully healthy, is putting up 20/10 per 36 and shooting a solid % from 3 (SSS so I'm not a believer yet).  He's only 22, so it he seems like he has a shot at going to a couple all-star games in the future.  Similar to Al Jeff his upside is limited due to size/athleticism/shot blocking limitations.
     
    I'm much less bullish on Olynyk. He's a year older than Sully, not as good, and he hasn't shown any improvement this year over last in terms of rate stats or efficiency.  He might turn into a solid rotation player but the main thing holding him back is he fouls way to much to stay out there.
     
    I'm even less bullish on Zeller b/c he's a year older than Olynyk and hasn't shown all that much.  He's a solid backup big and that's probably all he'll ever be.  He also fouls way too often to play significant minutes.
     
    Way too early to tell on Young & Smart.  These kids are only 19.
     
  8. Blacken

    Blacken Robespierre in a Cape SoSH Member

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    A good half of this post is reality-averse and others have touched on why, but the idea that Bradley will be out of the league in two years is, full-stop, the dumbest thing ever said in this forum.

    Not least because he just signed a 4/$32m extension.

    Way to go. Thanks for comin' out.
     
  9. wutang112878

    wutang112878 Member SoSH Member

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    The draft assets that are going to pull the Celtics out of mediocrity are the Brooklyn picks.  Granted it would be ideal if our top pick was in the top 10 again this year but I dont think its a given that doesnt happen.
     
    The only significant pieces on the roster are Sully, Smart and Rondo and each are flawed.  Rondo looks much better surrounded by offensive talent and with the depth of PGs throughout the league his trade value isnt what we would want it to be.  Sully certainly has some offensive flashes but his defensive flaws stick out like a sore thumb.  Smart is the exact opposite and should be a tremendous defender throughout his career but its unclear what type of player he will be due to his offensive shortcomings.  
     
    The big question is where the franchise goes from here.  I think we are going to see Ainge make some significant trades at the deadline to try to flip Green, Bass & whatever other parts for some younger more up and coming players.  That will make the team worse in the short term and should improve our pick.  The only thing that will turn this around is being upbeat and positive like they are in that locker room... and if you think they're going to succumb to negativity, you're wrong.  But seriously, we have to hope that our franchise changing player either coming from our draft pick this year or the Brooklyn picks in the next 2 years.
     
  10. Fishy1

    Fishy1 Member SoSH Member

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    I'm actually very much encouraged by this team's performance thusfar. It's remarkable to me that Ainge has turned some middling draft picks into real, quality assets in Bradley, Sullinger and Olynyk.

    Contrary to what's been said, all three of those guys can shoot. Olynyk and Sullinger, as they're predominantly pick and pop guys, are shooting from the toughest parts of the court, and have both shown the ability thusfar this season (if you count the preseason) to make those shots. Bradley is having a tough shooting season thusfar, but he's shown increased confidence off the dribble, and even a willingness to go to the hole. More impressively, Kelly and Sullinger have shown an ability to create their own shots and draw defenses.

    As for Rondo and Green: Rondo has certainly had some shooting woes, but he's still the elite passer he always was, and Green is off to as good a start as I can remember him having. He's had a rough season thus far from 3 pt land, but as those start to fall, his percentages should climb. I think our tune would be different had Bradley not ruined that Sun's game.

    This team is losing a lot of tight games, and a lot of leads, because, as has been documented extensively, they're struggling in half court at the end of games to get a good shot against sustained defensive effort. Everybody is having trouble imagining how that might change, given the personnel, and rightfully so. But that's the mark of a team one superb player away, not of a team that is totally fucked. We've got a lot of assets, and reason for optimism.
     
  11. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp captain obvious

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    The Celtics have, IMO, nobody who is a *star*.  Rondo was at one point, but he isn't any longer.  He's still a good player.  Not a great player; a good player.
     
    Sullinger is terrific.  He'd be a valuable piece for any team.  Very good scorer, tough inside, good rebounder.  Any team could use a guy like him.  Good piece for now and the future.
     
    I think Olynyk has a future in this league.  Good skill set, he will grow into an NBA body.
     
    I also think Bradley is a useful NBA player.  There are lots of teams that could use a guy like him.  
     
    Other guys who probably have plus trade value:  Green, Thornton, and Bass.  All useful NBA players.  Way, way too early to judge Smart and Young.
     
    Long story short, the Celtics are pretty awful.  Not that that's a surprise, but still.  It's amazing to me that they're 8th in the NBA in points scored per game.  It's not amazing to me that they're 28th in points allowed.  Though it kind of surprises me, because you'd think that among Rondo, Smart, and Bradley, they would be able to really limit opposing guards' scoring.  
     
