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Re: What I think are some problems with the Celtics.

Hi Mike,

I feel one o their most glaring weakness is their half-court defense,
particularly the post-up D and blocking out/rebounding.  The Refs seemed to
call a fould on whoever was playing Center for us regardless of the
situation any time the ball went down inside.  A remember a Phoenix game
where we just got crushed off the offensive boards and couldn't handle any
of their forwards.

Also, any team with Toine and DQ in the starting lineup, is not a strong
free throw shooting team.  That hurts especially late in games.


-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Joseph Byrnes <mbyrnes@leland.Stanford.EDU>
To: celtics@igtc.COM <celtics@igtc.COM>
Date: Sunday, July 12, 1998 4:58 AM
Subject: What I think are some problems with the Celtics.

>Assuming the Celtics make *no* moves (except for signing Popeye Jones and
>Paul Pierce), they will have some very talented players, but also some
>glaring weaknesses.  Their roster would be something like this:
> C: Knight, DeClerq, Ellison
> PF: Walker, P.Jones
> SF: Pierce, McCarty, Minor,
> SG: Mercer, Bowen, D.Jones
> PG: Anderson, Barros
>The strength of this team would be its "five scorers": Walker, Pierce,
>Mercer, Anderson, and Barros.
>However, a weakness is the lack of scoring threats after thos five.  Key
>bench players DeClerq, Bowen, P.Jones and Ellison (if healthy) cannot
>score.  Knight, McCarty, and Minor are a little better, but far too
>inconsistent.  At times, the Celtics will have only 2-3 of their "scorers"
>out there, and teams will be able to focus on those players.  Improvement
>from Knight and McCarty is the most likely source of help in this area,
>short of a roster move.
>Another weakness is the Celtics' lack of inside, post up, offensive
>players.  Walker is the best they have, but he isn't all that great at it.
>His game seems to be using his perimeter skills and athleticism to beat
>power forwards.  The lack of a true inside threat is going to hurt, as
>opposing teams force the Celtics to become a jump shooting team in the
>halfcourt set.  Walker, Mercer, Pierce, and Anderson will have trouble
>driving against defenses that concede the jumper and have a center who can
>"forget" his man and concentrate on helping defend the basket against the
>C's drives to the hoop.  Granted, Walker, Pierce, Mercer, Anderson, and
>Barros can all shoot, but I've never seen a strictly jump shooting offense
>have much success.  Their best hope for improvement is Walker becoming
>more of a post up player (remember Pitino once suggested that Walker add
>20lbs.?), along with some offense from Knight.  (Along with offensive
>rebounding from Popeye Jones when the Celtics are in jump shooting mode.)
>The 80s Celtics halfcourt offense was so great because they could score
>from inside and outside.
>Finally, the Celtics don't have enough ballhandlers.  They really have one
>point guard (Anderson), one "ballhandling" guard (Barros), and a collection
>of small forwards (Mercer, Pierce, Bowen, Minor).  After Anderson and
>Barros, Antoine Walker is probably the closest thing the Celtics have to a
>guard.  Which leads to Antoine holding the ball too much.  In reality, the
>Celtics will probably need another point guard on the roster because they
>would really be in a jam if Anderson or Barros were to be injured in a
>game.  Best hope for help here is that Mercer continues to develop into a
>true guard, rather than a small forward playing guard.  (I can't help
>thinking that Derek Anderson would be a nice fit on this team, but I don't
>see us matching up with Cleveland well in a deal.)
>Anyway, the C's still do have a lot of strengths as well -- they should be
>very good in the fullcourt game, and they should continue to force a lot
>of turnovers.  And, they have four young, very talented starters in Walker,
>Mercer, Anderson, and Pierce.  They also have good "role players" in Dana
>Barros, Bruce Bowen, Walter McCarty, Andrew DeClerq, and Popeye Jones.
>I'm hoping that Travis Knight can step up next year as a starter and take
>some heat off of our "money" players.
>Michael Byrnes