Image via Wiki Commons CC 2.0
The NBA playoffs are in full swing. Unfortunately for Celtics fans, their team is not involved. For the first time since 2007, Boston basketball is not playing a role in the NBA postseason, as the team is in full-fledge rebuilding mode, following their 25-57 season under first year head coach Brad Stevens. Though few debate the Celtics rebuilding strategy is sound (at least at the outset), it’s still no fun not having playoffs.
With that in mind, it’s impossible to miss the myriad of Celtics scattered across the NBA. And like the storied history of the franchise itself, many of those former players are winners, who are playing on 2014 playoff teams. Where are they, you ask? Well, more than simply pointing out who is where these days, we decided it might be fun to assemble them all on a “Celtics alumni team” and see where they might stack up against the NBA’s best.
Without further ado, your 2014 ex-Celtics roster, complete with coaches, starters and bench players:
Doc Rivers (Clippers)
Tom Thibodeau (Bulls)
Center: Kevin Garnett (Nets)
Power Forward: Al Jefferson (Bobcats)
Small Forward: Paul Pierce (Nets)
Shooting Guard: Joe Johnson (Nets)
Point Guard: Jordan Crawford (Warriors)
Kendrick Perkins (Thunder)
Glen “Big Baby” Davis (Clippers)
Tony Allen (Grizzlies)
Courtney Lee (Grizzlies)
Jermaine O’Neal (Warriors)
Jason Collins (Nets)
Ray Allen (Heat)
Granted, this isn’t all of the former Celtics (sorry, MarShon Brooks), but it’s a majority of them. Clearly, the weakness of the team is at point guard, where Jordan Crawford is basically the only true representative (that’s what you get when Rajon Rondo dominates the position for the Celtics as long as he has).
The strategy would certainly be to sub out Crawford immediately, put in either Ray or Courtney and then simply let Paul run the offense from the small forward position, kicking it to his shooting guards when the defense collapses, or feeding KG and Al. Essentially, the team turns out to be a recreation of the Doc Rivers Celtics, except they trade Rondo for Joe Johnson (not a total loss by any means). Also, they get a redo with Al Jefferson, which fans would have no problem with.
Would they go far? If healthy, I wouldn’t bet against them. Other than the noted weakness at point guard, they could present difficulties to virtually all of the 2014 playoff teams. Their depth is actually pretty underrated.
In reality, this can’t actually happen. Still, now you now know where essentially all of the former Celtics are, so you can root for them in the playoffs, even though the Celtics won’t play a game.
Best part of creating this team? Doc, as coach, would probably be grateful to escape from L.A. given that the owner of the team he coaches for is a terrible man.