  12. Brickowski

    Brickowski Banned

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    I don't think Rondo is a good player at all.  It's not whether you can play, it's whether you can make plays, and Rondo doesn't.  We see bricked shots, bricked free throws and turnovers at the worst possible time, when he tries to make the flashy pass instead of the sensible pass.  His defense has been even worse.  He couldn't handle Dennis fucking Schroeder, never mind any of the decent pgs in the league, all of whom get by him with regularity.
     
    When you have a bad player who dominates the ball, it's difficult to evaluate the players around him.
     
  13. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp captain obvious

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    Then the Celtics ABSOLUTELY should have traded him for something - even if the return wasn't very good - in the offseason.  If he really is a bad player, then he has no value at all.
     
  14. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

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    The Celtics are tied for second in pace, so I don't think those things are unrelated.  They are 19th in points per possession.
     
  15. The X Man Cometh

    The X Man Cometh lurker

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    Calling Bradley a "SG who can't shoot" is pretty off-base. His FG% isn't great because he sucks at finishing close to the basket, and isn't a threat as a slasher at all, but he can certainly shoot. Last year he shot .395 from 3 and .439 from long 2, this year he's at .358 from 3 so far and .500 from long 2. The real problem is where the hell did his defense go? Its like Rondo rubbed off on him.
     
    I'm in the camp that doesn't see much here. I hope Ainge can find a partner to trade Rondo - that rumored Rondo for McLemore and a pick trade from last year would look so good right now...
     
  16. wutang112878

    wutang112878 Member SoSH Member

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    I respectfully, strongly disagree.  How useful is a SG who can only cover PGs at $8M a year.  If you are a good offensive team at best he could be your 4th best offensive player who doesnt have a natural position fit.  He's just like Rondo where he needs a very unique set of circumstances to really help your team.
     
     
     
    What do you mean by plus trade value?  Thornton is average <15min a game here and there is not tremendous talent in front of him.  I think Green and Bass have some value, but if a contendor is trading for them I think they would want them as bench pieces which I wouldnt really consider 'plus value' but I dont know exactly what you mean by that.
     
  17. Brickowski

    Brickowski Banned

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    Well, it was difficult to predict that his game would deteriorate to this extent.
     
    But right now he has no trade value at all.  Ainge talks a good game, but other GMs and coaches watch film.  Maybe they can get a heavily protected pick from the Lakers for Rondo and Nash's contract (Kobe apparently likes Rondo), but that's about it. 
     
  18. The X Man Cometh

    The X Man Cometh lurker

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    I think the real problem is Bradley isn't guarding anyone right now.
     
    But I disagree with your contention that Bradley needs a unique set of circumstances. Generally, teams that are looking to win hardware have on-ball players, especially wings, and need pieces to fit around them. Provided he's actually playing elite defense and hitting 3s at a near .400 clip, pretty much any contender could use Bradley.
     
    He would start in OKC between Westbrook and Durant and fit pretty well. Westbrook expends a lot of energy on offense and cross-matching them on defense would pick up slack, and he can catch & shoot.  He would start for the Clips next to Chris Paul, they are in dire need of a half-decent SG, he would start at PG in Miami, he would start next to Wall instead of Garrett Temple if they keep bringing Beal off the bench (and they should). The guy's fit isn't nearly as exotic or difficult to find as you make it sound IMO.
     
    Now Bradley when not providing a defensive presence... that is the problem and what we're stuck with right now.
     
  19. wutang112878

    wutang112878 Member SoSH Member

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    It begs the question, do you want Westbrook, Wall or Paul guarding 2s?  I dont think Paul has the speed to do that, Westbrook might be slightly outsized but it might be a fit with Wall.  Its the cross-matching that I think creates some problems because its unorthodox and in a playoff series I think that might be something that an opponent could expose when you're playing them for up to 7 games.
     
  20. ifmanis5

    ifmanis5 Member SoSH Member

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    Sully is a keeper. Too early to judge Smart and Young but I'm optimistic. The rest of the roster should be available. Two more drafts and we're there. The conference is awful- rebuilding will be fast as long as Danny nails the drafts or is able to make a few moves.
     
  21. Mystic Merlin

    Mystic Merlin Member SoSH Member

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    What?
     
  22. The Social Chair

    The Social Chair Member SoSH Member

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    Obviously too early to tell but Young seems to have the most upside of any Celtics draft pick since Rondo. He is really smooth. Once this team realizes it's lottery bound I'd like to see him get some minutes. 
     
