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Boston Celtics Training Camp Countdown – 12 Questions: Who Will Be the Biggest Surprise This Season

September 19th, 2013 at 7:00 AM
By Sean Melia

Training camp is coming quickly. Thankfully our NBA thirst will be somewhat quenched when players actually begin to take the court again.  

We here at Celtics 101 thought we could ask 12 questions as a countdown to the merciful day that Brad Stevens will don a lanyard and a whistle and start running practices with goals in mind that go beyond, "get better."

'Gerald Wallace' photo (c) 2013, Shinya Suzuki - license:

Until then, let's get to the first question. If you have any of your own questions about the team feel free to stick them into the comments and we'll answer them in another column. 

Question 1: Who will be the biggest surprise this season?

There are obviously a lot of choices on this Boston Celtics team. Can Kris Humphries stop acting like Eore and collect double-doubles on a regular basis? Can MarShon Brooks step up as a perennial scorer and unplug the log-jam at the shooting guard position? Will Avery Bradley finally stay healthy and link up with Rondo to create a stellar back-court combo?

Sure, all those things are possible. However, the biggest surprise this season would be Gerald Wallace stepping into the role of 6th man. Can he play 25 minutes a night, score 10 points, and add a defensive intensity that the team will need on the second unit? If he does, it would be surprising, right? It would be even more surprising if he is able to shoot again. He was dismal last year, shooting below the league average on most spots on the floor.

It is arguable that Wallace never got a chance last year (we've been saying it about all the Brooklyn Nets the Celtics received in the trade). He has never shot exceedingly well from the floor. Wallace gets most of his points in transition. Per Synergy Sports he scored 1.06 points per possession last season on transition plays. However, during the previous two years  (read: before Wallace's role drastically changed), he was an elite run and gun player. He was in the top 20 in scoring on transition in the league, per Synergy Sports.

Wallace and Rondo, or even Wallace and Phil Pressey could be a fun duo to watch run up and down the floor, score some electrifying baskets and possibly turn the ball over in dramatic and frustrating fashion. 

When Wallace's age and insane contract are taken into consideration, the chances of all his stats returning to where they were before last season is low. However, Wallace has been a good player on a bad team before, this could just be another one of those seasons.

If it is, then Gerald Wallace would be the most surprising player on the Celtics this year. If Danny Ainge decides not to trade him. 

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Tags: Basketball, Boston, Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, gerald wallace, Kris Humphries, NBA, Phil Pressey, Synergy Sports

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