The Celtics play the Bucks tonight in Vegas. The Summer Celtics were thrown for a loop when 3 of their teammates were pulled and traded during warmups and suffered their first Vegas loss. They've had a day off to regroup and hopefully they will play well in today's game. There is still plenty of talent on the team. Granted, E'Twaun was emerging as the most consistent scorer and JaJuan was coming around, but Christmas was playing as well as Moore and Sullinger should be able to lift his game a level or two and take up the slack. Perhaps Jamar Smith and Craig Brackens will also step up in this one. Then again, fatigue could be a problem as the Celtics are playing in their 9th game in 13 days while the other team is just on their 4th game, since the Celtics are the only team playing in both Summer Leagues.
According to the Herald:
The Celtics now have 13 players under contract for next season, quietly adding guard Jamar Smith two weeks ago. They are trying to add Dionte Christmas to the mix and add another inside player, as well.
Christmas has been averaging 16 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game in SL play. He's got size on his side at 6'5". Smith is 2 inches shorter at 6'3" and has averaged 11.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Both have shot the ball well with Smith shooting 42.9% from the floor and 42.0% from beyond the arc. Christmas has a better field goal percentage at 47.6% but shot only 35.2% from beyond the arc. Smith has more assists but Christmas has done better on the boards. They have 2 games left to prove themselves and it should be fun to watch but the real competition between the two will be in training camp. Just think about all the puns and witty headlines that we can use if we sign Christmas though.
The Celtics are also trying to add another inside player. The pickings are very slim in that department. There may be other waivees or amnestees that pop up but likely Danny will have to pick from one of the available centers out there now. With Stiemsma all but gone, ere's the list I came up with:
Darko Will probably demand more than we can offer
Blatche known headcase
Tony Battie (He did save PP's life)
Eddie Curry (talk about slim pickings)
Fesenko big body
Nazr Mohammed (think he's close to deal with Nets)
Ben Wallace (I thought he retired)
Shelden Williams (not likely)
Chris Andersen (lots of baggage)
Leon Powe (I love Leon)
Hassan Whiteside (could be another Steamer? 5 rpg and 3 bpg in SL but project?)
Greg Oden (Can he stay healthy?)
Like I said, the pickings are very slim. They all have some question marks. Any thoughts on who would best fit with the team and fit the need for another inside player? Maybe there's a D-League player like Stiemsma last year that Danny can find.
Courtney Lee is excited to be a Celtic and tweeted that he has signed his contract and it's official.
Just signed my second contract. It's official.��������������
— Courtney Lee (@CourtneyLee2211) July 20, 2012
I'm really hoping that JaJuan's reluctance to report to Houston won't somehow mess up the trade. Lee and Terry are a big upgrade over Ray. In so many ways, I'm glad Ray decided to stick it to the Celtics and join the Heat. Now, the hole on defense is their problem. As many points as Ray scores, he gives up as many or more on the defensive end. Both Lee and Terry are good defenders. And what's more, we no longer have to watch the team waste possessions to set 2, 3 or 4 screens to get Ray open only to end with a rushed shot at the end of the shot clock. Lee and Terry can both create their own shot. I'm giddy just thinking about it.