Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Reed All About It

Provided a team consisting of Dr. Chestnutt (with his bad knee/back), RD fan, willie, wassup and myself could compete in Vegas this week; it is still very encouraging to see how well the Young-Cs are doing. Dominating - in fact.

You can bet that Pierce, while in town, isn’t hanging out with our future. The team looks rested and not hung-over. They haven’t been stabbed as far as I can tell. You can also tell that he’s not talking to them about basketball. They have started fast and haven’t been in any fights. Ace bandages are being used for ankles, not props.

By all accounts I have read, West is leading the team admirably and in control; his low assist totals notwithstanding. Gomes is everything that he was at Providence, a solid contributor who goes after every ball, hits the boards and has a soft touch around the rim. Green’s flare has been well documented, but I’m more excited about his outside shot. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a 2/3 who can shoot? Our starting SG last year shot 37% from three. Who was that again? Allen has had two good games and one disappearance. Perk and AJ have had trouble it seems, but I’ll attribute that to young officials feeling their way in what is their "rookie" league.

The Celtic story of the summer league, though, is last year’s find from the second round, Justin Reed. We heard he had some game, we read that he was a great defender (and saw it in small doses, like the block on Kobe in LA), and Danny insisted throughout the year that he would eventually contribute. Given the time, and teammates who actually pass him the ball, Reed has been the model of consistency in just three games in Sin City. In little over 24 minutes a game, the small forward is averaging over 12 points while shooting 54%. He’s helping out on the glass and, according to the articles I have read, played stifling defense. Reed is the perfect type of role player the Celtics need in the future, and another example of Danny’s draft philosophy.

Over the past three years, for every flashy athlete Danny has drafted, he has also added an equally un-flashy basketball player. For every Banks there is a West. By my count, DA has drafted three great athletes (MB, TA, GG), three solid basketball players (DW, JR, RG), one who is both (AJ) and one who was neither (KP). I love this mix of talent and b-ball IQ. Allowed to properly grow together, this young core could provide us with some great years ahead.

Back to Reed for a second. I recall reading last year that our loner captain and Reed were real tight off the court. Dr. Chestnutt theorized that, as a defensive specialist, Pierce did not view Reed as a threat to his minutes, or number of shots.

If Justin keeps this up the next few games, look for a Pierce/Reed falling out.

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