10 Things Boston Celtics Must Do This Summer to Return to Championship Form
The Boston Celtics may be well on their way to representing the East in the 2012 NBA playoffs, yet the organization has to focus on what will be an especially significant offseason of free agency, trades and a crucial NBA draft.
Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge will have to look to see if there are options outside of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, as they will both have expiring contracts this summer.
Will Rivers and company go out and get a major threat in the frontcourt? Is this the end of the Big Three era?
These are the 10 things the Boston Celtics must do in this summer's crucial 2012 offseason to help keep this team contending for NBA titles.
No. 10: Do Work in the 2012 NBA Draft
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If Doc Rivers and company know what's best for them, they must take advantage of what will be a talent-filled NBA draft.
The Celtics are in need of more big bodies to fill the frontcourt and the center position. Having Kevin Garnett at the center position has worked this season, but it has also taken a toll on him from a minutes standpoint.
Talents like Draymond Green or Arnett Moultrie would both make solid acquisitions for this ballclub, as they are both big men that fit into the Celtics defensive scheme especially well.
As important as the free-agency period will be for this team, picking the right rookies will also be a crucial part of Boston's potential championship success for years to come.
No. 9: Seek Roy Hibbert This Offseason
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Roy Hibbert may come at a hefty price, but he is proving he is worth every penny in these 2012 NBA playoffs.
Hibbert has been the anchor of a team that looks to compete in the East, and he will be a free agent this summer.
It would be difficult to sign both Hibbert and Kevin Garnett to contracts, yet bringing in Hibbert would provide the Celtics with a promising talent in the frontcourt for years to come.
It could mean a world of difference for Boston's future, as this Georgetown grad gets it done on both ends with the utmost consistency.
No. 8: Draft Austin Rivers in 2012 NBA Draft
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What an interesting dynamic duo it would be if Austin Rivers took the court under the wing of father Doc Rivers.
As the younger Rivers will not slip down into the later stages of the first round, it would have to be done via trade, yet it would be an interesting pickup for the team.
It would give the team a solid scoring guard off the bench, as Avery Bradley is an efficient scorer but nowhere near as solid as Rivers.
Giving Rajon Rondo a scoring lift in the backcourt could be a lethal threat going forward.
No. 7: Spend Time on Avery Bradley's Offense
Defensively, Avery Bradley puts on a clinic each time he steps out on the floor. Make no mistake about it.
Offensively, Bradley is undoubtedly a work in progress, as he has failed to develop a consistent stroke from the field. He is a solid shooter and cuts especially well to the basket, but his jump shot is lacking consistency.
If Bradley were to develop a solid outside jumper, the Celtics would be able to spread the floor that much more on offense.
In turn, this would give Kevin Garnett and the post-up players more room to make moves in the paint offensively.
No. 6: Give E'Twaun Moore a More Significant Role
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As you can see, E'Twaun Moore is wearing his warm-ups more often than not.
This season, Moore has gotten just 8.7 minutes per game, posting 2.9 points and three shots per game.
He has the ability to shine as an NBA 2-guard, as he boasts one of the more confident strokes on the Celtics offensively. Moore is a major scoring threat with the ability to hit consistently from the floor, as he is arguably one of the better shooters on this team.
Working on increasing his role this summer should be a top priority for Doc Rivers this offseason.
No. 5: Give Greg Stiemsma a Chance
As the season has progressed, Doc Rivers has seen the light in what seems to be the most promising shot-blocker this team has to offer.
In spite of coming off the bench and playing few minutes, Greg Stiemsma averages the seventh-most blocks per 48 minutes this postseason. His 4.57 per 48 minutes is just below Kenyon Martin's 5.11.
Yet his issue has been keeping himself out of foul trouble, as he is not so smooth when it comes to selling the contested shots. Putting work into this area of his game will show drastic improvements next season.
Stiemsma has every capability to not only be a top defender in Beantown, but a top defender in the NBA.
These Celtics must put the work into this big man, as Stiemsma has the potential to do significant work for this team on the defensive end.
No. 4: Keep Ray Allen Healthy
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According to New England Sports Network, Ray Allen is probably in need of surgery sooner rather than later, saying back in April, "If this was early in the season, I'd probably have surgery now."
Allen is an integral part of the identity of this team, as he is the clutch shooter and fourth-quarter closer with his consistent dagger from three-point range.
His foot injury needs to be stabilized by doctors the very second the postseason ends if Allen is to continue to be an important part of this Celtics championship-contending squad.
No. 3: Work on Rondo's Free Throws
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Shooting 59.7 percent from the free-throw line should never indicate an improvement in free-throw percentage for an elite NBA point guard. Never.
Rajon Rondo is a fantastic point guard and has proven this season that he is as integral to this team's success as any of the Big Three.
Yet as he is so quick off the dribble and is able to draw fouls so readily, it is important for him to knock down his foul shots with consistency.
If the Celtics want to keep their winning ways alive post-Big Three, this has to be a major focus for the organization going forward.
No. 2: Give Doc Rivers the Love He Deserves
He has the contract extension and a contending team, yet Doc Rivers still isn't getting the appreciation he deserves in Boston.
Although signed through the 2015 season, perhaps Rivers is in for a major bonus, as he is well on his way to leading the Celtics to their third NBA Finals under his coaching.
He's gotten love from the organization, but with all he's done, perhaps not enough.
No. 1 : Re-Sign Both Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett
With an Eastern Conference finals ahead of them, both Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett have proven their worth as players that can still be major contributors to this Celtics team.
Garnett, more so than Allen, has lit it up this postseason. He has posted an average of a whopping 23 points and 11.4 rebounds in his last five games.
Talk about some outright impressive production from The Big Ticket.
Allen, on the other hand, has struggled to find his game in this postseason but has started to hit his jumper with regularity. In both wins over Philadelphia in the series, Allen has hit several big shots to help lift this team.
Both will be free agents this summer, and there is no doubt that this championship-contending Celtics must re-sign these players and continue the era of the Big Three.