Derrenmatts has once again posted a great article on Celtics Green. I agree with his points and feel that this season we have a team that can accomplish these things. Pierce or Wally should be leading in scoring but we have bigs who should lead in rebounds (if Doc plays them) and PG's who should lead in assists. I also agree that Powe needs to stay with the team and come off the bench as I believe he is ready to contribute in this league. Al and Powe make a very good combo. I like the second team of West, Rondo, Powe, Al, and Tony (or Green for more offense). I am excited that more than any year in recent memory, we have the players to accomplish all of these Keys. Here is Derren's article:
Narrowing down the top 5 keys to success for this season can be a bit stressful on the mind. There are so many things to include that it can easily be the top 15 keys to success. But I think I've narrowed it down to the most important ones, and I think you'll agree with this list.
Top 5 keys to a successful '06 ~ '07 season
1. Paul Pierce cannot lead the team in rebounding, assists, steals, and turnovers again, like he did last year. We have better talent surrounding him that he shouldn't be the team leader in all those categories anymore. Its a burden on him and his amazing individual accomplishments proved to be wasteful. Its no wonder why we only won 33 games last season, when Pierce's 6.7 rpg and 4.8 apg was the best on the team. The only stat he should be leading the team in is scoring--plain and simple. If he's the top rebounder or top assist man again, something is definitely wrong.
2. We need our big men to step up strong and reel in rebounds. Collectively, our big men need to be averaging 30~35 boards per game. This is why we need Powe staying with the team and not playing in the D-League, because we need his rebounding off the bench. Between Perkins, Jefferson, Gomes, Ratliff and Powe, they need to be grossing 80% of the teams rebounds. Its an eye popping statistic that proves that teams win when they outrebound their opponents.
3. We need 5 players scoring in double digits. We ended last season with just 3 players accomplishing this feat (Pierce, Wally and Delonte). Even though Celtics fans are screaming for better defense, we will always be a better offensive team as long as Danny Ainge is in charge. With that in mind, our offense needs to be efficient and well oiled. And when we are playing well offensively, and the ball is moving around and our PG's are running the team to perfection, many guys will dent the scoreboard. Shots will be coming from all over the court, as Wally, Delonte, Pierce and Gomes receive set up passes from Telfair and Rajon and Jefferson, Perk and Powe receive passes inside the paint as Telfair and Rajon penetrate into the lanes.
4. We go only as far as our bench takes us. Look at any of the top teams and you'll see that they have a strong bench. Starters are the heavy hitters, but the bench has just as much responsibility and ownership. If they don't pull their part, the team goes nowhere. Early indications seem to point toward Rajon, Delonte and Jefferson being the primary players off the bench (and hopefully Leon Powe will also be included in this group). Rajon is an incredible PG and I'm confident that he will impact the game off the bench with his speed, his passing, and his defense. Delonte gives us an instant scoring presence from the perimeter, while Jefferson gives us a rebounding and scoring presence in the trenches. Having Powe in their with Jefferson gives us 2 rebounding and scoring backup big men who will keep us from losing ground on the all important rebounding battle against our opponents. Hopefully Tony Allen, Gerald Green and Theo Ratliff help to solidify our bench's contributions as well.
5. Improve our defensive intensity and production. I'm thinking that we have enough quick hands on our team to be a top 3 team in the NBA in steals. As an example, against the Knicks on Saturday night, we tallied a mind boggling 20 steals and forced them into committing 31 turnovers. Delonte, Tony, Sebastian and Powe all had 3 steals apiece, while Rajon and Gomes had 2 each. We may not have a lot of size on this team, but we are quick and athletic and this may be our meal ticket to improve our defensive output. Steals are just as good as blocked shots.
Taking care of these 5 keys will certainly put us in the 45 - 50 win plateau. And realistically, these are attainable goals. Probably the most difficult one to reach is the 4th key to success (a strong bench). We are young and counting on young player to produce off the bench consistently is not a given. They will be up and down.
Overall, we will experience turbulence during the season. Relying on extremely young PG's to run the show will not always go smoothly. And our big men are prone to foul trouble. But as a whole, there are a lot of things to be hopeful for and once we start clicking and start nailing these keys to success, we will surprise many teams and critics around the league. And its only a matter of time--young players don't stay young forever. Eventually they will learn how to stretch their wings and fly on their own. source:Derrenmatts - Celtics Green