Boston Celtics: 2010 Player Profiles

Alex SullivanContributor IOctober 26, 2010

Boston Celtics: 2010 Player Profiles

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    From left to right: Pierce, Perkins, Rondo, GarnettChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    As opening night of the Boston Celtics 2010-2011 regular season is only hours away from tip-off, the roster is finalized and ready to start fighting. 

    Throughout the preseason games, we have seen great play from players returning from last year's roster, new draft picks and new free agent signings.

    The Celtics roster has a ton of versatile talent.  Let's take a look at who will be running the court this year for Boston's starting rotation and the Boston Bench Mob.

Kendrick Perkins

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    Kendrick Perkins blocks Jameer Nelson's shot.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    C Kendrick Perkins #43

    Height: 6'10"

    Weight: 280 lbs

    Age: 25

    NBA Experience:

    • 7 Years (BOS)

    2009-2010 Statistics

    Perkins averaged 10.1 points per game while collecting 7.6 rebounds and distributing 1.0 assists per game.  He averaged 0.3 steals and 1.7 blocks per game.

    Offensive Scouting Report

    Although Perk is not known for his offensive play, he has elevated his ability on the offensive side of the court.  Last season he averaged double figures in scoring for the first time in his career.  Perkins is developing his hook shot and post play.  He shoots efficiently and ranked second in field goal percentage behind fellow big man Dwight Howard.  He is a threat to defenses in grabbing offensive rebounds and can use his strength to get easy dunks under the basket.

    Defensive Scouting Report

    Perkins is praised for his defense.  His size and strength allows him to bang down in the post with the best centers in the league.  In the playoffs last year he was a key player in shutting down Howard and the Magic.  Last season he ranked ninth in blocks per game.  Defensively, Perkins is a top five center in the league and is a constant threat to opposing offenses.

    Overall Analysis

    Due to injury, Kendrick Perkins will miss a large chunk of the beginning of the season.  His defensive presence will be missed when he is hurt, but when he returns he will continue to play a big role on the Celtics.

Kevin Garnett

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    Garnett tries to lay the ball in against Dwight Howard and the Magic.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    PF Kevin Garnett #5

    Height: 6'11"

    Weight: 253 lbs

    Age: 34

    NBA Experience:

    • 15 Total Years
    • 12 Years (MIN)
    • 3 Years (BOS)

    2009-2010 Statistics

    Garnett averaged 14.3 points per game while collecting 7.3 rebounds and distributing 2.7 assists per game.  He averaged 1.0 steals and 0.8 blocks per game.

    Offensive Scouting Report

    In the prime of his career, Kevin Garnett thrived as an elite player with an arsenal of offensive weapons.  Unlike most big men, he can knock down a jumper from the top of the key.  Defenders have to play Garnett closely once he enters the three-point line because he is a threat to hit that long two or to dominate inside.  Garnett uses his length in post play to shoot a hook shot over defenders.  It is no secret that he is getting old but he still has some explosiveness on the offensive side of the ball.

    Defensive Scouting Report

    Garnett, the Big Ticket, has had a phenomenal defensive career.  In 2008, he was the Defensive Player of the Year and he has been named to the All Defensive teams 10 times in his 15 year career.  His quickness and length allow him to keep the player he is defending in front of him.  Garnett's defensive stats such as blocks per game have decreased, but expect Garnett to bring defensive intensity to the court.

    Overall Analysis

    In the 2008-2009 season Garnett got hurt and missed a large chunk of the season, including the playoffs.  Last season Garnett played well but it seemed the injury could have still been haunting him a little.  This year in training camp, Doc Rivers was extremely impressed with Garnett's health, saying he looks great and explosive.  Look for Garnett to have a better year than last season.

Paul Pierce

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    Paul Pierce dunks the ball against Lebron James and the Cavs.Elsa/Getty Images

    SF Paul Pierce #34

    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 235 lbs

    Age: 33

    NBA Experience:

    • 12 Years (BOS)

    2009-2010 Statistics

    Pierce averaged 18.3 points per game while collecting 4.3 rebounds and distributing 3.1 assists per game.  He averaged 1.2 steals and 0.4 blocks per game.

