Well, the deal is done. The Celtics have given away 34 players, a waterboy, a trainer, an assistant coach, a gross of Cuban cigars and an amber-coated sample of Red Auerbach's DNA to get one Kevin Garnett. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. Without a huge shakeup, there was no way the Celtics were going to be in the playoff hunt next year, or the year after that. Suddenly, they are a part of the discussion, and all Celtics fans should be thrilled about that.

But one must wonder how the Celtics will fare with three superstars surrounded by a practically non-existent bench. Oh, sure, there will be people on the bench wearing Celtics uniforms, but nobody quite knows who they will be or from whence they will come. In an act screaming of desperation, Danny Ainge has reportedly asked 42-year-old Reggie Miller to play 15 minutes a game for the Celtics (for free, I would have to assume, given what the Celtics have left to offer). Interesting plan: compliment the talents of three aging superstars with an even older retired superstar...I'll give this much to Ainge - he's certainly thinking outside the box. Well, at this point he appears to be thinking miles and miles away from the box. OK, time to admit it, Danny doesn't even own a box to think outside of.

Some might make the argument that a "superstars-surrounded-by-placeholders" strategy has been done, and has worked before - the Riley/Shaq/Wade Miami Heat? A couple of the Celtics' 80's teams? That notion doesn't hold here. Never has a team mortgaged itself quite like the Celtics have to get a player. Yes, they managed to keep Pierce and Allen... but that's it. Make no mistake about it - Celtics games will be 3 against 12 out there all year long (assuming - God willing - the Celtics remain injury free). But for all I know, it will work. The Celtics are the Iraq War of the NBA - nobody has a clue how it will turn out in the end, because nobody's ever tried anything quite like it before. Ever try to get a Sunni and Kurd to execute a tight pick and roll? I can only imagine it's not pretty.

In a related story, Danny Ainge has called Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Charles Barkley to see if they want to give it "one more college try." All four have flatly refused, but after hearing of the Celtics' inquiries through the grapevine, Isiah Thomas has asked to be considered for the point guard spot.

And according to the Celtics Website home page, Thomas will have some competition...


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Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'm surprised Kevin McHale hasn't received his 2007-2008 Celtics jersey yet...what's he waiting for, Charles Oakley?

Anonymous Josh said...
Of course, I called this before everyone else did, about the whole "The Celtics have NO bench", on my blog, but no one goes to it so it was overlooked. *sigh* :(

Ok now seriously, fantastic photoshop job.

If Miller is any smart, he'd leave his freakin' legacy alone and not come back. Remember his last season in Indiana? That was painful to watch. Besides random spurts where he'd hit six three pointers and get like 35 points, he was awful.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
josh -- You did indeed call it. Hey, I read your blog...and there are comments to prove it.

At any rate, Evil Ted and I actually mentioned the depth issue on our original response post, but I think the fact that the C's are trying to pull a 42-year-old former player out of retirement shows a certain level of desperation we've never really seen before, which is why ET did another post about it.

Personally, I'm torn. I'd both love and hate to see Reggie come back. He was one of my all-time favorite players, but it's hard to imagine him being able to contribute after being away from the game for two years and being, you know, really old. Plus, I think the C's are looking for a spot-up jump shooter, and that was never Reggie's forte.

As for his last season, it wasn't as bad as you think. He averaged almost 18 PPG in December when the team was struggling, and he also averaged 18 PPG over the final two months of the season (including 19 PPG in March) to help the team make a push for the playoffs. He finished the season with a more than respectable 14.8 PPG average while playing about 30 MPG. Not bad for an old guy who was, at that time, the third or fourth option.

He also was the team's second leading scorer in the playoffs, and had 27 (on 11 for 16 shooting) in his final playoff game.

As always...I'm just sayin'.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
The Celts future lack of a bench is no secret, Josh. I posted mainly because of the Reggie Miller story, and because the Celts Web page screamed for a little modification.

The funny-slash-sad thing is, I had Basketbawful convinced - if only for the few seconds before he visited the site - that the graphic had not been altered. The sad part? With the Celtics unprecedented situation, open tryouts are not inconceivable...

Anonymous Josh said...
I know, I know guys. I was kiddin'. ;)

I have to agree again, fantastic photoshop job. Took me a bit to realize it was fake...because I'm honestly, not at all surprised. They NEED a point guard. Gary Payton may suck, but he'd be better than Rajon Rando at this point.

Anonymous econlibVA said...
I'm not sure why y'all hate Rajon Rondo so much. He's an excellent defender by all (sensible) accounts. Look at this link:


In fact, I think he's probably the second best defensive point guard in the league (I think the methodology overrates good defenders on great defensive teams).

You're right about the rest of the bench, though. Perkins can defend, but the rest of the bench is pretty much garbage. That said, most of the bench sucked last year anyway, so what difference does it make?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Josh said:
"Gary Payton may suck, but he'd be better than Rajon Rando at this point."


As round two of the Playoffs approaches, I stumbled by this one, and had to laugh.

It's May '08, and Rondo has had his way with every point guard that's tried to take him on the court. The dude is truly one of the future stars of the NBA, and he's playing like it -- having a couple of solid vets around to show him the ropes probably doesn't hurt either.

As for KG and Ray, I think it's clear right now to anyone who's watched a couple of Celtics games that the trade was ultimately as much about changing the C's culture and chemistry as it ws about the individual talents of the stars.

Seems to be working. Still, lets get together after the Finals and compare notes!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
So how did that "no bench" thing work out for you guys? Oh that's right there was a bench... and it pretty much was one of the main reasons banner #17 is going up.

Anonymous KHayes666 said...
To the last comment, the whole blog post about the Celtics having no bench was a full YEAR before the Finals.

They hadn't signed House and Posey yet nor had they picked up Brown and Cassell, not to mention they didn't expect Leon Power or Big Baby Davis to make the contributions that they did.

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