Monday, February 28, 2005



The (not-so) great AW experiment has resulted in two big wins for our beloved team, vaulting them atop the Atlantic Division 2 full games in front of a superior 76er’s team. During those two games, Walker has averaged an impressive 28.5 points, 11.5 boards and 4 assists. Two big wins against Western conference teams with a slimed down and controlled AW playing great; perhaps we are wrong here at CelticsDoom. I spent the weekend thinking about my dire predictions resulting from last week’s trade; maybe I’m just a bit too negative. I mean, he does pass the ball well. He does run. He does hit the boards when he’s not camped out at the three-point line. Looks like Danny knows what he is doing.

That is what I would sound like if I regularly spoke to the Celtic owners like Bill ‘sell-out’ Simmons. It’s a load of shit, folks.

If there is one thing I’ve learned from writing about an up-and-down team like the 2005 Boston Celtics is not to react too strongly after a handful of games. When you do, you look like a pre-menstrual woman like that Hackrid over at Celtsblog. One day they are terrible, one day THE C’s ARE BACK, the next day they’re done. Here at CelticsDoom, we’ve been remarkably consistent in our assessment of this mediocre team. The AW trade does nothing to change this short-term assessment, and in my estimation, dramatically alters our more rosy long-term assessments.

From the volumes of articles/opinions expressed by those in favor of bringing our pudgy former captain back, I glean four major points on how AW can help the team. Interest, Swagger, Rebounding & Passing.


The return of Antoine has certainly created more interest in a city still consumed by their Champion baseball team, and to a lesser extent Champion(s) football team. The C’s dominated crappy Boston sports talk radio as well as the pages of our venerable papers. The trade sparked segments on Sportscenter, and even NESN (who sometimes needs reminding that there exists a professional basketball team in Boston). I’m sure the house will be full during this next extended home series, putting needed fannies in the rapidly fanny-less green and gold seats. Great, huh. No.

Generating interest is the WORST possible reason to make a trade (saving money in the short term only to eat it in the long is a close second). It means that you are making decisions for non-basketball reasons, which I am certain why this trade happened.

If interest was the owner’s first objective, they should have just signed Rodman, or, better yet, they should have pulled the trigger on the Allen deal. Having the former UConn hero back in New England would have, at the very least, generated some interest in basketball crazed Connecticut, where currently only two people watch the C’s (the Dr. and myself). Disclaimer – I attended UConn during the Allen years and consider him my favorite player, and, while not gay, I would have sex with him if asked.


How does someone so fat have so much energy? Many argue that AW possesses a ton of energy complimented by a healthy swagger - a swagger surely lacking by this particular team. Just like the interest argument, on the surface it makes sense. However, in the long run, it’s a disaster.

Sure, the team was going nowhere this season, which is a destination they still have tickets to. So. I’d argue let the team limp to the finish with the young guys playing significant minutes and the expiring contracts, well; actually expire. As it stands, we may miss the playoffs anyway with the young post players garnering no more experience, and without an additional first round draft pick.

Back to swagger. AW swagger is not good swagger. It is born out of a sense of entitlement, and it manifests itself in arguing with refs, posturing after good plays and ridiculous quotes about playing in green next year. This is a guy who taught PP that no shot he took was a bad shot. Was confidence a problem without AW, yes. But is the type of confidence AW instills the kind we want – FUCK NO. The way you build confidence in young players is only through improved play and experience. If there comes a day when TA bellyaches to the refs while his man screeches down the wing for a lay-up, don’t say I didn’t warn you. I will cry that day (along with the day that AJ knocks up his first groupie).

Rebounding & Passing

For the sake of brevity, I’ll combine these two arguments because they are actual skills that AW possesses. The C’s pre-trade were a horrendous rebounding and passing team. Antoine is a very skilled passer with soft hands around the rim. Can he help the team in the short-term in these two areas – absolutely. Will he help the team in these two areas – maybe. The fact that AW is an above-average passer and rebounder enrages me even more when I see him beyond the three-point line, which is where we saw him the most the last time he wiggled on the parquet in green.

