Author Topic: At times, hard to stay positive over the off season moves  (Read 51902 times)

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At times, hard to stay positive over the off season moves
« on: August 23, 2008, 10:31:12 AM »

Online nickagneta

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I try like heck to look at the positive side of things as I feel being too negative only will eventually make you a pretty sour person. I see flaws but tend to try to look for ways to make things better. I see problems and tend to look at them as just complications and hurdles to get over. Sure, everybody can get down or negative for a period but I hate to think what it would be like to be that way all the time.

So, thank God, the Celtics after 22 years, finally won another title and all things were rosy once again in Celticland. But this first offseason after winning it all and returning to winning ways, it's been a little tough being positive with the moves Danny Ainge has made to try to assemble a team to defend the title. I know this team is going deep in the playoffs and I know they will probably be the favorite in the East. But that is a function of the team that Danny put together last year and specifically the starters.

I was hoping that Danny might be able to pull a move or two that would make this team extremely talented right down to the 8th and 9th positions. I was hoping for upgrades from last year. Maybe a big upgrade in at least one position.

But that didn't happen.

And it's pretty easy to come to the conclusion that this team may have taken a step backward.

Not a big step but backwards none the less.

I supported not signing Posey for 4 years, I saw no need to overpay so much for a 6th or 7th man. But I hoped for a good replacement and some vision to possibly get bigger and try a different type of offense and get away from "small ball" that history shows, just wasn't very successful last year. As many know, I am not and never have been a big Tony Allen fan. I find his defense to be severely over rated and I don't consider him to be all that much better a player than he was when the Celtics drafted him. I had hoped that Allen's time in Green was over and that the team would move on. I really liked Mario Chalmers, Donte Green, Darell Arthur and Chris Douglas-Roberts on draft night. I think all four were within their grasp if Danny could have done a bit of manuveuring he could have had any of the four and maybe two of the four. He chose none.

In retrospect it sure does appear that Danny's plan for the offseason was to draft who he drafted, resign Posey and House and maybe even Allen and make a shot at defending with just about the same team. I guess that's not bad strategy. But he miscalculated the Posey market, let it draw on too long and then lost him and then had nothing really to fall back on as most of the quality UFAs were off the market by that time. So he resigned House and Allen. Needing a big guy, he took a flyer on Patrick O'Bryant. Needing a SF he took a flyer on Darius Miles. And he has signed his two draft picks, one of which he traded up in the draft to sign him knowing he needed surgery and has had a questionable wheel for a while.

I'd like to be like a lot of people here and say "In Danny I trust." but except for the Allen and KG trades and some nifty late first round and second round trades and picks, he really doesn't have a long track history of tremendous success to warrant me saying "In Danny I trust." And I am not crazy with anything he did this offseason. He lost Posey, Cassell, Brown and Pollard and replaced them with O'Bryant, Miles, Walker and Giddens. I'm not sure any of the new guys are as good as Cassell, nevermind, Posey and Brown.

There's just way too much low risk, high reward players on this team and there are just way too many long odds that those players have to overcome in order to be a high reward for my liking. I'm just not very positive overall that what Ainge did this offseason will pay any dividends to this team at all, nevermind next year.

But since I'll try to be positive I'll say that I've never seen O'Bryant play and that he might have been in the wrong system and is still only 22, so anything is possible. I'll say that sleepers, sometimes superstar sleepers, are drafted deep in the first and into the second round and that Giddens and Walker could be this years sleepers. I'll say that there is always the chance that Tony Allen suddenly falls back into the form he played for the month period before he got hurt in 2007 even if it is the only time he ever played that well in 4 years. I'll say that it doesn't matter that a team doctor, an insurance doctor and a league appointed arbitration seeking doctor all concurred that Darius Miles knee was a career ending injury, and that he will come back, get along with everyone and be a productive bench guy.

I'll say all those things. But it's probably going to be a while before I actually believe any of those things, if ever.

If the Celtics front 7 stay healthy and yet the Celtics don't repeat, I hope people throw some of the blame where it may need to go and that is at Danny Ainge because I won't say it anymore, but I think he let this team down this offseason and I'm not positive what he did helped this team to become a better team.

Of course, this feeling off "blah" over the offseason moves of the Celtics could all be for naught as things could just go great again this year. But I am not that thrilled with what I saw out of the Celtics' front office this summer.

