A few things of note in today's news. First, The Herald has a piece on Delonte West. When asked earlier about Danny's search for a point guard, Delonte said it upset him. If it didn't, I would be worried about his competitive nature. Today's article shows us that he is willing to do whatever it will take to win.
“I see the guys that we brought in are great additions that can change things up and play different styles of basketball. Overall, that makes us a greater threat out on the basketball court. So whatever way it goes, I’m rollin’ with it. “Whatever my role is this year, that’s my role, and I’m going to try to do it to the best of my abilities.”
I can see Delonte's role being that of a 6th man and backing up both the Point and the 2 guard. I honestly believe that he will be more effective as a shooting guard than he was as a point guard. He should bring a burst of energy off the bench and bring some much needed offense that the second team lacked last year. However, don't expect Delonte to get wrapped up in stats or awards. When told that he might be in the running for 6th man of the year he had this to say: “I could be the eighth man of the year,” he said. “That’s fine, too.” You have to love kids like this.
Mr. Roto has a great preview of the Celtics on NBA.com. He is previewing the Celtics for the Fantasy League, but it is one of the better previews I have seen. Unlike most of the writers, he doesn't just dismiss the Celtics as a young team who won't win again this season. He has this to sum up his preview:
Boston has the talent to take a step and become a playoff team this season. It will take a number of key young players improving their games and becoming far more consistent: Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, and Al Jefferson come to mind. The Celtics' defense in particular will need to tighten up and with Kendrick Perkins and Theo Ratliff blocking shots in the middle and with Rajon Rondo grabbing steals, they might actually pull it off.
What this team needs this year is….a motivator. There needs to be a wholesale conversion to play better defense, more intently, more consistently and with more confidence as a team.
I have to agree with this statement wholeheartedly. Defense was one of our biggest weaknesses last season and it began and ended with Doc's disregard for it. He didn't work on defensive sets as a team and always said that it was the players' job to work on their defense individually. But a team also needs to develop a defensive identity as a team and that has to come from the coach. Let's hope that Doc "gets it" this season!
The Celtics are featuring Lucky in their marketing this season. I guess they learned their lesson last season when they featured Ricky in many of their ads, which became obsolete when he was traded mid-season. My guess is that with Danny's itchy trigger finger as far as pulling off a trade, any players they may feature may not be here by the trade deadline so they are playing it safe with Lucky.
With Gotham's promotion to COO, he's in charge of bringing in revenue through sales, marketing, consumer services, investments in technology, signage contracts, etc. The bottom line produced by Gotham impacts, in no small way, the product Ainge can put on the court. "Like maintaining Paul Pierce, instead of letting him go as a free agent," says Gotham. "We want to be able to keep the guys Danny likes." If younger players like Ryan Gomes, Tony Allen and Al Jefferson prove their NBA mettle, the Celtics don't want to go broke re-signing them.
So I guess that we can thank Gotham for the cheerleaders, the Lucky campaign, the luxury boxes, etc. But if they are going to earn revenue so that we don't go broke signing our young players... well I guess they are a necessary evil. I still think the best marketing tool is a quality team on the floor.
Finally, stay tuned for a big announcement from CelticsStuff Live about their first annual Predict the Celtics' Record Contest. So put your thinking cap on, work the numbers and get ready to make your best guess as to the Celtics record for this season! Keep watching for the official announcement coming soon!