The Boston Celtics' biggest problem this year was astonishingly on the defensive side of the ball. The loss of Kevin Garnett was not the only reason why.
Even with Garnett in the lineup, the Celtics' defense appeared to be lacking something this season.
That something was perimeter defense. The loss of James Posey proved to be a disastrous mistake. He was the only true shut-down defender on the team, and it showed come playoff time.
Posey was so valuable because he could come in and cover the opposing teams best player, whether that was the point guard or the power forward.
After doing some extensive research in this years NBA draft, Jonas Jerebko looks like the guy who could fill that role the best. He is an overseas player who plays with high intensity and specializes on the defensive side of the ball.
Jerebko is tall enough (6'8") to guard forwards, and quick enough to take on guards. He can fight off high screen picks very well (How Hedo killed us in the playoffs) and his length proves hard for smaller players to shoot over.
His offense is what scouts are calling his glaring weakness. However, watching some tapes and reading interviews with his teammates, it looks like he has a lot of potential.
There is a current video on YouTube of him shooting uncontested three point shots, and he made 12 of 19. He shot with good form and showed a lot of upper body strength. Scouts said he gained over 25 pounds of muscle in just this past year.
Jerebko grew up playing the point guard position. He had a growth spurt in recent years to move him more into the small forward position. This experience obviously gave him a lot of time handling the ball and leading his team.
He admits once he moves to the NBA he will definitely be a role player. I can see him coming off the Celtics bench as an energy booster and defensive specialist.
Jerebko is already being compared to players like Matt Harpring and Matt Barnes. If you remember last season, it was Barnes that Boston made a push for to help out on the defensive side of the ball. This guy is a very hard worker and has a great personality.
Various scouting reports and mock drafts have Jerebko being drafted somewhere in the second round. Unfortunately, Boston has the third to last pick in that round.
If they realize what kind of potential this guy has, and how badly they need a player of his type, they should highly consider trading up to select him.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!