Re: At times, hard to stay positive over the off season moves
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2008, 10:46:33 AM »

Offline wdleehi

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He definitely tried to make a bigger splash.  (going after Magetti) 


I think the biggest problem was how long it took for the Posey situation to be worked out.  Celtics made a good effort to keep him only to have the Hornets give that extra year at the end.   But the wait killed the Celtics fall back plans.  By then, the other top replacements for Posey were already signed. 





I do not like the bench right now for a title hopeful team.  I see three players that can be counted on now, two of them being undersized backups to KG. 


The rest, big question marks.



but, the good news is there is a long time between now and the playoffs.  Much can change in that time.  So, we shouldn't worry to much. 

Knicks: Irving, Drummond, Marcus Morris, S. Muhammad, C. Lee, Sullinger, Hield, M. Chriss , V. Carter, T. Zeller, N. Cole, T. Prince, Livio Jean-Charles, Tyler Ulis, N. Collison

Re: At times, hard to stay positive over the off season moves
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2008, 10:49:04 AM »

Offline BudweiserCeltic

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I for one like our current bench much more than last season's.

Other than that, I'd blame James Posey for dragging his decision for so long. If anything I'd blame Danny for letting James drag it for so long, but then we'd all be complaining that Danny didn't try to resign him.

Re: At times, hard to stay positive over the off season moves
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2008, 10:53:32 AM »

Offline Steve from Milford

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Repeat after me "We are returning the starting five from the 2008 Championship team!".

We lost Posey, which is a shame and PJ Brown who was helpful. Casell and was a mistake who fortunately didn't derail us and Pollard was a non-contributor.

We have our starting five, most of our bench, including young players who have another years experience, especially in the playoffs, so should be better than last year. Then we have several low risk high reward players of which if any of them blossom, we are golden.

So put away the worry beads and get set to enjoy the season!

Re: At times, hard to stay positive over the off season moves
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2008, 11:00:20 AM »

Offline wdleehi

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Repeat after me "We are returning the starting five from the 2008 Championship team!".

We lost Posey, which is a shame and PJ Brown who was helpful. Casell and was a mistake who fortunately didn't derail us and Pollard was a non-contributor.

We have our starting five, most of our bench, including young players who have another years experience, especially in the playoffs, so should be better than last year. Then we have several low risk high reward players of which if any of them blossom, we are golden.

So put away the worry beads and get set to enjoy the season!


The team that won the title was more then 5 players. 

And this is what we do here.  Discuss the teams moves and what we think of them.



Quote
I for one like our current bench much more than last season's.


Why?  Who on the bench do you trust to play in crunch time like Posey?  Who do the Celtics have that can guard the larger C (like Big Z) off the bench? 


It is a long time till the playoffs and plenty of time for these things to be answered.

Knicks: Irving, Drummond, Marcus Morris, S. Muhammad, C. Lee, Sullinger, Hield, M. Chriss , V. Carter, T. Zeller, N. Cole, T. Prince, Livio Jean-Charles, Tyler Ulis, N. Collison

Re: At times, hard to stay positive over the off season moves
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2008, 11:02:14 AM »

Offline Roy Hobbs

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Very nice post, nick.  I feel the same way, and have communicated as much to people "off the blog".  I tend not to be downright negative on here, because I don't want to bring people's vibe down, but from my perspective this off-season was definitely a negative one.

I understand that the team has earned a grace period, but I'm not buying into the "Danny Ainge is an infallible genius" mantra.  I've been a Danny supporter since Day 1, even when the tide seemed to be turning against him.  I like him, think his number should be retired, and think he's been an very good GM for the most part.  However, he mistakes mistakes, and he's made several mistakes in the past.  To now assume that he knows exactly what he's doing, and to buy into the "In Danny We Trust" chant, just doesn't work for me.

My position was that the team could afford to lose Posey, if -- and only if -- they upgraded at other positions.  The team didn't do that.  Instead, as of this moment, we've replaced Posey with a rookie coming of knee surgery and a guy who NBA doctors declared to be medically unfit to play.  We replaced P.J. Brown with one of the few lottery picks in NBA history to not be extended a qualifying offer after his first two years in the league.

Now, things could work out.  I really like the Walker pick, and have bought into the Giddens pick (although "experts" didn't have him projected until the end of the second round).  However, the fact is none of the players we brought in this off-season are sure things.  I'm not even sure that these guys fit into the "more likely than not" category of being able to help this team.  It's fine to have a project or two or your roster, but it seems as though the team is counting on contributions from complete unknowns.  That makes no sense.

