Steve Bulpett gives an encouraging look at the Celtics from their Summer League performances. I noted a few things from this article in particular: 1. Powe is a tough kid who knows how to handle himself inside. So far Danny hasn't offered him a contract but I sure hope he does. We have 15 players under contract as of now but hopefully Danny will be able to make room for this kid. I think he will be a player and can help us with our defense and rebounding under the basket. 2. Al didn't play as badly as most reports said he did. He needs to get ready for the kind of passes he will be getting this year from Rondo and Telfair. I think it may take a time of adjustment for everyone to get used to those passes. Just as back in the 80s Bird's teammates always needed to be ready for his unexpected passes, this year's Celtics need to be ready to get a pass at any moment...whether the PG is facing them or not. 3. Rondo has been called the steal of the draft by several GM's. Danny had considered holding him back but now he figures to be right there in the mix for playing time. I see our PG rotation being Telfair, Rondo and West backing up both of those with Delonte being mostly used at SG. 4. Dwayne Jones wasn't played much because they were looking mostly at Powe. Whether that was the whole reason remains to be seen but I do hope they find a roster spot for Powe. Jones showed at the end of last year he has a knack for rebounding and could help us there but he is still raw especially on the offensive end and could probably benefit from more time in the DLeague. 5. Summer League has me excited about the prospects of this team this year. The kids are making progress. We now have 2 pass first pure PG's who are capable of pushing the ball up the court and finding the open man. I would love to see how they play with Pierce and Wally. I want to see how this group does before any major trade goes down.
Leon Powe: He’s gotten better with time here. One of the toughest things to deal with for most of those entering the NBA is going from having the ball when you want it to finding out how to make the most of limited opportunities. After being tentative in the opener, Powe began picking his spots and scoring via offensive rebounds. He’s a tough kid who knows how to handle himself and the ball inside.
- Al Jefferson: He wasn’t nearly as off here as some believe, and he actually did quite well when the Celts were able to get into a set and work the ball to him. He definitely needs to do a better job of expecting and catching the passes of Sebastian Telfair and Rajon Rondo, and his defense continues to be an issue, but the first step for Jefferson is to be less tentative with his steps (the right ankle is still a problem).
Rajon Rondo: After checking him out here, execs from two different teams pronounced him the steal of the first round. The Celts had planned to wait on Rondo this season, but with the ability he’s shown here to upset an opponent with his defense and get pretty much anywhere he wants with the ball, that timetable might be sped up considerably. His outside shot is still suspect, but even with foes backing off him, Rondo was still able to get into the lane.
I'm really excited for the kids. We probably have the best collection of young kids who have a lot of talent and untapped potential. Leading the way are Gerald Green, Al Jefferson, and Sebastian Telfair. These 3 guys could be our future star players who are the cornerstone of the team. Right behind them are other terrific looking young players; Kendrick Perkins, Ryan Gomes, Delonte West, Rajon Rondo, Tony Allen, Dwayne Jones, Leon Powe and Allan Ray (I think they'll make the team coming out of summer league). This is undoubtedly the best accumulation of young players on any one team in the NBA, bar none.