|Boston has become a perennial lottery team. I never thought that I would say that :-). Anyway, their GM is Jason Mace and he uses the 11th pick in the 2000 draft to select:|
The once proud champion Boston Celtics have fell on hard times during the majority of the 90s. In recent years they have taken two steps forward only to take one back. Boston remains one of the few teams truly pointing towards the future with young stars in place with equally young role players. Their youth has limited their progress up to this point, but the patience the Celtics have shown will payoff big when the team comes into its own. Many teams get to a certain level quickly by trading talent for experience and then find themselves limited, the Celtics have an abundance of talent all be-it combined with a lack of maturity. As the Celtics have always done they will win big in the end.
1999: Kris Clack, Texas -- He went in the second round and played for the team in the summer league. But he was not impressive enough to even warrant an invitation to training camp.
1998: Paul Pierce, Kansas -- This one fell into Pitino's lap at No. 10 and has been a real blessing. Although he has his lapses, Pierce has developed into a bona fide NBA player who, with growth, has All-Star on his horizon. When you hear other NBA executives talk about players they want on the Celtics, this guy's name always is at the top. Grade: A
1997: Chauncey Billups, Colorado and Ron Mercer, Kentucky -- Pitino took the Celtics job a couple weeks before the lottery. He was counting on Boston at least getting the first or second pick, which would have been Tim Duncan or Chauncey Billups. Ooops. He got 3 and 6. Billups went third and was gone by February because he wasn't the point guard Pitino wanted. He should have known that. Mercer went sixth and was a solid contributor for two years. But the team panicked and traded him to Denver because it was convinced it couldn't re-sign him. They got Danny Fortson and a future No. 1 in return. Grade: C
1996: Antoine Walker, Kentucky -- OK, they passed on Kobe Bryant. So did a lot of other teams. They were happy to get Walker at No. 6 and he has turned into a solid, if erratic, NBA player. The hope is, eventually, that Walker will ``get it'' and become the end-to-end terror that the team feels he can be. Grade: B
1995: Eric Williams, Providence -- This was a good pick at the time, No. 14 Williams quickly became a starter and a dogged defender who showed a great ability to get to the line. But then he ticked off Pitino and was dealt to Denver for two second-round picks. He was welcomed back last year in the Mercer trade, but the price was steep. He not only carries a long contract, but he has been unable to find consistent minutes. Grade: B
The Celtics would love to have an athletic big man and a tall gutsy Point Guard. At first glance these two needs do not seem related, but in actuality they are one and the same. Anyone who's watched the Celtics will tell you they need defenders who play defense and play it well. What does that have to do with an athletic big guy, well if you haven't noticed lately there is a freeway built down the middle of the Celtics defense and the C's opponents are traveling in the express lane right to the rim and scoring. Basically this is because the Celtics do not have on their roster a true shot blocker. The second need a defensive Point Guard earlier this year the C's traded for A. Williams who fit the bill, but failed the physical a blessing in disguise. Anyways the C's cannot presently pressure the ball the way Pitino would like but with the addition of a tall point guard the Celtics could cause match-up problems on offense a havoc on defense.
Team and the Current Roster
AT THE POINT :
There is a problem here, whoever seems to be playing Point (note the word "seems") doesn't push the ball up the court. It is unclear to me if this is Pitino's fault or Kenny Anderson's problem. In any event this is a make it or break it year for Kenny if the Celtics do not get into the playoff this year do not expect Anderson to be back with the Celtics. I believe Rick needs to quit meddling with this position and lets see what KA can get done with free reign. His backups Barros and Overton are adequate, but that's about it. Dana is ending a solid career if unspectacular campaign he's done more than most critics gave him a chance to accomplish. Overton is a true journey man, but may have found a home in Boston due to leadership and height.
