Boston Celtics: The Big Green Machine

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Celtics/Spurs: What am I Looking For?

Posted by r1zzo23 on July 9, 2007

As we gear up for the Celtics’ second summer league game in Vegas (4:00 PM EST on FSN New England), I’m thinking of who I want to focus on. Gerald Green is always a much-watch type of player, but we know he’s on the team and we know he’s going to have the green light to fire away whenever he wants, be it for his own confidence or to up his trade stock. I’ll tell you that I’m not going to be looking at Glen Davis much because I can’t stand watching him play and don’t think he adds much to this team. Leon Powe is quickly growing on me and becoming one of my favorite players on the team, but it’s too easy for me to assume he’s going to score 10+ points and grab 8+ boards because he has a motor that is always running. I know what I am getting from Powe. Here’s who I will be focusing on: Rajon Rondo, Brandon Wallace, Allan Ray, Gabe Pruitt.

Rajon Rondo, to say the least, was very unimpressive in the first game. He got to the rim at will, but refused to finish, instead deciding to try to thread the needle through two defenders to one of our big men. From what I’ve seen, that’s not even close to one of his best traits and needs to abandon that part of his game. I’d like him to drive and kick or just finish at the rim. Don’t get to the rim and bail the defense out by throwing an awful pass. Make them stop you. Also, I would like to see Rondo start knocking down some jumpshots. Even if he could get enough range for a Kenny Anderson-esque elbow jumper, that would be encouraging.

Brandon Wallace quickly became everyone’s favorite non-roster player on the Celtics. I’m not as high on him as everyone else is, but I’ll be sure to watch him much more closely this game. I’ll be looking at his on-ball defense as well as his help defense in the paint. Other skills such as ball handling and offensive awareness are two other skills I’ll be looking for in this experimental small forward. If he shows he can play some good defense by containing either Marcus Williams or James White, then maybe I’ll be convinced that he deserves a spot on the Celtics’ opening day roster.

Allan Ray, as I discussed in an earlier post, is playing for a job, especially after Danny Ainge had the deadline to give Ray his extension extended by one month. This means that Ainge needs to see if he can bring something more to the table rather than his spotty shooting. Allan Ray didn’t play too well in the first few games of summer league last year and I expect the same to happen this year. Personally, I’m not sure there’s anything that will get Ray on the roster this year, barring a miracle.

The player I want to get significantly more minutes than he did the first game is Gabe Pruitt. He showed that he could potentially be a good replacement for Delonte West. He has great range on his shot and seems to make mostly good decisions when he’s on the floor. I’ll be looking to see Pruitt’s passing as well as defense. These are two aspects of the game that could get Pruitt minutes almost instantly. If he shows he can run an offense and defend his man added to his scoring ability, he’ll be a huge steal at #32 in the draft.

Like I said before, the game is at 4:00 PM EST today and anyone wondering any of the same things I am should be turning in as well. For the key matchup of the day, it’s going to have to be the Battle of the Bulge: Glen Davis & Jackie Butler. I personally hope Butler eats “Big Baby” up, but then again, I guess I should be rooting for the Celtics, even if it is Davis. Hopefully the Celtics look as impressive as they did against the Blazers  and let’s all hope that Gerald Green gives us yet another highlight reel moment.

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