    Offensive Scouting Report

    Fresh off a new contract, Paul Pierce will most likely be the team's lead scorer this season.  Pierce does it all offensively.  He can shoot the three, he can drive to the basket and he can capitalize on being sent to the foul line by the opposing team's defense.  Believe it or not, Pierce's free throw percentage of 85.2 percent is a career high.  He has been the go-to guy when it comes to sinking the game winning shot and has shown he is ready to continue holding that title when he sunk the game winner against the Knicks in the preseason.

    Defensive Scouting Report

    Prior to the Big Three era, Paul Pierce has always been known as an offensive player and never for his defense.  However, for the past few years, Pierce has been playing alongside elite defenders in Perkins, Garnett and Rondo, and the Celtics have been playing with a defensive mindset.  Pierce gets the job done defensively and will be the main player to guard elite names like Lebron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony.

    Overall Analysis

    Paul Pierce has been consistent throughout his career and will continue to do so.  At the end of the season, he will lead the team in points per game and collect a fair share of rebounds and assists.  Pierce will be a leader on this roster in both statistics and leadership.

Ray Allen

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    Ray Allen shoots a three pointer.Elsa/Getty Images

    SG Ray Allen #20

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 205 lbs

    Age: 35

    NBA Experience:

    • 14 Total Years
    • 6.5 Years (MIL)
    • 4.5 Years (SEA)
    • 3 Years (BOS)

    2009-2010 Statistics

    Allen averaged 16.3 points per game while collecting 3.2 rebounds and distributing 2.6 assists per game.  He averaged 0.8 steals and 0.3 blocks per game.

    Offensive Scouting Report

    Ray Allen is one of the best pure shooters in the game.  Despite a rough first half last season, Allen came back hot after the All-Star game.  He can score from anywhere on the court, but is lethal from behind the three point line.  In Game 2 of the NBA Finals last season, Allen made a record breaking 8 three pointers.  He shoots over 90 percent when he gets to the free throw line.  Ray Ray's ability to shoot the three, make his foul shots and get to the basket makes him a huge offensive threat.

    Defensive Scouting Report

    Like Pierce, Allen has always been known as a dominant offensive player and has not really been known as a lock-down defender.  However, with the Celtics, Ray has been a key piece to the defensive system.  Allen takes on the task of defending the shooting guards of the league such as Dwyane Wade and holds his own on the court.

    Overall Analysis

    Although he is 35 years old, Allen is still a threat on both sides of the ball.  Due to such a deep bench, the older veterans have the flexibility of resting their old legs.  Allen will take advantage of the depth and be efficient in his playing time.

Rajon Rondo

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    Rajon Rondo looking to get the easy two.Elsa/Getty Images

    PG Rajon Rondo #9

    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 171 lbs

    Age: 24

    NBA Experience:

    • 4 Years (BOS)

    2009-2010 Statistics

    Rondo averaged 13.7 points per game while collecting 4.4 rebounds and distributing 9.8 assists per game.  He averaged 2.3 steals and 0.1 blocks per game.

    Offensive Scouting Report

    During last season, one of the announcers in a game called Rajon Rondo "the best quarterback in Boston" which is saying something considering the city also has Tom Brady.  What the announcer meant was Rondo has incredible court vision and is great at distributing the ball. 

    In addition to feeding the ball to his teammates, Rondo is praised for his ball handling.  His quickness and agility allows him to run circle around opposing defenders and allows him to enter the open lane. 

    Rondo does a great job in getting to the basket and making defenders look silly (i.e. Marcin Gortat) with his arsenal of moves down low.  His primary source of scoring is through layups and dunks, but he is attempting to develop a jump shot which would make his offensive game lethal.  Although Rondo is strong offensively, he still needs some work in refining his jump shot and free throw shooting ability.

    Defensive Scouting Report

    Rondo is great offensively, but is known more as a defender.  He is the prototype of the ideal point guard defender.  The combination of his speed, length, hand size and basketball IQ makes him an elite defender.  He has been named to the All Defensive teams for the past two years. 

    Not only is he good at one on one defense, he is phenomenal in anticipation defense, which allowed him to lead the league in steals and steals per game in 2010.  His strengths keep going as he is known as the best rebounding point guard in the league.  His wingspan and fearless attitude allows him to grab almost 5 rebounds per game.  At the young age of 24, Rondo will be a pest to all point guards for years to come.

