We read articles and previews every day about how young the Celtics are and that because of it, we won't win many games. It seems that everyone equates youth with inexperience. The truth is that we may be young but many of those young players now have experience. The team has 12 players that have three years or less of professional experience. Out of those 12, seven are returning players all of which averaged at least 15 minutes a game for the Celtics.
Perk has 3 years of experience. Al, Delonte, Telfair and Tony all have 2 years experience. Green and Gomes both have 1 year of experience, although with his college experience, it seems as though Gomes has more.
Every one of them has worked hard on their games in the off season, improving the areas that they were weak in. They have built confidence in themselves and their abilities. The core of these young players have grown together as they gained their experience in the league. The chemistry that they have built is important to the success of the team. They played together all of the off season, building further chemistry and familiarity with each other's games.
We can no longer equate our youth with inexperience. This season I expect several of our players to take their games to the next level. Tommy Heinsohn agrees with me that Perk and Al will have a break out season. They are determined and have worked very hard to put the injuries that plagued them last season behind them. Both have worked with Clifford Ray through the off season and now both are learning from Theo Ratliff who is gladly mentoring them in the nuances of playing under the basket.
People can talk about how young our team is, but it can no longer be used as an excuse for poor performance. Quite the contrary, our youth can be a benefit. We should have more stamina and be able to run longer because of our youth. We have a lot of young and athletic players who can keep the running game going throughout the game. Being so young, we should be able to run other "older" teams out of the gym and make our youth into a benefit rather than an obstacle.
Yes, we are young, but we are no longer inexperienced and that is a good thing.
Excellent work, FL. Yes, we have a lot of young players on the team. But these young players actually have some NBA experience under their belts and are not green in the gills.
Of the young players, Gomes, Delonte, Perk and Tony are solid enough to be play heavy minutes and contribute very nicely. Jefferson and Telfair are younger than these guys, but they are poised to have a breakout season. And Rajon and Gerald may be surprise players for us this season, even with their lack of NBA seasoning.
Pierce, Wally and Theo are our primary veterans, and we'll see if they will be enough to carry us during tough stretches.
I'm confident that a handful of our young players will step up to bigger roles.