Welcome To Camp: Boston Celtics

The Big Three is dead! Long live the Big Three!

If that sounds wrong – as in, “Shouldn’t it be ‘are dead?’ ” – the fact is, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen were a unit, an entity, even a state of mind and swagger for the Boston Celtics for five seasons. In other words, singularly exemplary.

But with Allen’s abrupt exit to Miami, there no longer is a need, when it comes to billing, to treat Rajon Rondo like Ernie from “My Three Sons.” The kid who started out as a neighbor and fourth wheel has fully been adopted; frankly, Rondo is the most valuable Celtics player, with the added motivation of being blamed to a large degree for Allen’s departure. By season’s end, the mercurial point guard might extend that MVP talk to the league at large.

Guy on the spot as camp begins: Jeff Green. Green was off the books in 2011-12, off the court due to surgery for an aortic aneurysm, largely out of sight … but never completely out of mind. He still was the key to the Kendrick Perkins trade in February 2011 and, in basketball boss Danny Ainge’s mind, a piece of the Celtics’ future. Enough that Green was gifted with a four-year, $36 million contract. To earn it, Green not only will have to stay healthy, he’ll have to improve on the 9.8 ppg he averaged for Boston in 24 games after the OKC trade.

What the Celtics need to work on: Defense. That might sound silly, considering Boston ranked first in the NBA in defensive rating (98.2) and second in opponents’ points per game (89.3). But that was with Avery Bradley available, pushing for minutes and eventually moving into the starting job at shooting guard. It was with Greg Stiemsma, Mikael Pietrus, Marquis Daniels and Keyon Dooling on board – even guys who aren’t stellar individual defenders can help when they’re familiar with each other. Courtney Lee and Jason Terry — covering for Bradley for a couple months or more while he rehabs from two shoulder surgeries — are among the many new faces who’ll have to caulk around Garnett, Rondo and the rest to keep the Celtics stingy.

Who could surprise: Jared Sullinger. The rookie forward was considered one of the NCAA’s top prospects two years ago, but serious concerns about a disk problem in his back drove him down to No. 21 in the June draft. The Celtics checked him out thoroughly and, given their need for rebounding, might wind up relying on the Ohio State product more heavily than coach Doc Rivers generally does with rookies.

14 Comments

  1. Henrik Jensen says:

    I Call Celtics – Nuggets in NBA Finals, Celtics Winning in 6 or 7 at Home

  2. Danny says:

    SULLINGER HAS A LOT OF PEOPLE TO BEAT OUT HOPE HE CAN SO COACH AT LEAST LOOK AT HIM, FAB MELO I WOULD LIKE TO SEE AS BACK UP TO K.G. J.COLINS AND DARKO ????????

  3. Rob says:

    That reporter is hot

  4. jovie141 says:

    If Sully stays healthy, this could be the steal of the Draft. Celtics need some young Energy. Melo might be a bust!

  5. Califan says:

    Celtics are stacked. They have size, speed, shooters, a good bench and the only weak point I can think of will be if Pierce and Garnett can’t produce for them. I’m not a C’s or Laker fan but I think those two are going to be in the finals this season.

    • Mytownla says:

      As much as i hate that dookie green color.. i hope the celtics can overcome that game 7 loss to the Miami cHeat and be the 1s to dethrone them in the playoffs, jus so the LAKERS aka Bostons cryptonite, canget that sweet win over the retard Celtics, once again… GO LA!!!!!! Oh and terry is a complete idiot for gettig that tat… and Celtic fans are queers

      Lol cant wait to see the replys from this comment haha

      • Cup Cakes!!!!!! says:

        i love it. c to the b. the final exam will be a cupcake ride to heaven!

      • Me says:

        lol you scared that if Heat get the Eastern title win, LA loses? guess yo Lakers ain’t really kyryptonite” huh? Anyway don’t even trip about that cos see regardless, LA still losing to Celtics

      • Riley says:

        Celtics have won 17 championships, And 9 of those 17 were from beating the lakers. lakers have beaten the celtics twice, and the celtics have beaten LA 9 times. Boston is LA’s kryptonite if anything

      • Kamote says:

        The Boston-LA championship series (with Kobe in LA and Big3 in Boston) is tied at 1-1. Yeah, I really hope theyd meet at the Finals and get this over with.

      • Nick says:

        And Kendrick Perkins got injured in the series LA won. AND Garnett got injured for the playoffs the year after, or before.

  6. letsgoceltics says:

    yeah, I noticed, WHY INDEED doen’t Doc Rivers give more credit to rookies???
    He’s such a great coach, seemingly a fatherly figure, I would expect rookies to
    thrive under him. I’d like this last crop to turn out to be real stars. Give them a fair chance

    • amitpal says:

      Well first off Celtics haven’t really had any good rookies. The best one is probably Avery Bradley who was injured for most part of his rookie year. Plus most good coaches don’t like giving rookies big minutes in there rookie year so that they work harder for there minutes and get better. Avery Bradley is so much better this year then he was last

    • Danny says:

      I think that is a very good comment so i ad to that GIVE THE ROOKIES A CHANCE DONT PUT THEM ON THE END OF THE BENCH AND THINK NEXT YEAR !!!!!