In the Boston Media we have heard the term "last run" quite often and I think they are being a bit unfair to the future of the Celtics who in my opinion have a future possibly brighter than the present. As each of the major players re-signed or joined the Celtics you regularly saw the following line: "Ray Allen/Paul Pierce came back for one last run with Boston."
I would never accuse the Boston media of negative foresight, they would never be such pessimists. (yep sarcasm if you missed it.)
The Big Three are the core of the Celtics, 2008-2009 and parts of this past season already have shown us what happens when they are hurting. But in two years we are looking at a future without the life-blood of this team, Allen will most surely retire and I can't imagine Garnett's knees will keep holding up his frame. On the outside chance that both do continue to play neither will start, at least not for Boston. But the future is not glum, at least not in my optimistic view, and frankly I think it will be a much more exciting team.
First, there is no question that Rajon Rondo will be the leader of this team, and if given the pieces to work with he will be controlling a much more athletic and explosive team that will control a tempo that teams will have difficulty sustaining and beat teams into exhaustion. It is no hidden secret that Rondo is the best player in transition on the court. His hustle and stop-to-go speed is unmatched by any player. His weak point is clearly his scoring, and with the right pieces he does not need to push the scoring to win. He needs to control the game.
With Kevin Garnett likely gone after two seasons I may be counting chickens before they hatch, but after watching Luke Harangoody play this summer he will be the PF for this team into the future. If he plays as good as I hope and expect I am not above starting him next season over KG. He is big and boxy but he moves fairly well, his inside game is strong and he can shoot from nearly anywhere, I am starting to have a feeling this guy could make us all remember what the 1980s were like when McHale owned the post.
Avery Bradley has not stepped on to the court or even been able to lace up some Celtic Green sneakers, but his role for the Celtics unless I am wrong will be a solid bench player. He will come off the pine and give 20+ minutes a game and have a decent career, but I don't see him being our SG of the future, I hope I am wrong and he is amazing, but even a solid bench player will be an asset you need to win titles.
Glen Davis will continue to be Big Baby and that is ok, the guy excels at his role 75% of the time. Unfortunately Baby's ego is bigger than his talent and he may take his contract to a team that may dangle more minutes to him and he will grab it in a second and head the way of James Posey looking for more and finding the same. I hope I am wrong, I actually enjoy Baby as a person and a player.
Nate Robinson will give us a few more years minimum, I hope this guy turns into a career Celt and I keep saying I hope he makes the jump to Rondo's linemate as I think a backcourt with that much speed has never been seen. I salivate at the thought of transitions turning into a lob pass over the defending guards turning into layups for easy uncontested points. I am holding to this dream and I won't even consider an alternative. Nate has an external intensity that Rondo lacks and the polar opposites would compliment each other. I have been playing these two as my backcourt on NBA2K long before KryptoNate even got traded to the Green Machine, his trading was a dream come true for me.
Kendrick Perkins is the ideal center in my far from professional opinion. Far too many centers have become offensive machines, and left the defense on the wayside; much like the shortstop position in baseball and lost their roots. The center should be a rebounding first mentality and let their 2 blocks a game come to them and points should be based solely on right-place, right-time.. Blocks are a stat that really is far and away overblown. How many blocks are more than just great highlights? When you weigh it out the loss of 4 points really breaks even because the opposing center washes those with their 2 blocks. A stay at home center will get them as Perk does nearly as often as a ball hunter like Dwight Howard. Without a question a healthy Perk is a cornerstone of this team.
That doesn't seem like much but it is a core, and where there is a core free agents will flock. Are you telling me that when KG or Allen pack it in there is not a dozen player's agents that won't call and express interest in sending their player to the Hub. And if Pierce continues past his given contract on to a veteran minimum to help lead the youngsters as a reserve his salary will also be an asset.
A few guys I would love to see in green and white to round out this squad:
When Paul Pierce is gone, or just out of the starting rotation we could benefit from Danny Granger. If the Pacers ever felt like dealing him before he walks I would bundle up KG and send him to Indiana. From there I would move Danny to the SF slot and bump Pierce into the SG spot where he really may be a bigger asset.
Unfortunately for Boston, Memphis snagged the best guard available in the draft after John Wall in Maryland's Greivis Vasquez. Laugh now, but own up latter when I am right. The guy was the top guard in the ACC and will be the next dark horse surprise that everyone asks, "where did that guy come from?"
Draft, Draft, Draft. Boston has a history of drafting terrible and trading away the talent they do find before it blossoms. Think about the last 10 years and find me a draft pick that still plays for the Celtics and more so in a starting role. Last time it happened was Paul Pierce in 1998. Now Al Jefferson was a great pick because he did lead to acquiring KG, but he is no longer with us and that is just one player. Joe Johnson, Chauncy Billups and a few more have excelled, but never with Boston. Boston needs to draft well and ride out some of their choices.
There is no doubt in my mind that this is a "Last Run at Glory" for the Big Three, but it is not the end of the road for Boston. There will not be a rebuilding transition like we saw in the 90's, this ownership will not let that happen. They will build this team through free agency if necessary and keep the greatest NBA franchise a relevant threat until my son is old enough to sign his first contract and take Rondo's place as the point guard of the future.
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