Right now, we have three truly consistently great players on our roster: KG, Paul, and Ray.  After that, we have one guy who is consistently mediocre-to-poor: Scal.  Those are the four guys with whom you know what you're going to get, night in and night out.  Perk and Rondo are becoming more consistent, and will be positive contributors on most nights (although both are prone to making "youthful" mistakes.)  Powe is fairly consistent on offense, not so much on defense; He's a classic garbage man, and can be counted on to contribute, at least, although he's going to have his share of defensive lapses.  House is as consistent as a three point specialist can be.  After that, you literally have seven guys that we have no idea what to expect from on a nightly basis:  BBD, Tony, Pruitt, Giddens, Walker, O'Bryant, and Miles.

I think that's too many question marks.  I thought one lesson from the pre-"big three" days was that teams don't win with youth.  Yet, here we are with a roster that is 75% kids, with most of those kids not being "sure things".  I'm not overly impressed.  I will hope for the best, but I think this off-season has handicapped our ability to repeat.  I've gotten on Doc Rivers a lot in the past for not putting the team in the "best position to succeed".  Well, this season, I wonder if Danny has really put Doc and the team in the best position to repeat.  I can't conclude that he has, and it's disheartening a bit.

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Re: At times, hard to stay positive over the off season moves
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2008, 11:37:28 AM »

Offline Finkelskyhook

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We got bigger, healthier, and a lot more athletic.

We also got a lot less experienced and lost our best gamer off the bench.

Hopefully they cancel themselves out.

Re: At times, hard to stay positive over the off season moves
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2008, 11:39:39 AM »

Offline BillfromBoston

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To Nick and Hobbs,

Everybody is entitled to their opinion, but I think its massively presumptuous on both your parts to view this off-season as a "step back" without allowing a single game to take place.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Celtics added SUBSTANTIALLY more talent to their roster, albeit lacking the type of veteran experience that would leave one with a great sense of assurance that all bases were covered.

I understand the concern behind both of your arguments, but considering the lack of detailed information either of you have relative to what Ainge is privy to, it just seems misguided. Couple that with the fact that Ainge has shown a consistent, thought-out, and successful building strategy over his tenure with this team...I just have trouble jumping all the way from cautious skepticism to outright judgmental negativity...it sounds like both of you definitively know what all the current roster players are going to do before they've gotten a chance to do it...its hard to swallow...

Now, if Ainge had added a bunch of young, marginal players, I'd be a lot more closely aligned with your viewpoint, but the fact of the matter is that O'Bryant, Miles, Walker, Giddens are all lotter level talents who are being give a chance to make it as bit players on a title team.

This title team returns all their rotation players from the regular season sans Posey and Brown. Brown had almost zero impact on the teams ability to dominate all regular season, as the team was well on its way to 60+ wins before he arrived. James Posey's loss will change the way the team plays, but I find it hard to believe the wealth of offensive/defensive talent at the wing will not organically produce a competent-if not superior-replacement.

Posey was "clutch" but he was a spot-up shooter and team defender, these aren't impossible traits to replace at all. "Clutch" is a matter of opportunity and "Big Game James" wasn't big game anything until the Heat title back made it so...The strength of this team's star power is what affords players the opportunity to be "clutch" and I think we've got some very competent talent in place to create new heroes along the way.

Finally, the presumption that this team is "weaker" also assumes that what we see is what we get...this team is clearly capable of 55+ wins as currently constructed, so its going to be nuanced things that this team may, or may not need to address as the season rolls on...acquiring the veteran players it may need to compete for another title will not be extremely difficult to accomplish, either via trade or by virtue of simply signing out-of-work free agent vets to stabalize things...PJ Brown is almost a lock to come back if the team needs a veteran center, and its not hard to think of a dozen other players who could fit the bill if the need arises...

All I say is give it a chance before passing judgment on the state of the team...regardless of the past histories of any additions to this team, I think its reasonable to put a bit of faith behind the architect-not blind faith, but simply the belief that what has not been seen cannot be judged as failure...


Re: At times, hard to stay positive over the off season moves
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2008, 11:53:50 AM »

Offline wdleehi

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All this 'more talented players', what have they done? 



We are talking about a title team, not a rebuilding team. 



The bench is probably 'more talented' when looking at 'potential' 

 



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Re: At times, hard to stay positive over the off season moves
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2008, 12:01:04 PM »

Offline Evantime34

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All this 'more talented players', what have they done? 



