Bogans: Wallace and Humphries are better players than they showed last season
Even though most of the focus on newly acquired players Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallce is on their contracts and if they will even suit up in green, also acquired teammate Keith Bogans thinks the pair have plenty left to give.
This from Jay King at Masslive.com:
“I think a lot of people don’t realize that we played a lot of iso, one-on-one basketball,” Bogans said Monday at a press conference to introduce new Celtics. “Some guys were left out. I mean, if you’re style of play didn’t fit what they were doing then your game would fall off. And everybody didn’t fit the style of one-on-one basketball that we played last year, especially Kris and Gerald, the way they play, they’re hustle players.”
The theory about Wallace’s dip goes something like this: Without elite skill or much of an outside jump shot, he relied on athleticism to become one of the NBA’s better two-way players. But when his athleticism took a tumble last season, his 12th in the NBA, he acted a lot older than his actual age (30).
Ainge seems to agree with Bogans analysis.
“When you look at a guy like Wallace, Wallace was paid a pretty good contract in Charlotte, was an All-Star, was traded for two first-round picks to Portland, was traded for the Rookie of the Year last year and then given a $40 million contract. That would indicate that he’s a pretty good player. I don’t think he played as well as he’s capable of playing last year,” he said. “They had a deep team, the ball’s in Joe Johnson, (Brook) Lopez’s and Deron Williams’ hands a lot. A lot of times numbers are deceiving that way, and despite numbers going down, opportunities are definitely going down when you are surrounded by guys who have the ball as much as those three guys do.”
Ainge feels extenuating circumstances surrounded Humphries’ poor season, too.
“I certainly know that Humphries hasn’t dropped as a player,” he said. “At 28 years old and you’re as fit as he is… you don’t become a worse player. So we don’t really look at the numbers that way.”
Wallace, when he's on his game, is one of the better small forward's in the NBA. Whether his days of all-star level play and competing for the rebounding title are behind him is yet to be seen. As for Humphries, the guy is young enough and talented enough to go back to averaging a double-double. Neither figures to be in the long term plans for the Celtics rebuild and have already been linked to trade rumors, but if their issues last year in Brooklyn were really about the team's style of play then they should have plenty of opportunities to prove it as Boston has only one remaining superstar in Rajon Rondo.
They should at least make the games entertaining, assuming they're Celtics in November.