Rondo: "Is it playoff time?"
The regular season has come and gone and the playoffs are a day away (2 days for the Celtics) from starting. So its time to look back at the regular season and highlight some of the best plays, some of the worst, and give individual grades to the players.
I guess I’ll start with the worst play of the season since it was so recent… (drumrooooollllll) and the award for the worst play this season goes to… Von Wafer for this series of events against the Wizards on Monday.
The best moment of the season? Hands down it goes to Ray Allen when he passed Reggie Miller for the career leader in 3-pointers made. What it made it even more enjoyable was that it was against the hated Lakers.
For the best defensive play of the year I have to give it Kevin Garnett. His reaction after this is what make’s it so convincing.
Dunk(er) of the year goes to the Captain and the Truth, Paul Pierce. He had a few dunks that could have won but I think this one is the best.
Some other great moments to highlight this year:
-Pierce being thirsty
-Some pre-season goofing around
-Rondo and Nate-Rob taking the Big Shamrock down
-Here is NBA.com’s Top 10 plays of the Year for the Celtics
-Rondo’s “statement” against the Heat
Rajon Rondo: He’s had a solid regular season finishing with 10.6 points and finished second in the league in assists with 11.2, just .2 behind Steve Nash. Its not secret that this team goes where Rondo takes them so for them to have a deep playoff run RR is going to need to step his game up from the late-season slump he went through. Grade: B+
Ray Allen: The UConn alumnus had a memorable season as he passed Reggie Miller to become the leagues all-time leader in 3-pointers made. He like the rest of the team have struggled down the final stretch of the season. It became a focal point to get Ray-Ray more shots as his shot total per game fell in the final two months of the season. Grade: B
Paul Pierce: The teams captain had another great year finishing the year with 18.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.2 assists. He also showed that age isn’t a factor, showing some young legs and dunking on people all over the league. He will need to step up and shoulder some of the offensive load in the playoffs for this team to have shot at a title. Grade: B
Kevin Garnett: He stayed healthy and played well. He lost his defensive counterpart when Perkins was traded but still knows that defensive tenacity is what separates this team from others. Garnett needs to be more of an inside presence instead of settling for outside jumpers. He has been the most consistent on the team still provides that burning fire and intensity to help chase a championship Grade: A-
Shaquille O’Neal: The “Big Shamrock” only played 37 games, missing time with various injuries (mainly an achilles heel injury). The team traded Perkins away with the hope that O’Neal can help anchor the inside in the playoffs. Grade: C
Jermaine O’Neal:He like the other O’Neal missed a lot of time with injury. He has played well since returning from his knee injury/rehab and hopefully he can provide a spark off the bench (if he doesn’t start). Grade: C-
Delonte West: Another player, another injury. West missed the first 10 games of the year, came back for 5 before breaking his right wrist and missing over 2 months. When returning he got injured again. When West is in the lineup he provides Rondo with a serviceable replacement (aka not Carlos Arroyo) and offers a lot of versatility. Grade: C+
Jeff Green: I really like Jeff Greens game, I do. I liked the Celtics before the trade though. Green provides mismatches on offense and can be on the wrong end of a mismatch on defense. He is a solid offensive threat that will need to step it up come playoff time. Grade: B-
Glen Davis: He was solid ALL year and I’m assuming he will be leaving as his contract expires, plus there is the potential NBA lockout. Grade: B+
The rest of the bench: Well Carlos Arroyo, Troy Murphy, Avery Bradley, and Von Wafer don’t make a very serviceable crew. Bradley is my favorite of the group and I hope he turns into a solid player. Grade: D+