A comparison between the 2007-08 championship roster against our upcoming season roster (Guest Post)
Guest post by Ronit Ale
First is Ray Allen vs Courtney Lee. For me on this subject, I will have to pick Courtney Lee over Ray Allen. Not because Ray was bad or anything(in fact I am a fan of Ray whether he's a Heat or Celtic for that matter), its just that Courtney has youth even at that time where Ray was just hitting game winners and 3's. Although Lee is a lot better on defense, can create his own shot at times and is athletic, Ray was a pure shooter and one of the best of all time. Lee has that fire in him to win his first ever championship, to do that he knows he has to improve and that's where KG ,Rondo and Paul come in to help him. He was close to winning his first championship with the Orlando Magic until that team was beaten by the Lakers in the 2009 playoffs 4 games to 1, so that will put a fire on him.
Second is Tony Allen vs Avery Bradley. For me on this subject, I will pick Avery Bradley over Tony Allen. I really do miss Tony Allen and his lockdown defense but Bradley over Tony any day. Tony is great defensively but has zero offense without Rondo passing it to him or alley-oops. Avery Bradley is a beast defensively and is slowly improving his offense with the lessons he got from Ray. There was a time when I do admit that I though Bradley was a waste of a pick in his rookie year because I didn't get to see him play much, but I am very thankful he made me eat my words with his on going improvements to his game. Hopefully he keeps improving his game from both sides of the game(defense and offense).
Third is Eddie House vs Jason Terry. For me in this subject, I will pick Jason Terry over Eddie House. I miss Eddie House's spirit, clutch shooting and personality on the team, but I think Jason Terry will easily replace House's role as the offense of the bench because he has proven it with his career average of last season playoff ppg 13.8 with a good shooting percentage. Also Jason Terry is a better defender then House(it was never really his game) with a ok steals per game. I except him to improve his numbers from last season and produce somewhere near the championship year with Dallas he had before, with Rondo passing him open looks from drives to the basket. He has a lot of heart and I can't wait to see him play.
Fourth is James Posey vs Jeff Green. As of now, I pick James Posey over Jeff Green. Its because with Posey, we know what we were getting(a defensive minded player with a good 3 point shot and is a great bench player). Green I think is used to starting since he did it in his OKC days, starting as the teams PF. That's why maybe he has a hard time coming off the bench in Boston. Also the system could be hard to learn in a span of 1 year. But lets hope he has the right mind set and is ready to prove his critics wrong, embraces his bench role, earns his contract and give us a heck of a good player.
Fifth is Sam Cassell vs Keyon Dooling. I am split on this subject because both of them have different qualities and its hard to decide who is better. Sam Cassell is a veteran with good mid rage shot and can be a nightly scoring threat. Keyon Dooling can defend, score when he is hot, above average 3 point shooter and is a very cheap choice from the free agent pool. Sam had that fire that he would not let anyone be better then him(search for Ray Allen Sam Cassell training in youtube) but Keyon is a very respectable veteran who has a very good influence on Rondo as we all know, so it is hard to decide who is better on this one.
Sixth is Leon Powe vs Brandon Bass. I am also split on this subject because both of them have some what similar skill set and qualities. Both are short for the power forward spot but make it up with their heart, athleticism and work ethic. I was kind of sad that Celtics didn't resign Powe for his amazing performance in the finals 2008 game vs Lakers 2 where he scored 21 points off the bench, giving the team some energy and winning that important game for us. Not to take anything away from Bass as well because he did also win us an important game 5 vs the 76ers where he scored 27 points, 18 points in the 3rd quarter. Lets hope soon Bass starts to get comfortable with the team and its system and can contribute steadily.
Seventh is P.J. Brown vs Chris Wilcox. I love the big man veteran role because of the things they can teach the younger and upcoming big men some lessons. Although Chris Wilcox isn't the great defender that P.J brown was and has less experience then him, he has some upsides like his athleticism, his youth, his alley-oop connection with Rondo, his rebounding and he was playing great before that injury he had that took him out of the season. I'm really thankful that he came back to Boston for a vet mini and he is not a bad choice to replace P.J.'s role.