If Antoine ever embraced his true skills and became a 12/10/8 mid-level salary glue guy, I would have no argument. But he will never be that guy. Look, he is on his very best behavior the last two games, and HE’S TAKEN 50 FUCKING SHOTS.

Bottom Line – 9 and 1

Those are the average minutes played by the future starting power forward and the future reserve center the last two games.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


a real bad time for sanity to take a holiday

I’m just completely stunned. Sick to my stomach. This deal makes no sense from any kind of basketball, fiscal or “looking to the future” standpoint. The Herald is reporting that we included a #1 in the deal. So, basically, we traded our only point guard and a #1 pick for a guy who will take minutes away from our two most promising players (AJ and TA).

I truly think Ainge may be retarded. Or those new fanboy owners who don’t know squat about basketball forced his hand because they thought 1000 more people will now put their sweaty old #8 jerseys on and come and watch this shitty team as it sinks into oblivion. Consider this - a lineup of PP/AW/MB/MB/RD. That we included a #1 to make this happen is like having someone piss in your mouth after kicking you in the balls.

The stakes aren’t as high, but this puppy dwarfs the Baker trade in terms of complete stupidity. Every GM is laughing their ass off right now, because Danny Ainge has succeeded in trading Antoine Walker for Raef LaFrentz and Antoine Walker. What a godawful move. This is the opposite of the McCarty trade. We are so fucked it’s not even worth doing this blog anymore. CelticsDoom does not need to be in print – it is the reality that you will now see everyday.


we are so f-cked...

It’s official, that poor sorry bastard Jiri Welsch has been moved to a team that actually has a bright future (Cleveland) for dogshit (1st rounder in 2007, which should be no better than the 25th pick in the draft) in what will probably be the only trade the Celtics make today. The move, if nothing else, shows Ainge’s misguided confidence that he’ll still be around for the 2007 draft, but it also marks an apparent failure of nerve on the part of a man who otherwise has done great work in making tough long-term moves.

Too bad, with what we’ve seen on the court for the past two nights it should be clear to anyone that an Agonizing Reappraisal (thanks HST… RIP) of this team is clearly needed. With the Webber trade we have seen our future and it is the NBA lottery. Furthermore, with news coming out of Boston that work is underway to sign the rapidly atrophy-ing corpse of Gary Payton to a two-year deal, it seems as if Trader Ainge is either pussy-ing out or getting his marching orders from nervous owners drinking the Doc Rivers/playoff Kool-Aid.

As it stands, we have the worst of both worlds – a team that will be just good enough to compete for the 8th seed but will probably end up with a shitty high lottery pick. With news that the CBA will probably include an age limit (and the subsequent way this fucks up the talent pool), pray, I repeat PRAY, that the Lakers make the playoffs this year and we are able to use their pick before that monstrous clause goes into effect. Otherwise we’re looking at horse latitudes for some time.

Or and this is a “hopefully or,” maybe Ainge is holding back because he thinks PP’s value will peak in the summer, and then will be the time to make the Big Blowup. He might also think it worthwhile to let this team implode so he can show the owners that we aren’t going anywhere under the current model, and force them into letting him make Ugly But Essential Change. Either way, the end result is pain and the rest of the season should be a slow-bleed that results in us missing the playoffs by three games.
Keeps us in business, I guess.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005



Like a moody girlfriend two days before her monthly visitation, the rumors about Gary Payton’s future with the Celtics have swung drastically from senseless extreme to senseless extreme. First we hear he’s getting traded, then it’s that he’s signing an extension, then it’s that he could very well be playing his last game at the Fleet (Enema) Center.

In the midst of all this drama, angst and hand-wringing, we here at CelticsDoom simply want to say, “who cares?”

Gary has been a good rent-a-Celtic this season. He has run a decent offense and done an unexpectedly fine job of managing Paul Pierce’s ego. He’s good enough that if he leaves, the team will be worse off in the short term. However, if Gary’s name was Chucky Atkins we wouldn’t give a flying fuck if he stayed, left, or if Ainge traded him for nothing or simply let him run out his contract. As much as trading Gary will disrupt us this season (as would trading any starting point guard on any team), an even worse move would be to get swept up in the “I love Gary” nonsense and sign him to an extension.

