With Troy Murphy and Sasha Pavlovic added in the wake of a flurry of deadline-day sales, Danny Ainge's grand plan for the Celtics makes significantly more sense, but has it made the C's a complete team?
One of the biggest worries for the Celtics heading into the playoffs was the team's ability to defend LeBron James over the course of a seven-game series.
Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo have surely taken on that task admirably in the past, but such a task requires expending so much energy on defense that it greatly detracts from either's ability to compete on offense. Now, with Jeff Green and Pavlovic in the squad, Doc Rivers will have more bodies to throw at LeBron in order to preserve Pierce's and Rondo's energy.
The Celtics' other major question mark was the health of their big men, as Kendrick Perkins, Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal proved incredibly fragile throughout the season. Now, with Murphy and Nenad Krstic in the lineup, the Celtics have two dependable, competent bigs who offer very different matchups for opponents. Neither may have Perkins' upside, but both can be counted on to contribute. If the O'Neals can do the same, then Boston will have a decent array of centers to throw at the likes of Joakim Noah, Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum come playoff time.
One other problem area, however, is the backup ball-handling spot, and that weakness was not addressed by Ainge. Delonte West has been a solid contributor when he has been healthy, but that hasn't been the case very often. With Nate Robinson now in Oklahoma, a lot of pressure is on Avery Bradley to step up, and that's a lot to ask of a raw, young rookie.
All of these issues, of course, are peripheral to the reality that Boston still has a healthy Big Four, and the core of Pierce, Rondo, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett is as good as any in the league.
Powered by WordPress.com VIP