The Boston Celtics: Youngsters Know it Isn't Easy Wearing Green

Frances White@WestEndGirl62Analyst IIJuly 15, 2009

CHICAGO - APRIL 23: Gabe Pruitt #13 of the Boston Celticslooks to pass under pressure from Aaron Gray #34 of the Chicago Bulls in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 23, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Celtics defeated the Bulls 107-86. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agreees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The past two years have seen the Boston Celtics go from being NBA fodder to elite status. In that span they have brought balance back to the Boston sports scene.

Talk radio topics were either the Red Sox or the Patriots.

For 20 years the Celtic hopeful pinned their hopes on youth movement and mismanagement. 

Then it happened, a new management said "youth be damned."

And voila! Order was restored. 

The Celtic faithful could be heard not only in winter but in the dog days of summer.

The addition of Rasheed Wallace has ear-marked the Celtics as being in the "golden" days of their game. Ainge is looking to push it to the edge by adding more veteran help at the wing position. 

That would make the Celtics woefully thin in young legs. Because if he does make this move, it will make one or more of the young players expendable. The rest will have to make due with the two or three minutes they might get.

There is a delicate balance the Celtics must maintain so that they can continue to maintain their edge in championships.

Kobe Bryant has his fourth, and his Lakers are down two to the Celtics in overall numbers. Bryant's ego wants him to not only attempt to tie Jordan, he wants to pass him. He wants to be known as the greatest.

The Lakers have youth behind Kobe with Andrew Bynum and Jordan Farmar. Adam Morrison may yet be that '"Paxson" type shooter they need. 

Gasol, Fischer and Artest are part of the core veteran group. The Lakers have the edge in youth with experience. 

The young Celtic players, with the exception of Glen Davis and Leon Powe, barely got playing time.

The Celtics know they are part of the top teams in the Eastern conference. They will be there as long as they have the new "Big Four." 

But Boston has to find a way to stay their long after they are gone. 

After all the wheeling and dealing they have placed that responsibility on the narrow shoulders of Rajon Rondo and the broad back of Kendrick Perkins. Beyond that they have holes to fill in the roster. Perkins shoulder issues may put them in a tenuous position.

Boston's lone 2008 first round pick, J. R. Giddens was sent to the NBDL.

Bill Walker, who they bought from Washington was able to take his spot.

Tony Allen has been consistent in maintaining his injury status.

Pruitt's DUI and the arrival of Marbury effectively ended his opportunities last year.

The Celtics aren't even sure if Davis will return because they may not be able to match the other offers he may receive.

Leon Powe's third knee injury forced the Celtics to release him.

2010 is supposed to be a free agent bonanza and a bidding war will probably ensue for the stellar 2003 draft class. The Celtics need to be in the hunt for one of them. They want young veteran experience that is hungry to be part of the Celtic tradition. 

But it is the youth that presently fills the roster that is a concern. By all accounts Giddens, Walker, Pruitt and even second round pick Lester Hudson did nothing to hurt their cause. They now have to decide what to do. 

Hudson is recovering from a broken finger, so he may be the odd man out because he was drafted so low.

One could argue, that Boston needs them and can do without another veteran wing.  This could possibly help Pierce, and company.

If the bench can maintain leads with the help of Wallace, the youngsters may see more playing time. This would allow Pierce, Garnett and Allen to be fresh for a championship run.

Danny and Doc give them nothing. Davis and Powe were the only ones who got any significant time in their first two years in the league. Giddens, Walker and Pruitt have experienced how difficult it is. 

They may be young an athletic but it is the "game" between their ears that matters to management.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.