I know all the boosters out there envision this season as a rosy world where Payton has played flawless ball and served an important role as a mentor to our two future point guards (who, in this fantasy, will apparently play 24 minutes each in some equanimous future where the happy and loveable Celtics dance hand in hand to the magical land of NBA championship).

Back here in reality, we have seen a Gary Payton who’s game has been ravaged by age, and whose continued deterioration will likely render him completely useless in the second year of any two-year deal he would likely demand to stay. As it is, his current effectiveness is debatable and based on a few myths that Celtics fans and broadcasters have clung to.

Myth #1 – Gary Payton fits a running offense: Wrong - Payton and Pierce are probably the two most guilty of slowing the ball down (particularly in the 4th quarter) and resorting to half-court sets, where the Celtics notoriously struggle. Payton, I believe, is simply too old to effectively front a running team, and if the point guard ain’t willing to push the ball up late in the game, then the big guys sure as fuck aren’t going to be sprinting up the floor. Watch the game in Kings game in Sacramento for a prime example.

Myth #2 – Payton the Mentor: This is one of those feel-good things that Rivers and the Celtics PR department likes to harp on, but one look at Marcus Banks and you know that he hasn’t learned a thing from being around The Glove. Instead, Payton’s greatest off-the-court contribution has probably been in puncturing Paul Pierce’s ego with comments to the press that undoubtedly reflect much harsher words that have been spoken behind-the-scenes. The value of having a respected veteran who can tell Pierce to go fuck himself is undoubtedly a good thing for the younger players, but not being able to consistently back it up on the court makes him a something of a paper tiger.

Myth #3 – The Celtics are fucked without a good point guard: This one is more truthful, but solid coaching and a good offensive system can overcome the lack of a creator/distributor, particularly if you run and play good defense. Last season before the Ricky trade, the Celtics were playing great ball with a second-string shooting guard thrust into the starting point guard role (Mike James). If you remember that grim lineup of PP/MJ/WM/EW/MB and recall that we were on a four game winning streak, then it should give you hope for life without Gary. Now, we are indeed fucked if Marcus Banks is our starting point guard, but the Celtics could probably salvage this season with West starting and Ricky playing a kind of quasi-point for the second unit. Or vice versa.

None of this is to say that Gary hasn’t been valuable and a very good pickup. He has and was. But the options for his future are all pretty much a wash for the Celtics, and part of trading for him was the idea that he'd be off the books in a year and give us a little financial flexibility. So, if he stays for the rest of the season, great, he’ll probably help nudge this team into the playoffs, and getting wiped out in the first round will probably convince him to play next year with a contender anyway. If we trade him, fine, but we aren’t going to be getting anything in return, regardless of all those mindless reports that claim Ainge can get a first-round pick for him. Either way, this team will not improve or dramatically fall to shit without Gary Payton.

Friday, February 11, 2005


Celtics vs. Knicks (W 111-94)

One of the best wins of the season - the Celtics played solid team ball and showed Stephon Shitbury what winning means as they carved the embarrassing Knicks into vastly overpaid pieces. The game was won in the 2nd when unbelievably enough, Marcus Banks came off the bench and dominated for about seven minutes with the best defense he's played since that seven steal game last year, along with doing a very solid job of distributing the ball. Yup, my most hated Celtic of the glorious post-McCarty era actually had a difference-making game. It reminds me of the truth behind the saying, "every now and then even a blind chicken can find a kernel of corn." As if to punctuate the general iffy-ness of all things Marcus, Doc ended up sitting his ass in the second half after another most likely half-imagined error, giving Delonte time to go out and piss all over Banks's one night of glory. Please Danny, just trade him and put us all out of this misery.

Ricky was the dominant offensive force, scoring 25 and making everyone who defended him look like a fool. He did his usual torch-job on Jamaal "smart move leaving the Bulls" Crawford, which at one point led to some pretty funny on-court shit-talking. Tony Allen was his usual "equal parts inhumanly great and completely out-of-control," my man Raef continued to kick ass, and Pierce had a nice contained game.

