[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: Battie contract
Neal R Hoffman wrote:
> What is the feeling on the Battie Contract of 6 years 24 million
> (+25% incentives). I really like it, considering he has yet to blossom,
> we have him long term at a cheap price. I think this is a steal...
> Any thoughts?
The day that camp opened, Battie went on record saying he had done all the
Celts had asked for and hoped to sign an extension before the season opener.
I assumed then that this was partly due to the loud footsteps of Danny
Fortson, who last time around turned Battie from a potential
franchise-player top lottery pick into an "El Busto". It looked at the time
that they would be competing for limited minutes.
Battie played 22.4 mpg last year : the low minutes were largely the result
of erratic playing time given to him by Pitino, probably because of a
perceived deficiency guarding certain big men rather than any glaring
inconsistency on offense and the boards, where he was statistically among
the most proficient players on the team. He'll have to show a little more
intensity on his defensive assignments, but I'm looking forward to Battie
develop over the coming seasons.
Alex W made a brief comparison in his post to the Travis Knight signing,
without passing judgement one way or another. The size of each player is
similar, as are their stats more or less (and contract). In their second NBA
year, it looked like this:
20.3 minutes 6.5 points 1.11 blocks 4.9 boards 2.0 offensive rebounds
22.4 minutes 6.7 points 1.42 blocks 6.0 boards 1.9 offensive rebounds
Both guys are basically power forwards who (as far as I'm concerned) wasted
a year playing center. Battie needs to raise his level of man-to-man
defensive intensity and footwork in order to separate himself emphatically
from Travis Knight.
BTW, not to waste too much breath always sticking up for "12th man" Walter
McCarty, but one reason he also received an extension prior to his FA year
(but for a lot less than Battie) is because compared to TB he actually was
coming off a marginally better season (9.6 points, 1.7 offensive boards, 177
assists). The size of Battie's contract in part reflects the scarcity value
of tall, potential shot blockers on the current Celtics roster. The casual
non-Boston fan might not likely see a huge qualitative difference between a
Battie and a Knight (or a hundred other 6 ppg game NBA bench projects even I
can't keep track of), which may explain why Pitino's personnel moves are
treated so skeptically by the rest of the world at large.
Pitino has a strange (ultimately positive) dilemma this camp regarding his
forward rotation. In addition to Antoine Walker (who might need more than a
lunch with Bill Russell to get his shot selection straightened out), he has
two hot small forwards (McCarty and especially Williams) and two hot power
forwards (Battie and Fortson) who all risk being under-utilized in terms of
minutes, particularly if Pervis stays healthy for any length of time at
center. I don't know what the solution is, but I'll let Pitino work it out
without jumping to wild condemnations. Right now it seems he's more
infatuated with his small forwards, which logically leads him to push Walker
(perhaps temporarily) back into power forward at the expense of Battie or
Fortson. If ever there was a time to "rest" Walker, I'd say it could be now.
I'm glad he (and Vitaly) are still perfect from the free throw line, but if
AW doesn't hit at least 45% of his field goals this season, then I'll regret
having ever stuck up for him all this time. It's not asking THAT much.
Veteran Celtics players should not hit less than 33% of their attempts so
casually and routinely during the season.
But as Cecil says, this is after all the preseason, where you have
undefeated clubs like Orlando and novelty acts like "Master P" scoring 8
points last night and thinking he might make the NBA. No doubt the tour down
south will answer a lot of questions.