    Overall Analysis

    This season Rondo is going to play among future hall of famers in Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Shaquille O'Neal, but Rondo knows he is the best player on the team and is a leader.  Expect a huge season from the young guard.

Nate Robinson

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    Nate Robinson drives against Lamar Odom.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    PG Nate Robinson #4

    Height: 5'9"

    Weight: 180 lbs

    Age: 26

    NBA Experience:

    • 5 Total Years
    • 4.5 Years (NYK)
    • .5 Years (BOS)

    2009-2010 Statistics

    Robinson averaged 10.1 points per game while collecting 2.0 rebounds and distributing 2.9 assists per game.  He averaged 0.9 steals and 0.1 blocks per game.

    Offensive Scouting Report

    Nate Robinson's offensive strengths are his shooting ability from anywhere on the court, ball handling and his ability to jump.  Robinson has a great jump shot and loves to shoot the three.  When Nate is hot, he can make consecutive baskets in a short period of time. 

    His ability to come in the game and score quick and easy baskets makes him an extremely effective bench player to come into the game and make an immediate impact.  Nate's speed and ball handling makes him perfect for executing the pick and roll. 

    Robinson thrives with being on the court with big men like Kevin Garnett, Glen Davis and Kendrick Perkins, who love to set the picks,.  After the pick, Robinson can use his speed to quickly get to the basket, pull up for the jump shot or feed the big man the ball.  Robinson has good court vision and since he has been playing in Boston has shown he isn't selfish.

    Defensive Scouting Report

    Nate is a great one on one defender and uses his speed to keep opponents in front of him.  Unfortunately for Nate, his size handicaps his defensive potential.  Standing at only 5'9", most of the guards Nate has to cover stand anywhere from three to seven inches taller than him.  However, his hustle and speed allows him to be a good defender that fits well in the Boston system.

    Overall Analysis

    As a key member of the Boston Bench Mob, Nate takes full advantage of his playing time when he's on the court.  Robinson is a combo guard that can play point guard or shooting guard off the bench.  He brings a unique spark that brings energy to the team. 

    In the playoffs last year, Nate and his buddy Glen Davis became known as Shrek and Donkey and Celtics Nation is looking forward to the antics these two create this season.  This preseason Robinson looked like he played well with guard Delonte West.  The chemistry this team has shown is very special and can help them go a long way.

Delonte West

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    Delonte West is back in his second stint with the Celtics.Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    SG Delonte West #13

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 180 lbs

    Age: 27

    NBA Experience:

    • 6 Total Years
    • 3 Years (BOS)
    • .5 Years (SEA)
    • 2.5 Years (CLE)

    2009-2010 Statistics

    West averaged 8.8 points per game while collecting 2.8 rebounds and distributing 3.3 assists per game.  He averaged 0.9 steals and 0.5 blocks per game.

    Offensive Scouting Report

    Similar to Nate Robinson, Delonte is another combo guard that will be playing a lot of minutes off of the bench.  West is another player that plays well in the pick and roll system.  He has good ball handling skills, is a more than capable shooter and a great slasher. 

    Due to his aggressiveness, West gets to the free throw line a lot and has converted over 80 percent of his foul shots in his career.  Whether he is shooting threes, mid range jumpers, driving to the basket or shooting foul shots, West will be a great scorer off of the bench.

    Defensive Scouting Report

    Although West can play the one or the two on offense, West is good at defending point guards, he has a more difficult time in defending shooting guards.  His speed allows him to stay in front of his opponent but may not be the best option to defend larger shooting guards.

    Overall Analysis

    He's back, and he's got a lot to prove.  Delonte West is going to miss the first 10 games this season due to suspension, so he has to earn minutes once he returns.  He has played alongside Pierce, Rondo and Perkins in his first stint with Boston and teamed up with Shaq in Cleveland last season so he has some familiarity with his current teammates. 

    In training camp West was always the last one to leave practice.  He continued to work on his own with hopes to improve his game.  West knows that this is his last opportunity to shine, so expect him to keep his attitude in check and play relentless defense and solid offense this season.