This was one of those wins the boosters will hail as "proof" that this team is well on the way to #17, but I just keep thinking about how much the Knicks suck and how likely it is that the Kings will take a big shit on us this Sunday.

A fine broadcast moment - At one point during the first quarter they cut to a shot of Tony Allen moving his pointer finger across his outstretched tongue in what I can only imagine was a visual for a bawdy anecdote about a recent blow-job. Banks was next to him barely paying attention, but I'm really hoping that there was a Mexican girl involved.

Player of the Game - Marcus Banks. I'm telling you, he had his best 11 minutes as a Celtic and I'm not afraid to acknowledge it. He completely turned the game around in the 2nd with his defense and (for once) under control up-tempo play. He was back to Marcus Bust for a brief spot in the 3rd quarter (alright, that's not fair, it was more like Mediocre Banks), but Doc yanked him before he had the chance to show if he could string two good quarters together. This guy must seriously go home and cry a lot.

Worst Celtic of the Game - this is hard in these kinds of games, but I guess I'll give it to Blount for being a complete disappointment and for this whole wearing Walter's clothes idiocy. The fucking team shelled out $42 million for your useless ass and not only do you completely quit playing basketball, but now you try and stick it to management with this grotesque public mourning for the worst Celtic of all time. Hey, that's a good topic for a debate. I'll enter Acie Earl, McCarty, Rick Brunson, Bruce Bowen (only as a Celtic) and Michael Smith as my off-the-top-of-my-head top 5.

Quote of the Night - Bob Cousy's every word. Unlike the bullying boosterism and Johnny Most wannabe-ism (minus the common man charm) of Tommy Heinsohn, Cousy always comes in ready to take a piss on the team if they deserve it, and it makes me long for the days when he did all the road games. Lately his schtick is to pretend he barely pays attention to the NBA (witness the discussion about Hardaway where he earnestly asks, "wasn't this guy a star at one point"?) and just act completely detached. His presence clearly unsettles Heinsohn, who can't stand any competition for his head-cheerleader gig, and he often draws Gorman over to his side by sticking with the facts and dismissing Tommy's ref-baiting. Add to the fact that stupid fuck Pitino banished him for not being mindlessly pro-Celtic enough, and you have the prototype CelticsDoom-er whom we all owe a great debt of gratitude to. Coooooooooooooose.



There are a number of interesting storylines this season for a team whose fortunes seem to rise and fall week-to-week, and sometimes day-to-day. What else would you expect from a team that, halfway through the season, could be the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, or in the draft lottery. Ask yourself which of these options do you think the GM would prefer?

Here at CelticsDoom, we find some angles more interesting than others.

Rebuilding on the Fly - To Run or Not to Run - AJ, Real Deal - Raef Can Still Play, Blount Can't - Ricky Isn't A Dick? - Pierce Is! - Walter Gone, Banks Next - Doc Bad, But Better than OB

But my favorite storyline of the past few eventful months for our beloved, yet flawed, team is the emergence of Kendrick Perkins. Prior to the season, most of us had similar feelings about the young Celtic five. We had seen Banks the most, with the majority of right-minded fans coming to the conclusion that, while athletically gifted, he would never be a good PG in the NBA. A notion he has done nothing to dispel this year.

As a college basketball fan, I had seen both Allen and West (Allen in person during the Final Four last year, which UConn won if you don't recall), and I, like most, thought they both would be fine NBA prospects. Summer league, and stories of Allen dominating the famous Jordan/Chicago pick-up games, gave us a hint that he could be something special. West was a winner with a smart, if unspectacular, game. He gave us hope that the oft-mentioned, rarely implemented running game would actually be utilized. We all suspected, through press accounts and mostly through the summer league, that AJ was the real thing. He had an NBA body with athleticism, a nice touch around the basket, and a humble demeanor.

The one guy we knew little about was big Perk. Picked late in the first round last year, the overweight high-schooler garnered few minutes, as less attention from the coaching staff. On a side note, fuck OB. As one of those 'old-school rookies-shouldn't-play' coach, OB somehow found it in his coaching heart to give an extended look to a young undersized second-round power forward, but the 19 year old Perkins wallowed on the bench.

