Will the Celtics Return Strong Next Year?
During next year’s postseason, I am highly confident that all of us will be looking back to this year’s playoffs and praising the experience gained by the KG-less Boston Celtics. So many players had to step up their roles to keep Boston at their highest competitive level, I’m looking at you Rajon Rondo, and, yeah, you too, Big baby.
Boston fighting without its biggest star had its effect on the current roster. It put them on the spot and forced them to be aggressive. Look at Rajon Rondo, a player who is always encouraged to be aggressive with the disrespect he gets on the offensive end of the floor. Rondo is now a much more offensively confident player after shouldering that load this postseason. With Kevin Garnett back in Celtic green next season, imagine how easy Rondo’s job becomes. Think about how it would be as a defense to have to account for Rajon Rondo the offensive threat. Now, the odds say teams will still play the percentages and let Rondo roam, but at the same time, he’s shown he’ll kill you on the offensive glass. Rajon took that next step not only as a player, but as a leader by not being tentative, grabbing the bull by the horns and showing us that we’re watching the development of one of the next elite point guards.
The efforts of Glen Davis and Kendrick Perkins can’t be denied as well. The maturation of Big baby’s perimeter shooting will get him paid during the offseason, which most likely means a ticket out of Boston. However, Kendrick Perkins is heading nowhere, and his play as the Celtics’ lone post-up option was quite impressive. I’ve seen Perkins flash some moves in the past as he is basically dared to. Charged with responsibility, however, he didn’t get flustered, showing great footwork and post moves on the low block. When Garnett returns, Perkins will obviously take more of a backseat offensively. But with his all around growth, Doc Rivers has one more option he can turn to on an already loaded list.
Like anybody else, Boston will have their issues to take care of, which in my opinion is the bench. At the end of the ‘08 season, the Celts lost James Posey. After this season, It could be multiple players such as Glen Davis, Leon Powe and Mikki Moore. Danny Ainge has his decisions to make, a lot of that having to do with where you can get the most bang for your buck. One thing I see as likely to happen is Glen Davis leaving for more money, while Leon Powe will probably re-sign. The Celtics would still have patch work to do, needing to solidify the back up point guard situation, and in need of a decision when it comes to holding on to Tony Allen or moving in a different direction. As good as I believe the Celtics can be, the elements of the bench will be crucial as their core players aren’t getting any younger.
After this post season, guys not named Pierce, Garnett, and Allen will be contributing at a higher level, possibly making Boston one of the most disgusting teams we’ve seen in a long time. In the end, we know Boston will play grind-it-out defense, but with their offense they will be able to come at you from many different directions. I may have gotten a little ahead of myself, but we’ll see what happens when the time comes.