Where do the Boston Celtics go from here?

Now that the Boston Celtics, a franchise donning seventeen World Championship banners from the rafters of  T.D. Garden, has been officially eliminated from any further play this season, it is time to review and prognosticate on where they were in December and who will be with them going into next season.

The NBA lockout prior to the beginning of the 21011-2012 season hurt many teams. However it had worse of an impact on the Boston Celtic players more than most of the other teams in the NBA save for the Spurs and maybe the Lakers, due mainly to some of the aging stars on this storied franchise; Ray Allen turns 37 next month, Kevin Garnett 36,  Paul Pierce 34.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said that KG and Pierce both did not begin the season in ‘basketball’ shape and it took a while for the two of them to shake of their collective rust. After their loss on opening day against the N.Y. Knicks, the Celtics went 4-8 over their next 12. The rust on their so called ‘big three’ was beginning to show.

Read more here…

NBA Eastern Conference Finals: Heat v Celtics

Rajon RondoIt’ll be the last time I say this. I am a Celtics fan. Despite any possible biased feelings, Boston has no shot in this series. I’ll dissect the ins and outs of this matchup, but there’s only one reason I need to count the Celtics out. Avery Bradley’s out of this series and will be out for a part of next season due to his dislocated left shoulder.

(2) Miami Heat vs (4) Boston Celtics

Bradley means the world to the Celtics. He’s known for his defense, and rightfully so. He’s one of the top perimeter defenders in the NBA, and he’s only 21 years old. For Doc Rivers, Bradley was the one person he could count on to shut down the best player, or at least slow down a superstar on an opposing team. Bradley wasn’t the only reason Boston ranked first in many defensive categories this season, but he was a major part of it. To let Rondo not be forced to defend the best perimeter player on the opposing team, it allowed him to somewhat freelance defensively, which led to high steal and rebound totals.

Read More Here…


Ray Allen’s still got game

One of the prettiest things in all of sports is the jump shot and none is prettier than the jumper shooting guard Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics possesses. His form is perfect and fluid. Allen seems to shoot the ball so effortlessly and accurately, it’s no wonder he has been in the league as long as he has.

Just look at how he has started the season off. In just seven games so far he is scoring 20.4 points-per-game while averaging fewer than 12 shots-per-game. He still gets to the free throw line regularly but what has really boosted his scoring is his ridiculously high shooting percentages.

Allen is shooting an eye-popping 63.4% from behind the arc and is shooting 57.5% overall. His ability to shoulder the scoring load has been a godsend for the aging Celtics with the loss of Jeff Green and tentative play of Paul Pierce who is trying to play through a bothersome heel injury.

The Celtics can’t seem to get any scoring from their bench either which makes Allen’s scoring even more important but at his advanced age he can’t be expected to sustain this high level of shooting for the whole season. He’s going to need help if Boston plans on making it back to the playoffs.

Which means the Celtics need to develop some of the young players on their roster. Boston’s coach Doc Rivers needs to give JaJuan Johnson and Avery Bradley more playing time than the combined 12 minutes–per-game they are getting if the Celtics want them to develop.

Especially considering the fact that they aren’t getting much production from either Aleksander Pavlovic or Marquis Daniels. Those two are averaging less than seven points-per-game combined.

Boston has gotten a boost from the arrivals of both Brandon Bass and Keyon Dooling but not enough to replace all of the players the Celtics lost over the offseason. Along with the loss of Green the Celtics also lost Delonte West, Troy Murphy and Nenad Krstic. Glen Davis is also gone but he was shipped off to the Orlando Magic for Bass.

So Allen and the rest of the big four will have to stay healthy with scoring already coming at a premium. Despite Allen’s throwback scoring performance, the Celtics are still only 20th in the league in scoring at 92.7 points-per-game. They are a good defensive team which helps but they are barely outscoring their opponents with only a .5 point differential.

Regardless of the difficulties they face though, the Boston Celtics are a proud team that will not go down without a fight. Led by the ageless Allen this team still has the ability to make a big splash in the playoffs and provide a lesson for all the young players throughout the league. If you want longevity in this league you better develop your jump shot. Just ask Ray Allen.

Roosevelt Hall is an NBA Featured Journalist for The Sports Blitz