Previewing the Boston Celtics' 5 Biggest Training Camp Battles
This year's Celtics training camp will hold great importance because there are many new pieces that need to fit into the puzzle.
Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers and the Celtics had a busy offseason. The newest Celtics have found a home in Boston, but now they must build chemistry and understand their role on the team.
The new-look Boston Celtics are better than they were last year. New additions, such as Jason Terry and Jared Sullinger, will push everyone to perform better to keep their spot. The healthy competition between teammates will only prepare the team for the increasingly tough competition in their division.
Jason Collins/Chris Wilcox
Jason Collins and Chris Wilcox will be competing for the No. 2 big-man spot behind superstar Kevin Garnett. As Garnett gets older, the importance of a reliable backup increases.
Collins and Wilcox will be competing for the spot as Garnett's backup. They are both experienced in the NBA, with a combination of 21 years in the league together.
Collins will take some of the pressure off Garnett, especially when the Celtics face off against bigger, more powerful centers like Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum. On the other hand, this isn't Wilcox's first bout with the C's. He missed a big chunk of last season due to surgery, so fans are ready for him to return to the floor.
Brandon Bass/Jeff Green
There is much anticipation surrounding Jeff Green's return to the Celtics. The expectations are high, and some people are saying that Green could end up being the X-factor of the 2012-13 season.
Green plays the power forward position, which Brandon Bass is currently starting. While Bass has been fairly consistent for the Celtics, he has failed to truly excel at his position. He's reliable, but it's time for him to take his game to the next level.
Green will be coming for Bass' starting spot. He's eager to prove to Boston that they made the right decision, so fans should see him play like the No. 5 overall draft pick that he is. If Green puts up the 16.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game that he did as a starter in Oklahoma City, Bass' spot in the starting lineup is not ensured.
Jason Terry/Keyon Dooling
Fan favorite Keyon Dooling will be struggling to get minutes in the 2012-13 season. The Celtics are stacked at the guard position this year, and while Dooling has a strong locker room presence, he's not as dominant on the basketball court.
Enter Jason Terry. The former NBA Sixth Man of the Year was brought to Boston to instantly boost the second unit's offense. He should make an immediate impact, especially since he's able to create his own shot and get to the basket.
Dooling needs to step it up during training camp if he wants solid playing time this upcoming season. Between Terry and Courtney Lee, there isn't much that Dooling can contribute to the team anymore.
However, there's still a chance he could return next season with a rejuvenated game.
The Rookies/Doc Rivers
Doc Rivers is notorious for keeping his rookies on the bench. For the most part, they don't see much playing time in their first season.
However, the Celtics need the skills of Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo this season, so you could see Rivers make an exception.
Sullinger played well in the Las Vegas Summer League, so he needs to prove he can play at the same level during a regular season game.
The Celtics were the worst rebounding team in the league last year, and given Sullinger's size and strength, he could be a huge help with grabbing boards. If Rivers actually decides to play the rookies this season, Sullinger has the potential to be a big contributor to the team.
Fab Melo/Jason Collins
Fab Melo has the potential to make an impact on the Celtics team if he gets a chance. The former Syracuse star is currently the third center on the depth chart, behind Kevin Garnett and Jason Collins. Chris Wilcox will also fill in at the center position when needed.
The former Syracuse star still needs to develop and learn the complex Boston defense, but thankfully he has Doc Rivers for a coach. Rivers has a knack for coaching his players to get the most out of their talent.
If Melo can quickly adjust to the NBA, he could move up on the depth chart ahead of Jason Collins. Collins' game is deteriorating, and he isn't spectacular at offense or rebounding. However, he does play solid defense during his minutes in the game.
Melo is athletic enough and has the right tools around him to surpass Collins. Don't be surprised if he wows the coaches in training camp and moves ahead on the depth chart.