We are talking about a title team, not a rebuilding team. 



The bench is probably 'more talented' when looking at 'potential' 

 



With so many low risk high potential guys some of them need to pan out. I think Danny is also counting on a fall back plan of title hungry veterans signing with us at the last minute. I think you will see Zo in Celtics green by the end of the season, unless POB plays very well. I think you will see us sign a veteran swingman, unless Darius, TA, Walker or Giddens emerge. That is what I feel his plan is
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Re: At times, hard to stay positive over the off season moves
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2008, 12:03:08 PM »

Offline wdleehi

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All this 'more talented players', what have they done? 



We are talking about a title team, not a rebuilding team. 



The bench is probably 'more talented' when looking at 'potential' 

 



With so many low risk high potential guys some of them need to pan out. I think Danny is also counting on a fall back plan of title hungry veterans signing with us at the last minute. I think you will see Zo in Celtics green by the end of the season, unless POB plays very well. I think you will see us sign a veteran swingman, unless Darius, TA, Walker or Giddens emerge. That is what I feel his plan is


So he is going to have to waive some players? 

Knicks: Irving, Drummond, Marcus Morris, S. Muhammad, C. Lee, Sullinger, Hield, M. Chriss , V. Carter, T. Zeller, N. Cole, T. Prince, Livio Jean-Charles, Tyler Ulis, N. Collison

Re: At times, hard to stay positive over the off season moves
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2008, 12:04:04 PM »

Offline Roy Hobbs

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To Nick and Hobbs,

Everybody is entitled to their opinion, but I think its massively presumptuous on both your parts to view this off-season as a "step back" without allowing a single game to take place.

... I just have trouble jumping all the way from cautious skepticism to outright judgmental negativity...it sounds like both of you definitively know what all the current roster players are going to do before they've gotten a chance to do it...its hard to swallow...

Perhaps, rather than labeling us as "presumptuous", you should go back and read our posts again.  I don't think either nick nor I said that the players were absolutely going to be failures.  In fact, I know that I stated the exact opposite ("things could work out").  However, playing the percentages, I would feel much, much more comfortable with a couple of proven veterans in here rather than having P.O.B. and Miles.

It wasn't an ideal off-season.  I think any Celtics fan who is honest with him- or herself would admit that.  We added a couple of rookies that are fairly major question marks, but who have upside.  We added a backup center who has been labeled as a bust, who may or may not have upside.  We added a small forward who was declared by several doctors to have suffered a career-ending injury.

On its face, that's not upgrading the roster.  I think anybody who is even remotely objective would admit that.  It's within the realm of possibility that one or more of these guys reaches their "best case" potential this year, but it's not something I want the team to be banking on.  I'm not declaring that the team is doomed, that they'll lose the division, or even that they won't repeat as champions.  I do, however, feel strongly that the team hasn't done everything in its power to maximize those repeat chances, and as a fan, that's disappointing.

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Re: At times, hard to stay positive over the off season moves
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2008, 12:04:22 PM »

Offline Donoghus

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I have no problem with low risk/high reward guys.  The issue I have is when you have too many of that "type" on the roster at the same time.  I have to think, though, that one of these guys will emerge this season. 


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Re: At times, hard to stay positive over the off season moves
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2008, 12:07:53 PM »

Offline wdleehi

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I have no problem with low risk/high reward guys.  The issue I have is when you have too many of that "type" on the roster at the same time.  I have to think, though, that one of these guys will emerge this season. 


I think as individual players, they are low risk/high reward.


But as a group, they become high risk/low reward.  The Celtics need more then one of them to reward them, and the reward will be a solid bench player.

Knicks: Irving, Drummond, Marcus Morris, S. Muhammad, C. Lee, Sullinger, Hield, M. Chriss , V. Carter, T. Zeller, N. Cole, T. Prince, Livio Jean-Charles, Tyler Ulis, N. Collison

Re: At times, hard to stay positive over the off season moves
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2008, 12:12:47 PM »

Offline Roy Hobbs

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I think wdleehi's point above is absolutely correct.

With one individual "low risk, high reward" player, it's exactly that:  you're taking a gamble on a player, and if he doesn't work out, big deal.

With several "low risk, high reward" players, however, the *collective* risk is high, because if one or more of those players doesn't pan out, suddenly your roster is left with legitimate holes.

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