The most recent edition of Sports Illustrated included it's NBA season preview and, not surprisingly, the Boston Celtics were ranked 13th in the Eastern Conference, only above the Orlando Magic and the Philadelphia 76ers. The preview included some quotes from a rival scout about the make up of the team. The scout had some interesting things to say regarding the Celtics.
The scout said that Rajon Rondo will be available via trade: "I've got to believe if you want to make a good offer for Rajon Rondo in December, you're going to be able to get him." If this is what general managers currently think, maybe Danny Ainge will be taking phone calls from a few suitors for his prized point guard.
The scout went on to talk about MarShon Brooks and Jordan Crawford, saying that Brooks "doesn't know how to play without the ball." He also saw Jordan Crawford at back up point guard as a bad decision, "Crawford has been playing some back-up point guard during the season — good luck with that."
The big men, especially Jared Sullinger, were another concern according to the scout. "The issue for another big man, Jared Sullinger, is always going to be keeping his weight down. He's a decent player, but it is going to be hard for him to be in a running game."
The report in general was rather negative about how the team was built, mainly because it was created from a trade that they needed to make to unload Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. In hindsight that is true. Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, and MarShon Brooks were brought in and in some ways they do not totally fit considering the players that were already here in Jeff Green, Jordan Crawford, and all the big men they now have on the roster.
Obviously, the Celtics are going to have a lot of bad things said about them. The Sports Illustrated piece was not the exception, but rather the rule. It did however, have a positive tone about the Brad Stevens:
I get the sense that Stevens is not trying to make a big splash, that he's accepting that it's going to be a learning process, and he's watching and learning. Guys like John Calipari and Rick Pitino came into the NBA from college trying to make a splash with a lot of bravado, and they thought their way was the way. I don't think Stevens is going to fall into that trap
At this point, having a positive leader is more important than the collection of players. Stevens is exactly the type of personality that can succeed in the NBA. The failure of Pitino and Calipari are partially due to their hubris and also to the tean's they inherited. Stevens inherits a team that will have a long year. His strength will lie in his ability to look at the big picture and understand this is going to take a while.
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