The Celtics have become the Rodney Dangerfield of the NBA. They just don't get any respect. None of the previews seem to give the Celtics much credit. Not many of them seem to give our young players much of a chance to break out. Even many Celtics fans have fallen off the wagon and no longer expect anything from this team.
Yesterday and today I eagerly checked the Boston newspapers - all of them - for news of the Celtics. After all, it is only 8 days until training camp and most of the players are in Boston working out. There must be news. How is Tony Allen doing? Any news on his trial? How is West's back? How are the scrimages going? Are any players standing out? There has to be something out there. The Herald talked about the scoreboard yesterday, and the Globe had a piece on Bonzi Wells' search for work. Nothing on the Celtics. Again today, nothing on the Celtics... nada.
ESPN has been doing a series titled 2010. The first part asked writers which of the bottom 10 teams would be most likely to win a championship by the year 2010. Even the Knicks were given more of a chance than the Celtics. To give the Knicks more of a chance to win a title than the Celtics is pretty bad.
Then, they looked at which players would break out and rise from mediocrity. You would think that someone would pick one of the Celtics young players who are on the verge of breaking out... Perk... Gomes... West... Al... Green... Telfair... Rondo... Powe... Allen... any one of our core of young players could possibly break out this year. All have the potential to become stars. But did any of the writers pick them? They picked Carlos Arroyo, Gerald Wallace, JR Smith, Hakim Warrick, Raymond Felton, Beno Udrich... The list goes on but not a single Celtic.
Even Danny said that the rest of the league doesn't value our young players as much as he does. West got some props last season but is seen as injury prone. Al has been construed as soft. Gomes got a lot of attention last season, but apparently not enough. Perk should be seen as an up and coming center but he isn't and I don't know why. When the top 20 Center Rankings were posted, Perk wasn't one of them, in spite of having better stats, even in limited playing time than some that were listed. Green is seen as somewhat of a novelty. Wind him up and watch him dunk, but no one sees him as much of a player otherwise.
In David Thorpe's chat he was asked this question:
Being from Boston, me and the rest of the city crave the days of Bird, Parrish and Mchale. Which of the young guys on the Celtics do you see having the most potential to be a star?
Here is his answer:
Ryan Gomes-or nobody. Gerald Green has so far to go. I heard Jefferson lost weight-which is good-but is really lazy still-which is bad. Telfair and Rondo still have a lot to prove. I was kidding about Gomes-he may be their best guy in 4 years from that group, though.
He gives left handed complement to Gomes by saying that in 4 years he may be the best guy. But on the other hand, he is very negative about the prospects of our young players. Not a word about Perk who is poised to break out. He calls Big Al lazy and obviously hasn't seen what he has done this summer. Rondo and Telfair and Green all do have a lot to prove, but I happen to believe that they are going to prove it and in the not too distant future.
In the same chat he was asked if Telfair would flourish in Boston. He dismisses Telfair saying that he doesn't buy him right now because he likes his PGs to shoot a high FG% and make other guys better. I believe that Telfair will make other guys better. I would much rather have a PG who can find the open man and be a pass first PG than one who looks for his own shot.
In another chat wrap, Brian Windhorst has this to say:
It would be nice to see some of the Celts never ending parade of new fresh faces take the step from prospect to great pro. For various reasons it hasn't happened and Danny Ainge keeps importing a new group every year. Supposedly Jefferson is healthy and has lost 30 pounds so he'd be worth watching. They must like Perkins because he just got a four-year extension, which surprised many in the league.
Who did Perkins getting an extension surprise? Certainly not any of the myriad of Celtics fans who have watched him over the past 3 years. Perkins is as good as if not better than Dalembert or Nene who got 10 mil a year. Perk was a steal at 4 mil a year for his extension and he is going to make a lot of these critics stand up and take notice this season.
All I have to say is that there will be a lot of people who are surprised by the Celtics this year. Perk and Al will both have a break out year and then the nay sayers will have a lot of crow to eat. All of our young players are hard workers. Every one will come in to this season better than they were last season. I can't wait to be able to say "I told you so!"
One of your best pieces yet, FL. I totally agree that we don't get enough love from even our own writers. But this is good. Sure it would be great if we were getting national spotlight as the next great team because of how many great young talents we have. But that would put unreal expectations on the shoulders of Jefferson, Green, Telfair, Perkins, etc. That could be disastrous for such young players (Perk, Jefferson, Green, and Telfair are straight from high school players).
Instead, let us sneak up on everyone's radar (everyone except us diehard fans). Let us be the underdog team that goes up against the NBA's best and beat them for the title. Let us be the modern day David and Goliath.
Yeah I too loved it and hold pretty much the same views. Better to be looking at a 35+ win or so season with lots of young talent than an aging team with huge contracts like in the past. I chat ball on the 121 forum but I got absolutely canned when i posted your piece. I hope you didn't mind but I read a lot of blogs and thought it was of decent quality. I'm VERY suprised to see others don't hold the same views about the Celts. These are the same people that talk up Atlanta and guys like JR Smith! I don't get it?
If you want to back up your post then by all means do so but if not great work on the blog mate.
Link to it here http://www.121s.com/viewtopic.php?t=13691