Avery Bradley

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    Avery Bradley dribbles past Iowa's defense.Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    PG/SG Avery Bradley #0

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 180 lbs

    Age: 19

    NBA Experience:

    • 0 Years

    2009-2010 Statistics (With Texas)

    Bradley averaged 11.6 points per game while collecting 2.9 rebounds and distributing 2.1 assists per game.  He averaged 1.3 steals and 0.5 blocks per game.

    Offensive Scouting Report

    Celtics rookie Avery Bradley is a young stud that has a ton of potential, but his offensive game needs to be refined.  His biggest offensive strength is his jump shot, more specifically his mid-range jumper.  His range stretches out to the three point line where he shot 37.5 percent. 

    Bradley is great from a catch and shoot position and also off the dribble.  His quickness and versatility in a catch and shoot and off the dribble allows him to create many opportunities for himself. 

    Bradley's main weakness is his lack of court vision which handicaps his ability to distribute the ball.  If he is going to get playing time at point guard, he needs to improve this skill.  Bradley will also be considered more effective if he improves his foul shooting and possibly three point shooting.  He shot 54.5 percent from the free throw line last season. 

    Bradley can look to Rondo as a mentor for distributing the ball and can look to Ray Allen as a mentor for free throw and three point shooting.

    Defensive Scouting Report

    Avery Bradley's defense is what makes him so valuable.  The NBA conducted a poll asking all rookies a few questions.  When asked who the best defender is, Avery Bradley received 41.7 percent of the votes, with the next highest vote getter (Hassan Whiteside) receiving a mere 8.3 percent. 

    Bradley may be a little undersized but his wingspan makes up for it.  When his man has the ball, he shuts down his opponent and his off-ball defense is just as lethal.  Bradley could be the best perimeter defender in a few years.  A backcourt of Rondo and Bradley will cause havoc to any offense.

    Overall Analysis

    Bradley is currently fighting through an injury to his ankle.  If he can recover fully by opening night, he may be able to get playing time in the time period Delonte West is suspended for.  In the Celtics' defensive minded system, Bradley should fit in perfectly. 

    He has a very high ceiling of potential and hopes to improve his weaknesses as time goes on.  On a team full of many veterans that offer different skill sets, let's hope that Bradley capitalizes on the resources the team has.

Von Wafer

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    Wafer slamming in full extension as he scores an uncontested dunk.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    SG Von Wafer #12

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 209 lbs

    Age: 25

    NBA Experience:

    • 4 Total Years
    • 1 Year (LAL)
    • .5 Years (LAC)
    • 1 Year (DEN)
    • .5 Years (POR)
    • 1 Year (HOU)

    2008-2009 Statistics (Last season in NBA)

    Wafer averaged 9.7 points per game while collecting 1.8 rebounds and distributing 1.1 assists per game.  He averaged 0.6 steals and 0.1 blocks per game.

    Offensive Scouting Report

    Von Wafer's game-play is strictly offensive.  Wafer is a pure scorer that sinks outside shots and long twos with ease.  He uses his speed to get to the basket and is crafty in scoring around the hoop.  Wafer doesn't distribute the ball often and won't collect many rebounds.

    Defensive Scouting Report

    Wafer has never been known for his defense.  However he is quick and has some length as a two.  Wafer can benefit from playing in the Celtics system and could learn a thing or two on defense.

    Overall Analysis

    Von Wafer is high energy player that brings a spark off the bench as well as quick scoring.  However, Wafer's game is very one dimensional and he doesn't contribute much besides scoring.  Wafer has a great shot from anywhere on the court and can drive to the basket. 

    As a player that has averaged less than one assist and only 1.3 rebounds per game in his career, on top of his lack of aggressiveness on defense, Wafer may struggle to find time off of the Celtics bench. 

    Expect Wafer to receive minutes in the first few games of the season while West is suspended and Bradley is not fully healthy.  When those two combo guards return, Wafer may not play as much.

