Friday, September 25, 2009

Boston Celtics 09-10 Season Preview

C Rasheed Wallace (FA)
SF Marquis Daniels (FA)
C Shelden Williams (FA)
PG Lester Hudson (Draft)

PF Leon Powe (FA)
PG Stephon Marbury (Retire)
C Mikki Moore (FA)
PG Gabe Pruitt (FA)

The Celtics are two years removed from a championship season and I have them favored to do it again if KG is healthy. Last season they won 62 games even though the Big Ticket missed the entire second half. They even pushed Orlando harder than Cleveland did in the playoffs. The Celtics hope Marquis Daniels is the solution at SF off the bench, as the team never truely found a replacement for James Posey last season.

Rajon Rondo (18.8 PER)
Eddie House (15.4 PER)
Lester Hudson (N/A)

Rondo is one of the best young players in the league and really came into his own last season. Eddie House is a great compliment as he covers Rondo's biggest weakness (shooting). House isn't a true PG however, as he's a below average ball handler and passer compared to other guards his size (you could say the same for unsigned rookie Hudson). The Celtics will need to make sure Rondo stays healthy or else they'll end up experimenting at the PG position (Marquis Daniels) or making a trade.

Grade: B+

Ray Allen (17.3 PER)
Tony Allen (12.9 PER)
J.R. Giddens (26.0 PER, 8 mins)

Ray is among the top shooters in the league, and helped carry the load last year with KG out. His backup Tony would be a nice compliment if he could ever stay healthy himself. Giddens didn't make an impact in his rookie season but has the opportunity to earn minutes if he has a good training camp. Marquis Daniels will also play a lot at the position, perhaps at the expense of both backups.

Grade: B

Paul Pierce (17.7 PER)
Marquis Daniels (12.8 PER)
Bill Walker (10.9 PER)

Pierce was the defacto leader after KG went down and performed admirably (despite putting up worse shooting stats). The Celtics are looking to limit his minutes which is why Daniels was brought in. Of course, Daniels actually needs to stay healthy for a change if that's going to happen (he misses about 20 games per season). The Celtics want Daniels to reprise Posey's defensive stopper role but I don't think that's possible given that Daniels is a weaker defender and also isn't the 3pt shooter Posey is. What Daniels does give you is versatility as he can play all three perimeter positions. Walker showed flashes late last season and perhaps he will come closer to filling the Posey void.

Grade: B

Kevin Garnett (21.2 PER)
Glen Davis (10.7 PER)
Brian Scalabrine (7.4 PER)

What's scary is that KG was limited by injury and he was still twice as effective as Glen Davis. The Celtics championship hopes are riding squarely on his shoulders, so they need him to be his usual dominant self on both ends. Davis came into his own in KG's absence but realistically shouldn't be more than a backup. This is likely Scalabrine's final season in the league. Rasheed Wallace should also see some time here, if only to make sure Scalabrine doesn't.

Grade: B+

Kendrick Perkins (13.2 PER)
Rasheed Wallace (14.9 PER)
Shelden Williams (13.7 PER)

Perkins is an enforcer and the Celtics will need him with Shaq and Howard on the enemy lines. Sheed rings the Celtics excellent depth and versatility at the position. Shelden Williams offers some additional inside toughness as he is basically a shorter version of Perkins.

Grade: C+

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