How Boston Celtics Will Fix Their 5 Biggest Weaknesses in 2012-13
The greatest champions know how to recognize their weaknesses and find solutions, and the Boston Celtics have done just that during this offseason.
Boston's newest additions were brought in to directly address the team's biggest problems, including lack of depth and size. Even the Celtics' nightmarish rebounding will be considerably better next season.
General manager Danny Ainge knew what he was doing when he acquired Jason Terry and Courtney Lee. He also put a great amount of thought into drafting Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo.
Ainge's offseason moves were clearly made with the team's weaknesses in mind.
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To say the Boston Celtics were bad at rebounding would be an understatement. The Boston Celtics were the worst rebounding team in the NBA during the regular season last year.
The main problem for the C's was offensive rebounding, which is crucial for second-chance points. In fact, the Celtics averaged a measly 7.7 offensive boards per game during the regular season.
As starting center and one of the tallest guys on the team, Kevin Garnett would be expected to grab most of the boards. However, KG lacks a low-post offense and usually opts for a signature jump shot instead. Point guard Rajon Rondo is actually one of the better rebounders on the team.
With the addition of Jared Sullinger and a healthy Chris Wilcox, the Celtics will address their rebounding issue head-on. Wilcox is a great rebounder off the bench with limited minutes. Sullinger has the ability to rebound effectively, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
Lack of Bench Productivity
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In past seasons, the Celtics have been known for not having much depth outside of the Big Three and Rajon Rondo. When the core four weren't on the floor, the offense was almost nonexistent.
The Celtics realized they needed a spark off the bench, so they brought in none other than Jason Terry. The former Sixth Man of the Year holds the skills to keep the pace of the game going when the starters are on the bench.
Although he is only 38 percent from the three-point line compared to Ray Allen's 40 percent, Terry is still a fantastic shooter. He's known for making big shots in big moments and can easily create his own opportunities.
Terry thrives as a scorer off the bench, so he's naturally the perfect leader for a Celtics team whose bench lacks a leader.
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With Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in their final years, the Celtics have been at a disadvantage compared to younger, faster teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder.
During the offseason, general manager Danny Ainge worked to bring young talent to Boston. The acquisition of guard Courtney Lee was arguably the Celtics' best move of the summer. Lee is an amazing athlete who will make an impact of both sides of the ball. He can finish at the rim, knock down threes and defend elite guards and small forwards.
Jeff Green will also be returning to Boston. After an aortic aneurysm forced him to miss all of last season, Green will return to the Celtics in the 2012-13 season.
He is young and athletic, which makes him a perfect complement to Rajon Rondo.
The Celtics now have the perfect blend of veterans and youth to keep them in championship contention.
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The Celtics have been noticeably undersized when compared to other NBA competitors, such as the Lakers. The lack of size made it more difficult for the team to hold its own in the post and compete for rebounds.
There are currently three Celtics taller than 6'10": Kevin Garnett, Jason Collins and Fab Melo. However, Collins and Melo won't have a considerable amount of minutes this season compared to KG.
The Celtics have beaten the height challenge by valuing strategy and speed over size. Garnett is not a typical center, so it is important for the team to find an alternative way to compete.
Boston's lineup is filled with versatile players, especially veteran Paul Pierce. His ability to play a variety of positions gives the Celtics an edge in matchups. Jeff Green and Jason Terry also possess the versatility needed to offset the size disadvantage.
Too Many Minutes
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Due to the lack of depth on the bench, some starters (Rajon Rondo, in particular) found themselves putting in a ridiculous amount of minutes. In fact, Rondo averaged 42.6 minutes per game in last season's playoffs. Who can forget Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals when the point guard played all 53 minutes in a loss to the Miami Heat?
Now that the Celtics have added a considerable amount of talent to the bench, it will be easier for Rondo and others to rest and save their energy for when they need it most.
Since Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are getting older, the strenuous NBA regular season is starting to affect their legs by playoff time. Jeff Green, Fab Melo, Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger and Jason Terry will all assist in cutting down minutes for the Celtics.