Only one more day until our first Summer League game. Portland's team looks pretty impressive so it should be a good game. Telfair is working out with the Celtics team but isn't expected to play. He does sound like he is turning it around. Either Danny really believes that he has a chance to be good or he is doing damage control and trying to up his trade value.
CelticsStuff Live has a good article on Leon Powe going into his second season. It is no secret that I love this kid. Some fans feel that with Big Baby coming in, Powe is expendable. I don't agree. We need to keep both. A team can never have too many tough players who can defend the basket and rebound. As JB points out, the practices with these two would be worth the price of admission.
With all the attention given the mouth and the girth of Glen "Big Baby" Davis, Leon's competition for rotation minutes in the front court, I'm sure that a lot of observers have already conceded the battle, but I'm sure of one thing, Leon will test Davis' resolve and perhaps even make him question whether he should have gone back to college for one more year.... Leon is a hardened man. He will give no quarter. He also has some talent. ...I'll be watching Powe intently, in those summer league games, but what I really wish I could see are the practices. "Good morning Mr. Davis, my name is Powe, welcome to the NBA. I hear you are going to take my job."
Doc is looking to hire another coach as Dave Wohl is moving up to management. Even though the Celtics have lost 2 assistants (Brown quit over contract negotiations), Doc plans to hire just one new assistant. Kevin Eastman will move to the bench, which may be a good thing since he is known as a very good X and O coach and that is one of Doc's weaknesses.
There is still more reaction to the Ray Allen trade. The Green Room is kind of on the fence about it but doesn't see it as a bad thing. SouthCoast Today says that the deal makes sense but another deal is needed. Lowell Sun tells us that unlike other stars that were rumored to come here, Ray Allen is very happy to be here. Worcester Telegram discusses the reaction of Tanguay and Dickerson to the trade.
Town Online and Hartford Courant discuss the Celtics picking up Gomes' option. As always, Scott Souza is on top of things in the off season. He has become one of my favorite Celtics writers.
Thinking further about Steve Bulpett’s story in the Herald today about Ryan Gomes, you have to give a nod to the front office for signing a second-round draft pick to a three-year contract. In a summer when the Pistons are going to have to decide whether to offer high schooler Amir Johnson - he of a 30-point night against the Celtics in the season finale, but only 11 career games played over two seasons - a multi-million dollar, multiyear deal, Gomes is back in the fold for less than $800,000. Some have questioned why Danny Ainge takes up chunks of his mid-level exception to sign second-rounders every year, but this is an example of that working out about as well as possible. With buyout clauses, there isn’t much downside to the move when it doesn’t work out as well (Where have you gone, Orien Greene?). The problem comes next year when the Celtics have to decide whether to give a huge raise to a player they have been paying near-minimum money - a stumbling point that often makes it hard to re-sign a second-round steal.
Jessica Camerato tells us that the Celtics should target Brevin Knight. He is a veteran PG and would be good as a back up and veteran presence. But, the question now is whether Telfair and Gabe Pruitt will be able to handle those duties so that we don't need to sign another PG. In my opinion, we could use a veteran center and defensive presence more than another PG.
411 Mania is doing an article on the top 25 players under 25 and Big Al comes in at 15. This kid is good and he is only going to get better. He is just scratching the surface of his talent and there is no way we should ever consider trading him, especially for a couple of years of Kevin Garnett.
Worcester Telegram has a good article on Gabe Pruitt and the loss of his backcourt partner from USC.
Gabe Pruitt, selected No. 32 by the Celtics in the NBA Draft last Thursday, had to cope with the death of his backcourt partner at the University of Southern California. Ryan Francis, who would have been a sophomore point guard at USC in the 2006-07 season, was shot in May 2006 while visiting his family in Baton Rouge, La. When he met the media at the Celtics' practice facility Monday, Pruitt was wearing a wristband with Francis' name on it, and he later told a reporter, “I'll never forget him.” After starting his career as a point guard in 2004-05, Pruitt moved to the shooting guard spot the next season to accommodate freshman Francis. Following the death of Francis, Pruitt played more of the point last season when he averaged 12.5 points, 4.3 assists and 2.8 rebounds. “He was so young and you expected him to be there for three more years,” Pruitt told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. “It was kind of awkward. This was supposed to be Ryan Francis' position, so I just tried to do whatever I could to carry his legacy on.”
Pruitt should fill the void left in the back court by Delonte West. I loved Delonte. He has heart and was becoming a leader on the team and I feel that he is going to continue to get better. Pruitt has some big shoes to fill here. If he can help as a PG right away as well as fill in at the 2, Danny may not need to bring in another PG and can concentrate on finding a defensive big to fill that need.
The Big Green Machine has a good article analyzing the Celtics roster and payroll. Hat tip to the Green Bandwagon for pointing out this blog. Looks like a good one. SI.com has an article on the Chinese Magic Johnson, Sun Yue. Danny had him in for 2 workouts before the draft and I honestly thought that he was going to be our 32nd pick. It will be interesting to see how he works out in LA.
That's it for now. I can't wait for tomorrow night's game. I am going through basketball withdrawal. Portland looks to be a very tough team so it is going to be a hard game for us to win. I hope Big Baby, Leon, Rondo and Green impress. Doc won't be coaching, so hopefully we will have a chance. Tomorrow I plan to put up a preview of this game. 1 day till Summer League, 89 days till training camp.