  23. luckiestman

    luckiestman Son of the Harpy SoSH Member

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    I think bradley slots in nicely next to smart. Smart can cover the 2 guard. Rondo is the odd man out. The dude needs to get it together because he is flat out horrible right now in the second half of games. I'm hoping he's just in a slump but he is tough to watch. It is so bad that I'd rather see Pressey out there.
     
  24. luckiestman

    luckiestman Son of the Harpy SoSH Member

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    He crushed it in Maine from the stat line I saw. I didn't watch the game.
     
  25. wutang112878

    wutang112878 Member SoSH Member

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    Defensively yes, offensively neither can create their own shot and thats a problem because it makes the defense's job really easy.
     
  26. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

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    You are being too pessimistic.  While it is true that the Celtics don't have a top-30 player (maybe not even top 50) on their roster, what did you expect?  As we've discussed ad nauseum, rebuilding in the NBA isn't like rebuilding in any other sport.  You can try to tank, but even multiple top-5 picks don't guarantee anything.  You can try to clear cap space, but unless you are Miami or LA, it isn't often a top-10 player goes to a rebuilding team.  You can try to trade for a disgruntled superstar, but you first have to have assets and second you are generally taking a huge risk because no one trades a top talent these days unless there are some pretty severe warts.
     
    DA is trying a combination of the three. 
     
  27. Curtis Pride

    Curtis Pride Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter SoSH Member

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    I saw the highlights of Young's NDBL game last night. Most of his points came on  3's and alley-oop dunks. He reminds me of Ray Allen.
     
  28. Curtis Pride

    Curtis Pride Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter SoSH Member

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    According to HoopsHype:
     
    Rondo and Bass are in their last year of their contracts
    Jeff Green has a player option for next season.
    Gerald Wallace and Evan Turner are signed through next season.
     
    They might be used in part of a trade, but I don't know what they would net in return.
     
    Smart may simply be Rondo replacement. 
     
    What I'm hoping for is that James Young develops the ability to create his own shot.If he could do that, he'll be a very good player.
     
    Smart, Young, Sullinger, and Olynyk are keepers for now.
     
  29. Grin&MartyBarret

    Grin&MartyBarret Member SoSH Member

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    It's about to be a brand new world in the NBA, and a lot of recently signed contracts reflect that. $8 a year is a gamble for Bradley under the current CBA, but with the cap that's on the way, that's the sort of contract that isn't causing anybody any issues and could turn out to be a bargain.
     
  30. Grin&MartyBarret

    Grin&MartyBarret Member SoSH Member

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    I see you've finally gone full Brickowski on Rondo. I've been wondering when this day would come. The process, if I've picked up on it completely, is to take a good player, nitpick a particular aspect of his game, assign a mental failing, and then post about those same 3 things at least weekly for 2 years, gradually increase the extent of your criticism so that said player moves from overrated to flat out bad over time. Dwight Howard, Kevin Love, Rajon Rondo. Who am I missing?
     
  31. wutang112878

    wutang112878 Member SoSH Member

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    In retrospect, yes Danny probably lucked into a bargain and my critique of his salary was probably a little harsh.  That said, Danny signed him to this deal before there were any inklings about the levels the new TV deal would be at.
     
  32. Grin&MartyBarret

    Grin&MartyBarret Member SoSH Member

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    I don't know if that's true. Zach Lowe has intimated that a lot of franchises--the smart ones, at least--have been operating with an eye towards a major salary cap increase for a couple of years now. In yesterday's podcast, for instance, he cites that as the reason Memphis was willing to take Courtney Lee's deal last year.
     
  33. fairlee76

    fairlee76 Member SoSH Member

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    Well, for someone who lectured us all about Dwight Howard not being Bill Russell it follows that Rondo is no Cousy.
     
    Rondo has limitations for sure.  But saying he can't make plays is asinine.  Sure, he needs a capable (maybe elite is the better word) scorer or two around him, but Rondo absolutely makes plays.  They just end up as assists rather than points.
     
  34. wutang112878

    wutang112878 Member SoSH Member

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    I still hate Bradley's game and will argue to the death that it was a bad signing.  Wutang:Bradley :: Brick:Rondo
     
    Also, I concede you are probably right on the operating under this assumption thing.  Although, if thats the case its kind of odd that the Celts wouldnt have been willing to go to the max for Rondo.
     
