Celtics Report Cards: The Bench
BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics 2010-11 season came to end against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
It was a disappointing end to a season that began with aspirations of Banner 18. Here are the report cards for the bench players of the Boston Celtics.
Season Stats: 37 GP, 20.3 MPG, 9.2 PPG, 4.8 RPG
The grade was an A for the first two months of the season. Shaq seemed to invigorate the team when he was on the floor, and actually played well for the oldest player in the association. That is until he got hurt. And then got hurt while hurt. And then hurt while coming back from being hurt.
Shaq was hampered by an Achilles injury, calf injury, bad back, and exhaustion from too many public appearances. Even though he was not on the court, Shaq was no stranger to a convenience store opening or pine wood derby. It seemed as though he had a daily appearance, and it was rarely on the Garden floor. Shaq did try to come back, and Doc Rivers said it was a full-blown effort by the “Big Shamrock.” But in the end he just could not handle the rigors of a full season. The team banked on a healthy Shaq for the playoffs, and that just did not happen. It was a gamble, and the Celtics lost.
If he has anything left in the tank, O’Neal has a player option to return next season.
Season Stats: 78 GP, 29.5 MPG, 11.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG
He had an early A as well, but he fell apart down the stretch. “Big Baby” was a potential sixth man when he was taking charges at an alarming rate and produced on a Celtics second unit that was shaky at best. But as the season wore on it seemed like Davis lost his way on the court and possibly his mind off it.
Davis had an awful go in the playoffs and ended up being a liability on the floor. He never scored more than six points against the Heat and was replaced by Jeff Green late in games as the series went on. Baby has never been known his maturity, but he started showing the sanity of the crazy cat lady down the street as the season wore on. He stated he needed to “Find Glen” after Game 4 against Miami, but sounded disinterested long before that.
The days of “Shrek and Donkey” and knocking kids over after a game winning shot are over, and so might Davis’ days in Green.
Season Stats (with Boston): 26 GP, 23.5 MPG, 9.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG
There was a lot pressure placed on Green’s shoulder after being acquired for Kendrick Perkins and he had a tough time living up to it. He struggled mightily at first, but that is to be expected when learning how to come off the bench while also learning a whole new system. Green averaged 37 minutes in OKC and saw that drop to just 23.5 in Boston. He found his stroke (Green ended up shooting 49-percent in the regular season and 54-percent against Miami in the playoffs) although the shots were few and far between. Like Rondo, he chose to pass it up to the elder statesmen on the court. On defense, it was also a slow start with a deer-in-headlights look but actually played Lebron decent when Paul Pierce was on the bench or in the locker room for taunting.
Green should be better with a training camp under his belt and when the team has a better feel for what he can bring. It will be fun once the Celtics utilize his speed down the court and start connecting on the touchdown-like plays from basket to basket. He needs to learn how to use his length on defense (he has a 7-1 wingspan) and who better to teach him than Paul Pierce and maybe some KG mixed in.
Season Stats: 24 GP, 5.6 PPG, 2.7 APG
If only Delonte could have given the Celtics a whole season, or even half a season, his grade would be higher. He is still the same Delonte West from his first go-around with Boston, and the team can certainly use his versatility. He made an impact in the playoffs when he was called upon to take an injured Rajon Rondo’s spot and made some big shots down the stretch. He shot 54-percent against the Heat and hit double digits in all five games.
Photos: Celtics Fall To Heat In Playoffs
The problem with D-West remains his tendency to get hurt. A lot. He broke his wrist just five games after returning from his 10-game suspension to start the season. He returned for three games in late February before injuring his ankle (and then re-injuring it in a walk-through!) which led to more missed time. It’s great to see a player that plays with his heart, but because of that Delonte will always be a fall or collision away from
Season Stats (with Boston): 24 GP, 20 GS, 9.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG
Krstic actually looked good his first week with Boston after coming over in the Perkins trade, but fizzled out faster than Antoine Walker’s credit score. The offense was there but he is not physical enough for the Celtics defense. He ended up starting 20 games at center until Jermaine O’Neal returned late in the season.
Krstic is not a bad offensive player at all and is a pretty solid shooter (54-percent from the field). He played a very good 16 minutes in Game 5 against Miami, but could have earned more minutes when it was apparent Shaq was going to be out forever.
Season Stats: 49 GP, 5.5 PPG
Daniels was actually a very important player to how the Celtics season played out. He suffered a devastating spine injury before the trade deadline which left Boston scrambling for a backup for Paul Pierce. What transpired was the Celtics trading their starting center for a backup forward in Jeff Green. If Daniels stayed healthy, which he never seemed to do, who knows if Danny Ainge pulls the trigger on the Perk deal. He said repeatedly he would, but why would he say otherwise?
So in a way, if it wasn’t for Marquis Daniels the Celtics would not have traded Kendrick Perkins.
Grade: C- (P.S. Get Well Soon Quise)
INC: Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson, Troy Murphy, Carlos Arroyo, Sasha Pavlovic, Semih Erden, Luke Harangody, Avery Bradley
Kendrick Perkins played in just 11 games after coming back from knee surgery and then was dealt to OKC for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic. Perk looked solid in his return, but the Celtics never got a chance to see if the 2008 starting five could stay unbeaten as a unit in the postseason.
Nate Robinson was included in the Perk-Green swap after playing himself into Doc’s doghouse in the first half of the season. After an impressive postseason last year Nate was ineffective and streaky in 2010.
Troy Murphy was brought on with high hopes and was even started a bidding war between the Heat and Celtics. But Murphy was a huge bust and looked lost and out of sync whenever on the floor. It is too bad Miami did not sign him to a two-year deal, it would have looked nice next to the five-year contract they game Mike Miller.
Sasha Pavlovic and Carlos Arroyo were brought in to eat some minutes late in the season and provide some depth in the event it was needed. They did that, so they get an honorable pat on the back.
Semih Erden and Luke Harangody were shipped off to Cleveland at the trade deadline to clear space for veteran additions, and they haven’t been heard from since. Erden played well when called upon in Boston and actually started seven games at center. It would have been nice to see if he could have developed into a decent role player, but Danny Ainge felt it was more important to go get Murphy.
Bradley played sparingly in his rookie season but has some upside as a defensive point guard. He even showed flashes of offense with a 20-point showing against the Knicks in the final game of the season. The fact that he played in the game should tell you it was meaningless though.
Coming Sunday: Doc and Danny