Marquis Daniels

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    Daniels lays in the ball beyond the Nets defense.Elsa/Getty Images

    SG/SF Marquis Daniels #8

    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 200 lbs

    Age: 29

    NBA Experience:

    • 7 Total Years
    • 3 Years (DAL)
    • 3 Years (IND)
    • 1 Year (BOS)

    2009-2010 Statistics

    Daniels averaged 5.6 points per game while collecting 1.9 rebounds and distributing 1.3 assists per game.  He averaged 0.5 steals and 0.1 blocks per game.

    Offensive Scouting Report

    The biggest strength of having a player like Marquis Daniels come off of the bench is his ability to play point guard, shooting guard and small forward effectively.  On a roster with depth at the one and two, Daniels should see a lot of playing time behind Paul Pierce at the three. 

    He has good ball handling skills and likes to drive to the basket for the lay up or uses his high IQ to distribute the ball to big men in the paint or his teammates outside.  He is a good passer and scorer but needs work on his jump shot. 

    This offseason it seems as if Daniels has improved his shooting from behind the three point line but he still has room to improve his game.  He benefits from the run and gun system of fast break opportunities but is also effective in slashing in a pick and roll play.

    Defensive Scouting Report

    Daniels is a great perimeter defender, and the Celtics hope that his defensive production can replace what departed with Tony Allen's talent.  Similarly to the offensive side of the ball, he can defend three positions but is best at defending twos and smaller threes.  His quickness and length helps him on the defensive side.  Daniels won't collect many rebounds but his overall defensive game keeps him an asset on the defensive minded Celtics roster.

    Overall Analysis

    Marquis Daniels was possibly the most exciting player to watch this preseason.  Last season, Daniels looked great on the court, until he missed time from a thumb injury.  He never played like himself when he returned. 

    When healthy, Daniels is a defensive stopper that is very effective in bringing the ball up, drive to the basket and play three positions on the court.  If Daniels could improve his jump shot, he will prove to be an extremely versatile player. 

    Celtics fans should hope that he doesn't disappoint like last year, but after a preseason in which he exhibited he is a more than capable bench player, expect big things from yet another member of the Boston Bench Mob.

Luke Harangody

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    Luke Harangody throws down the dunk with Notre Dame.Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    PF/SF Luke Harangody #55

    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 251 lbs

    Age: 22

    NBA Experience:

    • 0 Years

    2009-2010 Statistics (from Notre Dame)

    Harangody averaged 21.8 points per game while collecting 9.1 rebounds and distributing 1.6 assists per game.  He averaged 0.5 steals and 0.7 blocks per game.

    Offensive Scouting Report

    Luke Harangody showed in his college career he can score and rebound.  He not only almost averaged a double-double last season, he did so while scoring over 20 points.  Gody has great post skills and a great jump shot, allowing him to score in multiple ways.  He is very tough and puts it all on the court when he plays. 

    If Harangody hopes to see minutes on the court, he needs to become more consistent with his jumper and needs to prove he can bang down low with the forwards in the league.

    Defensive Scouting Report

    Harangody isn't exactly built to be the ideal defender.  He isn't athletic enough and fast enough to guard most small forwards and is too short to guard most power forwards.  Harangody is strong so if he can learn how to play defense like Glen Davis, then he could be effective.  He needs work on the defensive end.

    Overall Analysis

    Harangody's value to this team is kind of unknown.  While many compare Gody to Brian Scalabrine, due to being white and goofy, Harangody is more similar to Glen Davis.  Both players are undersized as power forwards and may not be athletic enough to play small forward.  They differ in that Davis is stronger and uses his size to benefit his play while Harangody is not as strong but does have a better shot. 

    Due to inexperience and a very deep roster, Harangody may not find a lot of playing time this year, but Doc Rivers likes the kid and his potential.  With a roster full of mentors, Harangody could improve within the next season.  Gody's size makes him a better fit as a small forward in the NBA, he could be an effective player in his career if he can adjust to the position.

Glen Davis

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    Glen Davis takes on Maurice Evans in some post play.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    PF Glen Davis #11

    Height: 6'9"

    Weight: 289 lbs

    Age: 24

    NBA Experience:

    • 3 Years (BOS)

    2009-2010 Statistics

    Davis averaged 6.3 points per game while collecting 3.8 rebounds and distributing 0.6 assists per game.  He averaged 0.4 steals and 0.3 blocks per game.