Don't forget, last year Perk was a guy who should have been sleeping through Communications 101 at State U while an athletic staff of dozens helped him with his game, his conditioning, and his life. With the C's, it seemed as if he received little guidance.

Now, fast forward to the summer. Both local papers were writing typical BJ columns about Perk's weight loss, desire, and leadership for the four new guys. Leadership he claims he never got. Unfortunately, the well-intentioned big man played like shit in Florida and Vegas, making many of us wonder whether he would ever get off the bench during the regular season.

Perk started the season the same way he finished and started the last - riding the pine. Of the first 24 games of the 2005 season, Kendrick totaled 43 minutes with 10 dreaded DNP-CD. Sure, he showed glimpses of hustle, but there was little to suggest he could be a regular contributor to a mediocre team. Then came the Knick game with Raef on the shelf. It was to be the big AJ game; the first start of his career. But Perk stole the show with 13 boards in 25 active minutes. Suddenly, a team with an underwhelming front line had found a presence. He had good instincts at the rim, and he fought for every ball (usually while Blount was already running back on> D).

Since that game, Perk has averaged little more than eleven minutes a game, with many of us wondering why he doesn't get more. His numbers don't seem that impressive, unless you use the ridiculous per 48 stats, but it's more about the numbers with Perk. He cares. He's trying so hard to find a niche on the team that he leveled one of the least intimidating forwards in the league. He knocks people around, he blocks shots, and when given the opportunity (usually only on an offensive board), he can score.

Perk is going to be a solid back-up center for a winning team in the NBA, he's a lot more than most of us thought only a month and a half ago, and he's the best story for the Celtic's this year.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Celtics vs. Clippers (W 94-89)

Great comeback against a Clippers team who seem to define the phrase “gutless losers with no heart.” For the life of me I can’t understand why that team isn’t better - Brand and Maggette alone should win you some games, but I guess when you have Rick Brunson playing significant minutes, things are not well.

So anyway, the first half was a complete nightmare - no rebounding, no interior defense and an absolute refusal to run on offense. Thankfully Tony Allen woke up Pierce and co. during the 3rd quarter, and the team actually started playing defense as the Clippers imploded in the same way the Celtics often do when trying to hold onto a big lead. Some huge 3’s from Raef, a decent game from Mark “is it weird that I’m wearing another man’s headband” Blount, and an all-star-ish effort from Pierce (1 assist from a triple double).

The biggest development of the night, however, was a performance from Delonte West that fairly screamed “play him Doc, you idiot." While Doc screamed at Marcus on the bench for some kind of undoubtedly half-imagined offense, Delonte stepped in and played the point exactly the opposite of Mr. Banks’ reckless, out of the flow shit - Delonte was steady and efficient. He wasn’t perfect and was definitely shaky, which probably can be attributed to his justified fear that anything other than a stellar performance was going to result in a few DNP-CD’s, but he made a couple great passes, played solid defense and the starters seemed comfortable with him running the show. Maybe Marcus can get some tips about his farewell letter from Waltah. My advice, hire me as your ghost writer.

Anyway, early on Tommy made some bizarre comments about the difference between being “molested” or “contested” when driving to the basket. You could literally hear the sound of Gorman gritting his teeth as Tommy tried to spin out of that tailspin. “Turn into the skid Tommy!” I yelled at the TV, half expecting him to respond.

Player of the Game - Tony Allen was the difference in the third, but maybe we should give it to Rick Brunson for being yet another Celtic I used to hate and am real fucking glad he's not on our team anymore. Yup, Ricky B, another genius Pitino/Wallace pick-up back in the dark days. But no, we'll give it to Tony - he went from embarassingly ineffective and out of control in the first quarter to basically single-handedly bringing the team back from 20 down to a single digit deficit by time he was yanked for Ricky. Great work TA.

Worst Celtic of the Game - Marcus, because he sucked, but also because I may not have many more opportunities to give him this award. I wish I taped the game so I could watch Doc screaming at him again after he got yanked in the 2nd. Bye bye dickhead.

