This week we are going to look at the positional battles that will be taking place once training camp begins. We have a very deep team with battles at literally every position, with the only sure thing being Pierce will start. Jeff over on CelticsBlog will be going the same thing this week so check out his thoughts as well.
This season in training camp, we should have some very heated battles at several positions. Perhaps the most heated will be at point guard.
Last season began with Delonte, Will Bynum, Dan Dickau, Marcus Banks, and Orien Greene vying for playing time. Bynum was cut before the season. Banks was injured to begin the year. Delonte beat out Dickau and Greene for the starting spot and held it all year with some very inspired play.
Greene is gone to Indiana, Bynum will be in Italy, and Dickau will be playing in Portland this season. Delonte will be once again battling for the starting point guard spot. On draft day, Danny traded for Telfair and drafted Rondo, two very quick pure point guards.
Before the draft Delonte mentioned that he was hurt that Danny was making Point Guard his priority but that it would make him work harder. He worked hard last year to become a floor leader and to be a very effective PG. Now this year, he will have to battle for his spot once again. One of the knocks on him last season was that he always went left and was therefore too predictable. He has mentioned several times this off season that he is working on his right hand and will be able to use his right hand just as well as his left hand.
Delonte isn't a pure point guard. He played shooting guard in college and it may be that Doc will use him more at his natural position. But you know that wherever Delonte plays, he will give it his all.
Telfair is expected by many to be the starting PG this season. He was very highly regarded coming into the league. He had a disappointing season last year and was playing in a system that didn't use his strengths. We saw in the summer league that he is more than capable of running the fast break and is a pass first PG. Watching him though, he tended to dribble a bit too much and also tried to make the plays a bit too flashy. The knock against Telfair is his size. He is not quite 6' and this may be an issue going up against some of the bigger PGs.
Rondo seemed to run the team more under control. He wasn't as flashy as Telfair but was very effective in running the fast break. He was very effective at finding the open man and kept the offense moving better than Telfair seemed to. Also, Rondo's defense is much better than Telfair's. Rondo has huge hands and long arms and should be very effective on defense. The knock against Rondo was his shooting but reports are that he has been working 2 + hours a day on his shot and should come into training camp with a much improved shot.
This is going to be a 3 way race for the PG spot with all three working hard. Each one brings different strengths to the team and each one has areas that they needed to work on this off season. I see West playing more at the 2 this season and Rondo and Telfair sharing the PG duties. Telfair will probably be the starter to begin the season but I believe that Rondo will be the starter by the end of the season.