Fantasy Basketball 2010-2011 Team Preview: Boston Celtics (9/8/10)

Not much has changed with the Celtics this season and they should once again have a playoff spot waiting for them if they can keep everyone healthy.   Rajon Rondo will run the offense with Ray Allen at shooting guard, Paul Pierce at small forward and Kevin Garnett at power forward.   The only change for the Celtics is at center where Kendrick Perkins is out for most of the year with torn knee ligaments.  Boston brought in Jermaine O’Neal to start at center, with Shaquille O’Neal backing him up.  The top four should all put up stats similar to 2009, while Jermaine O’Neal will put up decent numbers in his 30 minutes per night.

Projected Depth Chart
PG – Rajon Rondo, Nate Robinson, Avery Bradley
SG – Ray Allen, Delonte West, Von Wafer
SF – Paul Pierce, Marquis Daniels, Tony Gaffney
PF – Kevin Garnett, Glen Davis, Luke Harangody
C – Jermaine O’Neal, Shaquille O’Neal

2009 Team Stats
Pace:   #23, 91.6 (avg. 92.7)
Offensive Rating:   #15, 107.7 (avg. 107.6)
Defensive Rating:  #5, 103.8 (avg. 107.6)
Team eFG%:   #5, 52.2% (avg. 50.1%)
Offensive Rebounding:   #28, 22.8 (avg. 26.3)
Defensive Rebounding:   #12, 73.8 (avg. 73.7)
Opponent’s eFG%:   #9, 48.7 (avg. 50.1)
Points Per Game:  #19, 99.2 (avg. 100.4)

The Celtics are built on defense, but that could take a dip this season now that Thom Thibodeau has moved on to the head coaching job with the Bulls.    The Celtics will probably keep the same defensive scheme and you know they are going to bring effort every night.  The Celtics run at a slow pace, which doesn’t help their fantasy stats or the stats of the opposition.  Combining a slow pace with a top notch defense is usually a bad recipe for fantasy success.  The Celtics also need to improve their rebounding, especially on the offensive glass.  Just about everyone on the team can shoot the basketball efficiently, as evidenced by the #5 eFG% ranking of 53.2%.


Playing Time and Usage Rates
Usage Rate illustrates how involved a player is in the team’s offense.
Player  (2009 MPG)          Usage Rate (2009/Career)
Rondo (36.6)                           20.2/18.9
Robinson (19.9)                     24.4/23.7
Allen (35.2)                             20.2/24.9
West (25.0)                             18.3/17.7
Pierce (34.0)                          23.5/28.1
Garnett (29.9)                        22.1/25.3
Davis (17.3)                            19.7/17.9
J. O’Neal (28.4)                      22.9/25.6
S. O’Neal (23.4)                      25.1/29.7

I don’t see too much change in the usage rates this season for the Celtics.  Allen, Pierce and Garnett are all well below their career usage rates as age finally catches up with the big three.  Delonte West could be an interesting fantasy play and he might be the one player who sees an increae in his usage rate from 2009.  Ray Allen may need to decrease that 35.2 minutes per game figure and West can absorb the minutes.  Marquis Daniels could also see minutes doing the same for Paul Pierce.


Shooting Ability and Shot Location
Player         Career eFG%       Career 3PT         Jumper/Inside
Rondo           49.6                    .1/.6 (24.4%)         48/52
Robinson      49.5                 1.3/3.7 (35.7%)        84/16
Allen              52.3                   2.4/6.0 (39.6%)    77/23
West               50.1                  .9/2.5 (37.3%)       67/33
Pierce            49.5                  1.6/4.3 (36.8%)      67/33
Garnett         50.2                  .1/.5 (28.3%)           70/30
Davis             45.2                   0/0                         42/58
J. O’Neal       46.6                   0/0                          67/33
S. O’Neal       58.1                   0/0                         21/79

Rondo is not a good jumpshooter, but at least he recognizes this and tries to get the ball to the basket.  His Jumper/Inside split is very inside oriented for a point guard.  Nate Robinson is a definite change of pace when he comes in for Rondo.  Nate is a good shooter who likes the jumper.  Ray Allen is still a top notch shooter and he can knock down threes in bunches.   Pierce and Garnett are solid.  Davis and J. O’Neal could use some improvement in their eFG’s

Ray Allen is the primary three point threat, however Nate Robinson and Paul Pierce can knock them down efficiently as well.   None of the Celtic big men are shooters from beyond the arc.


Rebounding Rates
Player               Off/Def/Total
Rondo               4.5/12.5/8.6
Robinson         4.0/9.4/6.7
Allen                  3.5/10.4/7.0
West                  2.3/10.5/6.5
Pierce               3.1/16.0/9.6
Garnett             8.1/25.6/17.0
Davis                 11.5/13.1/12.3
J. O’Neal           8.4/22.1/15.3
S. O’Neal           11.8/23.7/17.9

The Celtics were ranked 28th in the league in offensive rebounding, however sometimes good defensive teams will concede this area in an effort to get back quickly on defense.   It can also be the result of a team with big men who have aged a little and become jumpshooters, much like Pierce, Allen and Garnett have become.   Rajon Rondo is an excellent rebounder from the point guard position and Pierce can hold his own from the small forward spot.  Kevin Garnett has lost a little spring in his knees, but he’s still a good rebounder, espcially on the defensive boards.   Glen Davis is a weak spot on the defensive boards with a soft 13.1 defensive rebound rating.  He’s going to have to improve on that figure.  The O’Neal twins are very similar rebounders and should do well on the inside for the Celtics.


Boston lost the mastermind behind their defensive scheme when Thom Thibodeau took the Bulls head coaching position.  The Celtics should continue to be solid on defense though due to the individual talents of the their stars.
PG – Rajon Rondo is a top notch defensive player and he can shut down opposing point guards on most nights.
SG – Ray Allen can bring above average defense when needed.  Delonte West should also bring the defensive energy off the bench when Allen needs a breather.
SF – Paul Pierce is still solid on defense.
PF – Kevin Garnett is a competitor and he continues to play well above average defense.   Glen Davis can bring good defense off the bench in spurts for Boston.
C – Jermaine O’Neal can still play some defense and he’s a a good shotblocker.   Shaq is old, but still takes up a lot of space and even blocks a few shots.

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