    Offensive Scouting Report

    Glen "Big Baby" Davis has a unique offensive skill set.  He is nearly 300 pounds, shorter than most power forwards, and surprises everyone when he gets past his opponents with spin moves or powers past them to drive to the hoop. 

    He has soft hands and is another player that works well with a pick and roll.  Big Baby has an ever-improving mid-distance jump shot.  Davis is surprisingly quick and is a good passer for a big man.  He sometimes forgets his lack of height and frequently gets his shots rejected.  Davis is a hustle player that always brings excitement on offense.

    Defensive Scouting Report

    Similarly to his offensive game, it is surprising that Big Baby is as effective as he is on defense.  He is inches shorter than big man Dwight Howard yet he does a good job in shutting him down. 

    Davis won't block many shots or collect a significant amount of rebounds but he does a great job in using his strength to disable the play of his opponent.  Although Davis doesn't look like a great defender on paper, he does more than hold his own on the defensive side of the court.

    Overall Analysis

    Glen Davis is not your typical NBA player.  He is generously listed as 6'9" and appears overweight.  However he uses his size to his advantage and can defend power forwards and centers.  He is a banger down low and is a spark off the bench. 

    Shrek and Donkey come in the second unit and do the dirty work and lead the bench in playing effective minutes while the starters rest.  Davis is in a contract year and this season he needs to prove that he is an asset to the franchise to earn a contract which will let him play in Boston for years to come.

Jermaine O'Neal

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    Jermaine O'Neal tries to block Daniel Gibson's attempt at a lay-up.Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    C/PF Jermaine O'Neal #7

    Height: 6'11"

    Weight: 255 lbs

    Age: 32

    NBA Experience:

    • 14 Total Years
    • 4 Years (POR)
    • 8 Years (IND)
    • .5 Years (TOR)
    • 1.5 Years (MIA)

    2009-2010 Statistics

    O'Neal averaged 13.6 points per game while collecting 6.9 rebounds and distributing 1.3 assists per game.  He averaged 0.4 steals and 1.4 blocks per game.

    Offensive Scouting Report

    Jermaine O'Neal has a solid jump shot as a big man.  He doesn't shoot the three like Rasheed Wallace did last season, but he can score with both shooting the jumper similar to Kevin Garnett and scoring in the paint.  His post play and rebounding have decreased over the years, so he could benefit from a decreased role.

    Defensive Scouting Report

    Defense is where O'Neal will be most effective for the Celtics.  Despite aging knees, he still has the ability to block shots.  O'Neal brings size and length to the defense and is good at one on one defense but extremely effective in defending the weak side.  Look for O'Neal to block many shots in help defense.

    Overall Analysis

    Jermaine O'Neal is an example of one of the many veterans that signed for less money than he could have potentially made to get a chance at getting a championship ring.  The oft-injured O'Neal will most likely be the starting center when he is healthy and Kendrick Perkins is injured. 

    Most critics will say that he was a disappointment last season, but on the Miami Heat roster last year, O'Neal was the third option on the team behind Dwyane Wade and Michael Beasley.  On this Celtics roster, the team looks to Pierce, Rondo, Garnett, Allen and other players for the majority of the production and O'Neal is here as a role player to block shots, grab rebounds and provide depth as a big man.  He will see the majority of his playing time at center but may see some time at power forward.

Shaquille O'Neal

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    Shaq and his former teammate Dwyane Wade.Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    C Shaquille O'Neal #36

    Height: 7'1"

    Weight: 325 lbs

    Age: 38

    NBA Experience:

    • 18 Total Years
    • 4 Years (ORL)
    • 8 Years (LAL)
    • 3.5 Years (MIA)
    • 1.5 Years (PHO)
    • 1 Year (CLE)

    2009-2010 Statistics

    O'Neal averaged 12.0 points per game while collecting 6.7 rebounds and distributing 1.5 assists per game.  He averaged 0.6 steals and 2.3 blocks per game.

    Offensive Scouting Report

    Shaq's offensive game has dropped off in the recent years due to aging.  However, in continuing to average double figures in scoring, Shaq has shown he is an offensive threat.  The Big Shaqtus has extremely soft hands and in the preseason Rondo seemed to enjoy his presence. 