  35. Grin&MartyBarret

    Grin&MartyBarret Member SoSH Member

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    Well, he's not good. Ask Brick.
     
  36. Brickowski

    Brickowski Banned

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    Rondo caused it, not me.  He's admitted that he's playing like crap.  My views didn't develop overnight.  The come  from watching him fail game after game. They're a better team with Pressey at the point, and Pressey is no all star. I was pleased that Stevens benched Rondo when the Pistons were likely to foul at the end of the game the other night.
     
    Does Rondo have enough talent to turn it around?  Maybe.  But I'll believe it when I see it. The last 6-7 games have been awful.  The best thing he does is pass the ball to bass for jump shots, to get easy dimes.  Any decent guard can do that.
     
  37. wutang112878

    wutang112878 Member SoSH Member

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    You lose all credibility when you say stuff like this.  If you dont like Rondo's flaws but you dont see Pressey's then you really are biased.
     
  38. Brickowski

    Brickowski Banned

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    You must not have watched Wednesday night's game against the Pistons, especially the 4th quarter.
     
    The emperor isn't wearing any clothes.
     
  39. Grin&MartyBarret

    Grin&MartyBarret Member SoSH Member

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    Sample size. Do the numbers support that Pressey leads the offense better?
     
  40. fairlee76

    fairlee76 Member SoSH Member

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    There have been maybe five guys in my lifetime that could turn things around with this pile of a roster.  The fact that Rondo is not at the same level as those guys does not bother me at all.
     
  41. ifmanis5

    ifmanis5 Member SoSH Member

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    Agree with Brick on the Pistons game, Pressey was doing a better job in that game. However, when it's time for National TV Rondo, that's a different level of player. Sadly, we haven't seen that guy in a while.
     
  42. Brickowski

    Brickowski Banned

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    He's playing like shit.  It's irrelevant that he's not good enough to turn it around if he plays well.
     
  43. ifmanis5

    ifmanis5 Member SoSH Member

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    I think he realizes this team stinks so he doesn't feel like trying. It's beneath him. That's the vibe I get anyway.
     
  44. Koufax

    Koufax Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Maybe he and Danny are agreed on full tank mode, but I doubt it.
     
  45. ifmanis5

    ifmanis5 Member SoSH Member

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    And yet another Celtics thread devolves into Rondo talk. :(
     
  46. luckiestman

    luckiestman Son of the Harpy SoSH Member

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    Are you watching the games? The team looks really bad with Rondo running the show. I wish it wasn't true. Don't take Bricks's comment as "wow, Pressey is awesome" take it as  "I'm totally depressed that the team actually looks better with a marginal NBA player running the point instead of our "best player""
     
    Rondo in the 4th = jogging the ball up the court, teams clogging passing lanes cause he cant shoot, other 4 Cs running all over the place while Rondo looks around like he is Dan Marino and then trying to do some crazy fastball pass.  
     
    You want to tell me Rondo's playing great and my eyes are lying, fine, I hope it is true.
     
    His rebound numbers are pretty hollow too. If there is a stat for "if player X did not get the rebound who was closest", I'd love to see it, because it often seems Rondo is fighting his own teammates for boards and not the opposition. As opposed to Sullinger who is really earnings some boards. All rebounds are not created equal
     
    All this being said: 
     
     
    BEAT LA BEAT LA BEAT LA
     
  47. luckiestman

    luckiestman Son of the Harpy SoSH Member

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    Shouldnt that be expected? The thread title isn't "Options for the 5"
     
  48. HomeRunBaker

    HomeRunBaker bet squelcher SoSH Member

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    Not really. ;)
     
    Rondo's massive flaws were hidden by being able to dump the ball to Pierce/KG for years while having KG in the paint covering up his abysmal perimeter defense. Seriously, if you took the name off the jersey and had a PG who couldn't shoot unless left completely uncovered while being a matador defensively who would ever want this player?
     
    I was off in saying that he'd be exposed once he was traded away from Pierce/KG which was a crucial mistake made by Ainge a couple years ago. Bad luck played a part also as the ACL took away a large window when he still had value although I always felt Ainge waited a year too long.....he should have been moved when Pierce/KG were. 
     
  49. Koufax

    Koufax Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Rondo +/- for the season:  -2.5
    Pressey +/- :  0.0
     
    And that's with Pressey generally on the court with bench players.
     
  50. Grin&MartyBarret

    Grin&MartyBarret Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    4,930
     
    That's not a number that's particularly telling though. Brickowski claims the C's offense runs better with Pressey at the helm. In terms of points per 100 possessions, does that hold up?
     

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