Quote of the Night - “Tom Gugliotta resides in Phoenix during the off season” - a shockingly pointless comment from Mike Gorman designed to kill some awkward silence while Googs shot free throws and Heinsohn took a pause to wet his whistle. Googs has been in the league like 37 years and that’s the best you can come up with? How about, “at this point in his career, it’s impossible to distinguish whether the crowd is chanting his name or just simply booing.” God, I need to work on TV. What do you think, T?


Two Stupid Things

First of all, what the fuck was Kendrick Perkins thinking with that flagrant foul on Desmond Mason? It was a stupid move on every level - from the purely practical sense he should know he isn't exactly firmly ensconced in Doc's lineup, so why the fuck would he jeopardize getting suspended for a couple games and lose his minutes to Googs? In the basketball-IQ sense, why would he needlessly take down one of the least intimidating front court players in the NBA during a game that was already lost? I mean, it wasn't like he was taking on Shaq or a psycho like Lee Nailon - Desmond Mason is a professional artist for God's sake.

It seems to me that Kendrick and his malleable little brain have been over stimulated by praise from Pierce and Doc about his "toughness" and he now equates stupid aggression with useful energy. All he has to do is rebound and keep the big guys from the rim - this half-assed "I'm suddenly an enforcer" bullshit is stupid. It's disappointing because KP has been one of the best stories during this sorry Celtics season.

Secondly, I like Jeff over at Celticsblog a lot and I don't want to take a shot at his friend Hagrid, but I couldn't believe the following statement he (Hagrid) wrote about the reasons behind the Milwaukee loss.

"Add the fact that a popular Celtic player, with the longest tenure on the team, was just traded out of town and seeing this let down coming could have been done by Ray Charles (god rest his soul). The C's are generally a tight knit group and even though they've gotten better with accepting that there's a business side of basketball decisions, saying goodby to a friend is still never easy and always draining, to some degree."

What exactly is any of this based on? I mean, we make the occasional assumption here at CelticsDoom, but it's usually just to be funny, and it’s never that great of a leap.
First of all, a "tight knit group"? Please, these Celtics are utterly dysfunctional. Need proof? Watch the bench. Not enough? Then give me proof they're "tight knit," because you don't know any more about the psychological makeup of this team than we do.

"Even though they've gotten better with accepting there's a business side of basketball"???
WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? Dude, Waltah has been begging for a trade and making people miserable with his constant complaining about not getting enough time. Also, he's not exactly a key part of this team, and "losing a friend" isn't really the same thing in professional basketball when millions of dollars are on the line and your constantly competing for a role and playing time. Let me tell you who wasn't "drain(ed)" to say goodby (sic) to Waltah - Googs, Kendrick Perkins, Al Jefferson, Justin Reed and everyone who had to listen to him bitch this season about how miserable he was. Waltah is a dead horse from an era most Celtics fans and players would like to forget, and no one outside of stupid Mark Blount and lonely Jiri Welsch give a fuck that he's gone.

Anyway, we (or at least I) love Celticsblog and don't like to diss them, but I just thought that was a bit ridiculous. Also, I have been entrusted by God to destroy any and all gooey sentiment about my nemesis Waltah in this glorious post-McCarty era. Sorry Hagrid, you're a good man and I am not, and my hatred for Waltah is greater than my admiration for CelticsBlog. Please don’t take it personally.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Player of the Weak

Okay, so Paul Pierce has a good month and suddenly everyone wants to pretend that he’s untradeable, that the Celtics are on the rise, and that number 17 is suddenly in reach. More importantly, that somehow CelticsDoom have erred in our criticism and Pierce has shown us up. Alright, just calm the fuck down.

As anyone who reads this blog and cares to differentiate between the opinions of the two authors knows, I am not a Pierce hater. My beef with PP this year (and last) is that he doesn’t consistently hit open jump shots and he has a bad habit of forcing his offense during crunch time. My position on trading him has also been clear – we probably aren’t going to have the talent level to realistically compete for a championship until Pierce is past his prime, so if we can move him now for a young potential superstar (Deng, Heinrich, etc) and some cap relief, it would probably make sense.

