The 5 Most Overrated Boston Celtics Players of All Time

Matthew SchmidtFeatured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2012

The 5 Most Overrated Boston Celtics Players of All Time

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    The Boston Celtics are a franchise full of history and incredible players. However, among those incredible players are a few guys who were probably a bit overrated.

    Whether it was because they were a product of great teammates or simply found themselves in the right place at the right time, they weren't as good as Celtics fans made them out to be.

    So, who are these players? Most Boston fans can absolutely name a few, even though it might take them some time to do so.

    Here are five C's who were overrated.

5. Dana Barros

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    When Barros joined the Celtics in 1995, he was coming off a monster season with the Philadelphia 76ers during which he averaged 20.6 points on 49 percent shooting. The best part? He shot an unreal 46.4 percent from the three.

    Oh, and he averaged 7.5 assists per game that year, too. His offensive win share stat for that 1994-95 campaign was 10.5—good for second in the league behind David Robinson's 10.7. What a season the 5'11" guard had.

    Although he did continue his streak of 89 consecutive games with making at least one three-pointer with Boston (that streak ended in January of '96), he never even came close to replicating the kind of year he had in his final season in Philadelphia.

    Barros' highest output with the C's? Thirteen points per game (during his first year there). And his best assists-per-game average came in at 4.2 during the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season.

    It's not that Barros was a bad player, as he was undoubtedly a serviceable guard. It's just that he was not the player many thought the Celtics were getting in '95.

    To this day, his performance during the 1994-95 season boggles my mind.

4. Bill Walton

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    There are some people who have this idea that the Bill Walton who was a part of the Celtics' 1985-86 championship team was the Bill Walton who played with the Portland Trail Blazers years earlier. To be fair, though, many others know that wasn't the case.

    Walton was undoubtedly a great backup center for Boston—one who averaged 7.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game and played very solid defense in the championship year of '86—but he was far from spectacular.

    It truly is a shame too, because you have to wonder how much more impressive Walton's career would have been had it not been for injuries.

    Walton is kind of like what Shaquille O'Neal could have been had he remained healthy during his lone season with the C's in 2010-11. Still productive, but merely a shell of the player he once was.

3. Kendrick Perkins

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    This was a tough one; mainly for the fact that Perkins tore his ACL in Game 6 of the 2010 Finals and hasn't been the same player since.

    However, one has to wonder whether or not it was the knee injury that turned him from one of the league's best interior defenders into someone who other teams now take advantage of—or if it's the fact that he no longer plays alongside Kevin Garnett.

    It's no secret that Garnett is one of the best defenders to ever play the game. He is a guy who can take any player in the league and make him look like a solid defensive player. That may have been what happened with Perkins.

    It's not that Perkins became a bad defender with the Oklahoma City Thunder. It's just that he doesn't look nearly as good as he did with K.G. next to him, and if Garnett can turn players like Glen Davis and Brandon Bass into good defenders, then he can absolutely do the same with Perk.

    The proof is in the numbers.

    Perkins posted defensive win share stats of 4.3, 4.5 and 3.8 in his final three full seasons in Boston. In the one full season he played in Oklahoma City? A 2.1.

    Again, the torn ACL didn't help, but having Garnett as a frontcourt mate certainly did.

2. K.C. Jones

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    Good player? Yes. A valuable contributor to the Celtics' run of eight championships from 1959 through 1966? Absolutely. But worthy of being a Hall of Famer? I don't think so.

    Jones had his No. 25 retired by Boston, and maybe that's okay. After all, he was the team's floor general throughout a good portion of the Bill Russell dynasty (taking over after Bob Cousy retired in 1963, of course).

    However, the fact that he was elected to the Hall of Fame is puzzling based on the fact that he posted career averages of 7.4 points, 4.3 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. I don't know about you, but those don't seem like Hall of Fame numbers.

    Yes, Jones was a very good defender, but the fact that he didn't average double digits in any statistical category makes his enshrinement seem a bit tacky.

    He had the fortune of playing alongside the likes of Russell, Cousy, Tommy Heinsohn, Sam Jones and John Havlicek. Any Joe Schmo off the street could have won with that supporting cast.

    When examining Jones' career, nothing about it really screams "Hall of Fame."

    That is why he is an overrated Celtic.

1. Antoine Walker

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    Walker is one of those guys that Celtics fans for the most part actually knew was overrated.

    But it wasn't the city of Boston that overrated him: it was the NBA and its fans in general.

    I mean, how in the world does a power forward who shot the ball at a 41.4-percent clip for his career end up on the cover of NBA Live '99? Then again, that was a lockout year, so maybe EA Sports just said to itself, "What the heck. Let's make it interesting and throw 'Toine on the cover."

    Walker gave new meaning to the term "volume shooter," as the 6'9" forward's best shooting percentage as a Celtic was 44.2 percent. He did that in 24 games after being traded back to Boston during the 2004-05 season—including full years only, Walker's best percentage as a member of the C's was 42.5.

    The thing is, Celtics fans knew all of this and they became increasingly frustrated with Walker as his career progressed.

    Boston's organization obviously knew this, too. You're not going to see No. 8 hanging up in the rafters anytime soon. That is, unless Jeff Green suddenly turns into John Havlicek, of course.

    Walker was a great character (we'll always have the shimmy), but as a player, he wasn't as good as some made him out to be.