Boston Celtics: Shortened NBA Season Exposes Lack of Frontcourt Depth

Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IDecember 30, 2011

Kevin Garnett.
Kevin Garnett.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics are currently at the bottom of the Eastern Conference in this young 2011-12 NBA season. The Celtics have gotten great play from point guard Rajon Rondo and have missed Paul Pierce, but another area where they have been outplayed is at the center position. Currently on their roster they have veteran Jermaine O’Neal, forward Kevin Garnett, center/forward Chris Wilcox and Greg Stiemsma splitting time at the center position.

However, Garnett is not the same player and should only spot minutes (as his overall playing time will most likely be monitored) at the center spot, but needs some help down low as the crazy shortened season plows along. Jermaine O’Neal is an established center but is more of a short-term answer than the long-term solution.

One thing that is most likely not going to work in the Celtics (along with other veteran or older teams) favor is the current NBA schedule, due to the reason that the team is relying a lot on their Big Three who have a combined average of 14.6 years of NBA experience.

It will be interesting to see what happens to the Celtics as the season progresses, especially around the trade deadline. The Celtics do have the expiring contracts of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen at their fingertips, but it is unlikely they use either of them to bring in a younger player or an established veteran, unless the team finds itself at the very bottom of the Eastern Conference.

Head coach Doc Rivers has a lot to deal with this season and there is not a lot of time to take a wait-and-see approach. Acquiring a center is also a challenge and the Celtics may have to try out veteran free agents such as Erick Dampier and the recently waived Brian Skinner, until they have thoroughly searched through the available options.