Eighth is Kendrick Perkins vs Fab Melo. I guess you could say Fab hasn't even played a single game in the regular season, how dare DARE you compare him to Perk. For me personally, Fab has alot of potential to be alot like Perk as a player. He could be the missing big man piece that Perk used to fill and let KG move to his natural PF spot. He is a defensive beast with his size and wingspan. He also has one of smartest defensive mind and with KG to help him, he could improve quite alot.
Ninth is Scott Pollard vs Jason Collins. In this subject I would choose Collins over Pollard just for the fact that he has good experience at guarding big named centers like a Dwight Howard, you can see him slow down Dwight in the 2011 playoffs Magic vs Hawks in the 1st round. He played good defense on Dwight that Dwight got frustrated out of his game and lost it for the Orlando Magic, plus he can teach those set of skills to our incoming rookie big men.
Tenth is Big Baby Glen Davis vs Jared Sullinger. It's kind of ironic how these two are both under-sized power forwards, but still are very hardworking and always ready. Also is it a coincidence that both power forwards are drafted by the Celtics(ok Davis was drafted by Sonics but we still got him)? I hope of course that Sullinger improves alot and later will be more talented then Davis, but also to have the right mindset unlike Big Baby.
Eleventh is Gabe Pruitt vs Jamar Smith/Dionte Christmas. These 3 players have alot in common. They are combo-guards,they are ok insurance for if any guard on the team gets hurt and they all got a spot in the nba roster so that's something. Although Pruitt was drafted, while Smith and Christmas were undrafted,t hese guys are pretty much the same so it's not a problem if any out of the two get waived.
Twelfth is Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine vs Kris Joseph. I think this topic is quite controversial, so I'm just leave it with a both players are very talented and can become great energy man with all the cheering.
Thirteenth is 2008 Rajon Rondo vs the coming up season Rajon Rondo. Back then if you said Rajon Rondo would be considered a steal in his year draft while a guy the great Michael Jordan drafted would be a bust, everyone would laugh at you, but look now. Its been roughly 5 to 6 years and now we have a pretty much a more mature Rondo who will be the leader after Paul if he retires. Rondo has greatly improved a lot, improving his jumpshot, his mind in the offensive and defensive side, being more of a leader and willing to learn from a lot of vets(like KG, Paul, Ray, Dooling, etc). He also has alot of heart and desire to be the best player he can be and I can't wait for the rebuilding years with Rondo leading us. He's gonna improve a lot, he's a steal at the 21st pick and he is also a steal at the contract we gave him before.
Fourteenth is 2008 Paul Pierce vs the coming up season Paul Pierce. One thing Paul Pierce will never lose touch is his killer instinct and his clutch genes. Whether it was in 2008 playoffs or the years that came after it, Paul will always be the guy to have the ball in his hands to let us have the best chance in winning. Although he has lost some athleticism due to age, he makes it up with his basketball IQ. When all of this is set and done, Paul will always be a beloved Celtic in all of the Celtic fans hearts. I hope he can go out of the league with 2 or 3 champion rings on his fngers and fulfil the Celtic tradition.
Fifteenth is 2008 Kevin Garnett vs the up coming season Kevin Garnett. Where do I start with this man? He is one of the rare breed in the NBA where players are now becoming selfish millionaires choosing where they go or how much they want and also never matching the fire and intensity the old days had with MJ, Bird and Magic. Even though some people have Tim Duncan over Kevin Garnett on the greatest PF list, I always have Kevin on top with McHale on second. In many seasons of us staying in the lottery team of drafts, one season of Kevin Garnett let us to become real contenders for the championship and eventually champions. Also after the championship year, we have become contenders ever since.
To conclude, what I'm saying is that players come and go alot of times, but players like Garnett, Pierce and Rondo are very rare to find and once you find them, you can't let go so you should enjoy it while you can. After Garnett's and Pierce's playing careers are over, I hope they still contribute to the organization some way either by being in a training, coaching or some other department.
Times have changed though, teams are getting stronger more then ever. Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks, etc. So please tell me what do you guys think about this article and your thoughs for the up coming season.
-by Ronit Ale