Irish Coffee: What to expect from Celtics’ buyouts
|03.03.11 at 10:40 am ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
The buyout additions of Troy Murphy and (reportedly) Sasha Pavlovic are designed to give the Celtics depth, and surely they will. But every move is made to win basketball games, right?
So, can Murphy and Pavlovic help the C’s win enough games to hold off the Heat or Bulls for the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed — and then contribute to victories as the team chases Banner No. 18?
Throughout the new Big Three era, the Celtics have made similar buyout acquisitions in addition to luring P.J. Brown out of retirement before the 2008 title run. Here’s what they gave you over the past three seasons …
- Sam Cassell averaged 7.6 points, 2.1 assists and 1.8 rebounds in 17.6 minutes during 17 regular-season games for the Celtics in 2008. He then averaged 4.5 points, 1.2 assists and 0.7 rebounds in 12.6 minutes over 21 playoff games. Cassell scored in double figures five times in the regular season and another four in the postseason — and the Celtics won all nine games.
- P.J. Brown averaged 2.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 11.6 minutes during 18 regular-season games for the Celtics in 2008. He then averaged 2.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 13.6 minutes over 25 playoff games. Brown scored in double figures just once — but it came in a 97-92 win over the Cavaliers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
- Mikki Moore averaged 4.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 19.0 minutes during 24 regular-season games for the Celtics in 2009. He then averaged 1.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.4 assists in 6.6 minutes over 10 playoff games. Moore reached double figures twice in the regular season — a win over the Thunder and a blowout loss to the Cavaliers.
- Stephon Marbury averaged 3.8 points, 3.3 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 18.0 minutes during 23 regular-season games for the Celtics in 2009. He then averaged 3.7 points, 1.8 assists and 0.9 rebounds in 11.9 minutes over 14 playoff games. Marbury scored in double figures once in the regular season and twice in the playoffs — all victories.
- Michael Finley averaged 5.2 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 15.0 minutes during 21 regular-season games for the Celtics in 2010. He then averaged 0.8 points, 0.6 rebounds and 0.2 assists in 6.0 minutes over 18 playoff games. The C’s finished 2-1 in the regular season when Finley reached double figures — the lone defeat coming in a blowout loss to the Grizzlies.
I think we can all agree that the 30-year-old Murphy is a better option at this point in his career than any of the aforementioned guys. Heck, a 27-year-old Pavlovic might be, too, considering four of the five guys above never played again — and the one who did (Moore) played just 23 more games in his career.
Since 2008, those five other players reached double-digit scoring 18 times in 191 combined games, and the Celtics finished 16-2 on those occasions — including seven playoff wins.
It’s quite possible Murphy and/or Pavlovic could reach double figures 18 times between the two of them over the course of the next 23 regular-season games and however many playoff games follow. And that bodes well for the C’s in 2011.
JEFF GREEN WANTS TO STAY IN BOSTON
The four-year, $35 million extension Kendrick Perkins signed with the Thunder wasn’t lost on new Celtics forward Jeff Green. In a conversation with the Sporting News, Green said he’d be open to signing an extension with the Celtics — although he hasn’t had a discussion with the C’s brass about it yet.
“I mean, sure, this is a great team and the future is bright for this team with the pieces that we have,” Green told Sporting News on Wednesday. “If it comes to (signing a long-term contract), yeah. It hasn’t come up, though, not at all. We’re focused on getting to the Finals and winning a championship. The contract extension is something that, yeah, I would like that, but it is something that I am going to hold off on.”
KEVIN GARNETT: ‘THE NEW GUYS ARE GOING TO HELP US’
Kevin Garnett provided another insightful behind-the-scenes look into the Celtics in his blog on schoe company Anta’s website. While the Kendrick Perkins trade clearly took its emotional toll on the team, Garnett claims the trade is “setting in” and “the new guys are going to help us.”
“It’s been a crazy week. People don’t really think about the emotions, the connections you make in this game and the friends you make on the way in this journey when you’re in the league. Perk is gone and it’s setting in. It’s been difficult at times, to be honest!
“Now that I got that out of the way. The new guys are going to help us. Green is versitile and can really help us with depth. “Kris” [Nenad Krstic] is more active then I remember and has been finishing around the hoop. When we give them more info about our system, we’ll do better.”
That admission should go a long way in helping the C’s move forward, as the tension was evident even on the floor prior to Wednesday night’s blowout of the Suns. Here are a few more highlights from Garnett’s blog entry:
- “[Delonte] West didn’t play last night because he sprained his ankle while doing “dummy offense.” CRAZY! What a tough season so far for D-West.”
- “Going into Utah, we hadn’t gotten a win there in a minute (6 years). The game was intense, but we prevailed. The team got into some disagreements, but it was good how we handled them. We got things off our chest and then executed. The tricky thing about Utah is that it’s almost like Denver, but not as high. Also, the fans are super close to the court and it gets loud in there.”
- “On the flight back home, we found out that we acquired Troy Murphy and I’m excited to play with him. I think he can really help us and will be a great addition.”
ABOUT LAST NIGHT: CELTICS 115, SUNS 103
WEEI.com’s Paul Flannery and D.J. Bean tag-teamed the news before (the Sasha Pavlovic rumors), during (Glen Davis‘ injury) and after (Garnett’s quips). Here’s a taste of each of their entries before you delve into the tasty Irish meal they created …
- Davis to have MRI on left knee: “That’s why I don’t jump that high,” said Davis. “That’s why I missed that dunk [against Miami]. I can’t jump. My knees hurt.”
- Danny Ainge’s vision becomes clear: They have already begun the off-the-court process. Allen was the first to reach out to Green after the trade. He took him out to dinner on the road and allowed Green to pick his brain. Utah provided the perfect opportunity for all of them to sit down as a group and get to know one another.
- Things end better for Celtics vs. Suns: “Yeah, it was serious,” Davis said. “We owed them.”
- Garnett says Suns coach was asking for playoff tickets: “I don’t really care, but don’t make stuff up. … I’m far from dirty,” Garnett said. “I play the game really hard. I play with my heart. I never going to make any excuses about that, so who cares about what they’re talking about?”
- Fast Break: The last time these two teams played, Rajon Rondo had one of his worst nights of the season, shooting 1-for-6 with seven turnovers. Rondo was at his creative best against the Suns with 14 points, 15 assists and just one turnover.
- Celtics expected to sign Pavlovic: Having missed out on top target Corey Brewer who will sign with the Mavericks, the Celtics are hoping to wrap up a deal with free agent swingman Pavlovic quickly, according to a source.
- Murphy active vs. Suns: “I think it’s the way they play,” Murphy said of choosing the Celtics over the Heat. “I think watching both teams, I think I fit in better with the way Boston plays, the way they spread the floor, and I just like the way they play.”