As the Celtics have a few days off from games, we figured now would be a good time to check some early stats.  On the plus side Paul Pierce is leading the team in scoring with 18.4 ppg. He's shooting over 50% from the field and 48% from behind the arc. Say what you will about KG or Rondo or whoever, but Pierce is the go to guy on offense and needs to be huge for the C's to regain the crown. There was a drastic downturn in his play last playoffs compared to the title run. Many said it was because he was worn out from too many minutes and not having a back-up 3. This year Doc needs to keep Paul fresh for the playoffs. Marquis Daniels is only averaging 21 mpg and those need to increase, so Paul's (34.5 mpg) go down.

Rajon Rondo is averaging 8.7 assists and 2.7 steals a game to go along with 10.3 ppg. His rebounding is down from last year's playoffs, but that's because he now has KG, 'Sheed and Williams to get defensive boards, when in the playoffs it seemed it was only Perk and him. What the C's really need is for Rondo to bump his scoring up more. I don't care about his jump shot, or lack of one. What we need is for Rondo to finish more. Sometime he seems to pass from right under the hoop when he has an uncontested lay-up available. Our core is a little too old to carry all the offensive load, so Rondo needs to add a little bit more on offense.

Another positive statistically is Shelden Williams on the boards, who's pulling down 5.3 rebounds per game in 16.1 mpg. That's approximately 16 per 48 mins. I think it's safe to say that this year's reclamation project of a former lottery big man is going to be more successful than last year's. I wonder how Joe Alexander will do for us next year.

On the negative side comes Rasheed Wallace. Wallace is shooting only 31% from the 3-point line (He's taken 18 more 3's than Ray Allen and twice as many as Eddie House).  Sheed's attempted 64  three pointers and only 34 two pointers (even though he's shooting 59% on two pointers). In my opinion this is unacceptable (I'm pretty sure Karl agrees too based on his recent articles. lol).  People can say. "Well he's always taken two many 3's and not played down low enough," but I don't buy that reasoning. As players get older and lose athleticism, the only way to compensate is to play smarter. Wallace needs to play like a veteran and use his talents, which is low post scoring. Josh Smith is a generation younger and he's adjusted his game and hasn't attempted a 3 pointer all season. Rasheed needs to make an adjustment here.

Another argument: "But 'Sheed stretches the defense?"  Sure he does, but we also have KG and Baby (when he returns) as bigs who can do that. Maybe Rasheed stretching the defense helps, but all the long misses also help these young opponents start fast breaks and 'Sheed is giving us nothing in terms of offensive rebounds. He has a total of 5 on the season, which ranks him second lowest out of our nine rotation players.
The only player with less is Eddie House, who also is a foot shorter and plays less minutes. Hard to get offensive rebounds way out by half court. Rasheed Wallace is average approximately 6 three point attempts a game and approximately one 3 for every 3 minutes he's in the game. Ray Allen, who I've heard is a good three point shooter (though struggling this year 33%) averages approximately 4 three pointers a game in 35.3 minutes. So 'Sheed is shooting 3's almost 3 times as often as the player who might set the NBA record for career three point shooting. I've also heard a rumor that Rasheed Wallace is just shy of 7 ft tall. Can anyone confirm?

You probably caught in the past paragraph that Ray Allen is averaging 35.3 mpg. That's a lot for his age (in the regular season). Pierce at 34.5 mpg is also too high as was mentioned earlier. They can average 40 mpg in the playoffs and that wouldn't bother me, but Pierce and Ray Allen are not Wade or Lebron. They're older players and their minutes need to decrease. There's no reason Marquis Daniels  can't play more than 21.2 mpg. I would have liked the C's to sign a true back-up 3, but they should be able to get by with Marquis. The guy I wanted was Chase Budinger. I thought the C's should buy a second rounder to snatch him. The Pistons drafted him and then traded/sold Buddinger to the Rockets and he's giving them 9.4 off the bench. A few years ago I wanted the C's to buy a first rounder and grab Rudy Fernandez, but the Blazers bought a pick from Phoenix instead and grabbed him (Think he'd help the Suns?). Point is Danny refuses to give Paul a legitimate back-up, so Doc needs to just use Marquis. Despite Eddie House's struggles there's no reason he should only be playing 15.3 mpg, while Ray has to play more than 35.

So in conclusion, Paul looks good, Rondo as well, but he needs to finish more. Shelden deserves his landlord nickname. Marquis deserves more minutes and Rasheed needs to stop chucking from deep. Doc needs to watch the minutes for his starting wings, Baby needs to stop punching friends, and the Celtics need to stop losing games on Fridays and to the Pacers.

JR 11/16/2009 05:47:00 PM Edit
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  1. Karl Dillinger says:

    Totally agree. Love the pictures!

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