The Celtics showed their veteran swagger in the 2010 playoffs impressively taking to the Lakers to the edge in an epic showdown. Not many changes were need with this team and fittingly not many drastic moves were made. They did do some minor moves however, so here is what they did do.
They signed Jermaine O'Neal. He will replace Rasheed Wallace and be similarly effective. I think O'Neal will do a bit better then Wallace, especially after factoring all those technical fouls! Matching Wallace's production is not an impressive feet however and I don't expect JO to be a big factor in the Celtics success.
They also got that other guy, Shaquille O'Neal. I suggested Shaq a new nick name on twitter (@sidk4) 'The Green Giant' however I did not get a response! Shaq is a nice option off the bench and should provide good defense in specific match ups. He adds a lot of entertainment value as well. Reporters will enjoy having the Diesel around to provide his expert commentary on the going ons in Bean Town. The Cavaliers picked up Shaq to guard juggernaut Dwight Howard last year. With Jermaine O'Neal, Kendrick Perkins, and the Diesel, Dwight Howard is going to have nightmares about playing the Cs.
Luke Harangody was drafted in the second round by the Celtics. Think Matt Bonner combined with Kobe Bryant. I am joking but I do like him a lot! Taken from here
Another guy the Cs brought in was Notre Dame standout Luke Harangody. He is a big and white center who loves to jack it from 3. I know what you are thinking, Matt Bonner...Ryan Anderson...Brian Cook (I know he is black but whatever)...Dare I say Nikoloz Tskitishvili? Lets get the record straight, Luke Harangody owns these fools! I am joking to some extent, he does not own them and Matt Bonner is not a fool. Harangody seems to have a flare that none of the others possess though. His shot form makes me laugh, and makes it even sweeter when tickles the twine. I actually expect this guy to get some minutes on the deep Celtics and will be a nice player for them.
The Celtics also drafted Avery Bradley. He is a super athletic scoring point guard out of Texas. He was good value for that late in the draft, and has very nice upside. He is going to learn a lot from this veteran team. More on him in a bit.
The only player other then Rasheed that the Celtics lost was shooting guard Tony Allen. This is a bit of a loss for them, Allen was a great player to have coming off the bench providing them with elite perimeter defense and the ability to finish emphatically on the break. There is going to be a big drop off at the backup 2 for the Celtics this year. Having to rely on Marquis Daniels and Avery Bradley is questionable for a team of this caliber. Bradley really has a great chance to flourish in his role as backup. Think Ty Lawson. If Bradley struggles this position will be a point of weakness for the Celtics.
Jermaine O'Neal will add a lot of toughness especially in the form of sliding punches to the Celtics. Taken from here
Looking at the big picture now. The Celtics still look to be a power house. The big three is getting older but they still have a few years of high level play left in them. Rajon Rondo, what can really be said at this point. He is an amazing point guard. Physically gifted and a basketball genius, the sky is truly the limit for him.
A big question mark for this team is the health of Kendrick Perkins. An extremely vital part of the team. His health will decide whether Boston is at a championship level or not.
Expect the Celtics and Heat to meet for an epic show down in the second round in 2011. I am so tempted to declare Celtics victor of this battle, but my gut is telling me I will look stupid in the future. I will predict a game 7 victory for Miami against Boston.
I am very high on Boston, however I don't believe they will have an amazing record. Why? Just look at the roster, you know these guys are going to be coasting in the regular season. When April comes, expect the real Celtics to show up.
Regular Season Prediction: 51-31 (fourth in east)
Offseason Grade: B (Losing Tony Allen sucks, resigning Nate is meh, good
value signings of both O'Neals, and awesome draft picking up
Bradley and Harangody)