    Rondo throws the ball near the basket, Shaq grabs it and either slams it down for the easy dunk or lays the ball in.  Shaq's size allows him to continue to body his defender and use his strength in the post.  He can still sink the turn around hook shot and can still get under the basket to dunk the ball. 

    His obvious flaws on offense is his shooting.  Shaq should never shoot the ball from long distance and is notorious for being a bad free throw shooter.

    Defensive Scouting Report

    O'Neal's defensive game has also decreased as time has gone on.  Shaq is good at one on one defense and can still block shots.  One worry that Celtics fans have is his inability to defend the pick and roll. 

    On the offensive side of the pick and roll, Shaq is an asset.  On the defensive side of the pick and roll, Shaq is an obvious liability.  When the offensive big man sets the pick on the Celtics guard, it is Shaq's role to either defend the speedy opposing guard or if the Celtics guard can overcome the screen, Shaq has to continue to guard his man.  Shaq is far too slow to adjust and cover the opposing teams guard as he drives to the basket.  However, Shaq will be productive on some aspects of defense.

    Overall Analysis

    Shaquille O'Neal is a future Hall of Fame basketball player that will go down as one of the best centers to ever play the game.  He has four championship rings on his 18-year resume (Shaq has almost been playing for as long as Avery Bradley has been alive). 

    Shaq is a reserve police officer, rapper, actor, reality television star and star of the video game Shaq Fu.  While he is certainly a character, O'Neal is an asset because he can still play, and he has a ton of experience in the regular season and playoffs. 

    Shaq has been a teammate of elite players like Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and most recently Lebron James.  He has shown he can play alongside stars similar to players on the Celtics roster and desperately wants another couple rings.  Shaq will prove to be a great role player on this team.

Semih Erden

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    Semih Erden takes the jumper in International play.Junko Kimura/Getty Images

    C Semih Erden #86

    Height: 7'1"

    Weight: 240 lbs

    Age: 24

    NBA Experience:

    • 0 Years

    2009-2010 Statistics

    Erden averaged 6.2 points per game while collecting 5.4 rebounds and distributing 0.8 assists per game.  He averaged 0.5 steals and 0.9 blocks per game.

    Offensive Scouting Report

    Semih Erden has a good, developing post game.  Erden doesn't shoot much from mid-distance, but has some talent in his shooting as he shoots well from behind the free throw line for a big man.  He has shown a rare ability in good passing as a big man.

    Defensive Scouting Report

    Erden has shown glimpses of a good defender, but still has a refined defensive game.  He can use his length to block shots.  Erden has quick feet which allows him to stay in front of big men in the paint.  While he has shown he could be a capable defender, Erden still has plenty of room to improve.

    Overall Analysis

    After impressive performances in the FIBA World Championships and the NBA preseason, Semih Erden is causing some buzz.  Erden is one of the two seven footers on the team.  His offensive game needs some work but Erden has shown efficiency in defense and rebounding. 

    Prior to the Celtics signing Shaq, Erden could have played a role similar to what Shelden Williams played last season.  But with Shaq on board, Erden will only see minutes in blowouts, especially when all five of the big men in front of him are healthy.  The seven foot Turk could have a good career in Boston if he decides to resign when his contract expires.

Roster Depth Chart

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    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Depth Chart

    PG: Rajon Rondo, Nate Robinson, Avery Bradley

    SG: Ray Allen, Delonte West, Von Wafer

    SF: Paul Pierce, Marquis Daniels

    PF: Kevin Garnett, Glen Davis, Luke Harangody

    C: Kendrick Perkins*, Jermaine O'Neal, Shaquille O'Neal, Semih Erden

    *Jermaine O'Neal is expected to start while Perkins is injured.

     

    The Celtics have one of the deepest teams in the league and more depth than I've ever seen.  The team lives off the word Ubuntu, focusing on cohesion and team chemistry.  This roster will be a defensive force on the court at every position. 

    Boston has to hope to avoid injuries and has to use it's depth to allow all players to see playing time, giving rest to the older players.  Tonight the Boston Celtics face their first opponent and the Celtics will need to work hard to silence critics and Beat the Heat.  This is the Celtics' year to get banner number 18.