Playing the Two
Paul Pierce showed he could make the transition to OG with the ease and elegance that he personifies. A terror for any Guard in the league no one can handle him at 2 in the post. He uses his long arms well on defense playing the passing lanes on the perimeter, nine steals in one game! This guy is a lock for the all star game in Washington this year so make the trip to the capital and cheer him on. Backing up Paul is the defensive specialist Calbert Channey who didn't score as much as anticipated, but played a good all around game while he was in the lineup.
The Small forward position
Adrian Griffen came out of no where actually the CBA to become the surprise of the year or at least the pleasant surprise of the year. He rebounded like a guy a half of a foot taller defended like Dennis Johnson not to mention displaying a nice floor game. The only problem was Adrian couldn't hold up as the season wore on, but with rest during the summer that shouldn't happen next year. Playing more as the season wore on was our old friend Eric Williams he's added more range to his jump shot the problem is he doesn't get to the line like in past years. Hopefully he can mix his new found range with his quick first step. Also Calbert played at this position toward the end of the season.
The Four Spot
Well, Walker played the four lousy the first half of the year and great the second half of the season. He is obviously a player who plays better when he is challenged so expect the Celtics to move walker to the point forward position where he will be forced to play harder and smarter and rely less on his god given talent. His backup Fortson was injured, adjusting to the NBA rule changes, fighting for playing time and finally excelling at the end of the season. The most minutes this guy played in one game last year was 28 that's unbelievable they need to get Fortson more minutes.
Man in the Middle
Potapenko played solid if unspectacular he improved in facet of the game. Vitaly has a nice assortment of post moves and a good medium range jump shot. Vitaly is a good defender because rarely does he need help with his post defense, but because he is not a good shot blocker his team defense is not adequate. The best shot blocker on the Celtics has been Tony Battie this guy is terribly inconsistent on a given night you don't know what kind of effort Battie is going to give.
The only Celtic free agent of merit is Danny Fortson the Celtics would be wise to hold onto Danny he could be the most pure rebounder in the game today. A sign in trade with Fortson is possible, but unlikely because it would be hard to get equal value since Fortson is underrated.
The selection - Jerome Moiso PF/C UCLA
Moiso is a very athletic big-man and underrated I believe this pick will allow the celtics to move walker to the point forward position. Moiso fills a need and the Celtics could be taking the player with the most upside in the entire draft. A good inside outside player can block shots his numbers would have been better, but he played on a team that was very talented offensive team.
Iakovos Tsakalidis - This guy is big real big, if I didn't question his age I would be very tempted to pick the big Greek although in my opinion I rather have an all star PF than a middle tier center.
Demarr Johnson - If he's there at 11 the Celtics should pick him then run out of the building before they arrest the Celtics entire organization because he would easily be the steal of the draft.
DeShawn Stevenson - I like him, but I would feel uncomfortable about picking a guy who by the time he's ready to play decent basketball would be a free agent I mean before you can take a player like this the owner needs to back the management and not worry about the cap (Gaston wouldn't do that so we can't pick him)
Jamal Crawford - This guy's stock has really went up and for good reason the guy has a wing span of a guy 6-10 and he plays point talk about a guy who's going to wreck havoc in the NBA he's your man. But the Celtics need a shot blocker more than anything else.
Who the team will take
Well I believe it's going to come down to three choices Olumide Oyedeji, Iakovos Tsakalidis and Moiso unless Demarr Johnson or Courtney Alexander drop. If the first three are on the board at eleven, since the Celtics have better knowledge about the two mystery men than me, they will clear up the information about Tsakalidis and make him their number one.
Moves in the offseason
Beginning with this draft you may see O'Neal that's Jermain O'Neal in a Celtics uniform. If that doesn't work out don't be surprised to see Derek Anderson in a sign and trade for Fortson. Otherwise the Celtics will look at some veterans to come in and provide leadership. I know what your thinking but Antoine will be a Celtic next year as will Pierce, Griffen and Anderson.
|Craig Simpson - Usenet Draft Commissioner|
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