On the other hand, Pierce is a tough dude who hates to lose and when playing inspired ball, actually comes close to justifying his repeated claims about being a “top 10 player” in the league. Not to mention that he’s the Celtics’ best rebounder and an adequate draw for filling seats in the Fleet Center. He’s not the anti-Christ, but he’s not Larry Bird either. He’s a very good NBA player who would ideally thrive in a situation where he was one of two dominant players (preferably a great point guard) and not required to be a “leader” in the Grant Hill or Lebron James way. On the other hand, he’s not even close to the kind of guy you build a championship franchise around.

So those who are wetting themselves about Pierce’s sudden resurgence and the supposed righting of the Celtics ship should ask themselves, “where are we as a team?” The sad answer is that these people are celebrating two fairly minor things 1) Reaching .500 and 2) Our star player/max-contract-guy finally putting together a string of about eight good games. Wow.

I like Paul Pierce and I wish he was could fill the “great Celtic” role last played by Reggie Lewis, but he really isn’t. Making the all-star team is a great personal accomplishment and if he continues on this tear, we might even make some noise in the playoffs. But winning a championship is at best five-years away, and sadly Pierce’s most important contribution to #17 may be the players he can bring us in a trade. Remember, it’s not the name on the back of the shirt, it’s the name on the front.

PS: Sorry for the long delay for new material on the blog. PO has been sick and I have been busy as fuck with work and some other shit. The game recaps are kind of pointless anyway during the wins, you can get more detailed ones at Celticsblog. I figure you don’t need me saying “great win by the Celtics” anyway.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Ricky By the Numbers

After one very good season at Iowa, Ricky Davis was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets (remember them?) late in the first round in 1998. Blessed with raw athletic talent and an offensive flare, Ricky quickly developed a deserved “me first” reputation, basically causing him to be jettisoned from three teams in four years. His arrogance and showboating turned off many fans, culminating in an ill conceived triple-double incident that, hopefully, he can someday make us forget.

On the other hand, unlike many young guns who leave school too early, Ricky never had serious off the court problems. To my knowledge, he’s never killed his chauffer, he’s never run dogfights, he’s never been pulled over with a joint in his mouth, and most of his sexual encounters seem to be consensual.

Ricky’s problems have never been his numbers, but let’s look at them anyway.

Ricky didn’t really get regular minutes until the 01-02 season, his first with Cleveland. This was a pretty bad NBA team, 29 wins, whose scoring leader was Lamond Murray (16.6) and whose leading rebounder was Jurmaine Jones (6.1). Ricky came off the bench and played well. In little more than 23 minutes a game, he shot over 48% and averaged 11.7 points a game.

An even worse Cleveland team, 17 wins, was fielded the next season, when Ricky became a regular starter as well as the focus of the offence. While averaging over 20 points per game, and with very respectable assist/board numbers, Ricky’s shot selection and subsequent field goal percentage suffered (41%). Ricky logged nearly 40 minutes a game during the 02-03 season, and turned the ball over 3.5 times a game. Interestingly enough, Ricky’s numbers that season almost look like Pierce’s this season. In his 22 games with Cleveland last year, all starts, Davis’s production slipped a bit, and he was shipped to Boston.

Boston did Ricky a favor by returning him to the bench last year. His field goal percentage rose again to 49%, 38% from three, as he averaged over 14 a game. His assist/rebounding totals took a big hit, as his minutes decreased almost 10 a game from the year prior, but his TO number dropped too.

After starting the first 7 C’s games this year, Davis was again returned to the bench – where he has thrived. In 32 minutes, Ricky has been a scoring machine whose job it is to provide energy and leadership to the second team. His 15 point per ranks second in the league for 6th men, and his field goal percentage is a very respectable 46%, 37% from three.

The numbers seem to confirm what most of us already know – Ricky Davis is much better coming off the bench. He may not be on the court to start, but he’s there at the end, which seems to suit him fine. Ricky has been an absolute delight this year, playing a style of play that complements his athletic skills and playing with teammates who seem to trust him. Ricky will never be a star in this league, and any attempt to make him a star may backfire. But Ricky can be a very, very good complimentary player who will be an asset to any team for which he plays, for years to come.

Hopefully that team will be the C’s.

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