Postgame Spread
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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Sure And Begorah, B'Jaesus: Celts Talk    

1) Part of the recent assistant coaching shakeup was the hire of former Magic assistant Clifford Ray, a big-man specialist.  The link summarizes his resume nicely.  The fact that Dwight Howard has flourished under his tutelage, and likewise that Darko Milicic appears poised to shed his "you're not Melo/Bosh/Wade" stigma, has to be encouraging for us Jeff & Perk fans.  Holla!  Now, if only the head coaching staff could be shaken up... hell, even Danny Ainge expressed concern recently over Doc's ADHD coaching style.  (Also from CelticsBlog.)

2) The draft.  I got a big one brewing here, so get comfortable.

In a draft with six valuable players, they have the #7 pick.  Normally, this would concern me.  And yet I am perfectly happy, because I will guarantee that one of those six will drop to the Celtics at #7.  Have you not seen who's drafting ahead of Boston?  Minnesota, Portland and Atlanta!  Not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

The odds of none of those teams screwing up, assuming (very generously) that they have a 50/50 shot at doing the right thing, are 1 in 8.  That means there's an 87% chance that one of them will screw up royally (paging Rudy Gay... please report to the draft podium...) thereby allowing someone with actual value to fall into the open, comforting arms of Danny Ainge.  Even if you get super-generous and assume draft success is a 66/34 proposition, you're looking at just under a 10% chance (8 in 81) of all three teams doing the right thing.  Either way, the odds of utter failure (Mr. Gay, please report...) are just as good as the odds of complete success (Ainge getting the 4th-best player in the draft).  But all Ainge has to do is force a single mistake... a mistake that need not even appear to be a mistake (paging Mr. Rudy Gay, your flight is leaving...).  So I'm not worried in the least.

Putting aside my personal desire to trade the pick for a moment (the Celtics have plenty of cousins already... they need an uncle), my draft board would look something like this.  I have listed only those players who I believe have a shot at dropping to #7, for whatever reason.  I see no way for LaMarcus Aldridge to drop, so they are excused from consideration.  Likewise I have excused the enigmatic pain in the ass Rudy Gay.  A message to you, Rudy... you SUCK!  I think Gay's ESPN page actually lists his position as headcase instead of small forward.  So he's not on the list.  Anyway:

1. Brandon Roy
2. Adam Morrison
3. Ty Thomas
4. Marcus Williams
5. Andrea Bargnani

If none drop: Shelden Williams.
Please don't take: Rudy Gay

My justifications for why those top four on the list guys could drop:

Roy: East Coast bias, of course!  Brandon Roy is the best player in the draft.  But as a 2-guard who emerged as a senior, and who drew little media attention, the Blazers, Bobcats and Wolves may be underwhelmed by the entire package.  Let's hope they are.

Morrison: The lingering doubts about his defense, as well as his medical condition (type 1 diabetes), are exactly the kind of things that lead to moronic draft-day nosedives.  Even though his ceiling is lower than those of his competition, he addresses the Celtics' primary needs: instant offense in the second unit, toughness, and leadership.  Sure, he cried like a bitch on national television, but he plays with more fire than the rest of the draft combined.  The Celtics need that fire more than they need another high-ceiling project.

Thomas: Draft Express actually has Ty falling to #7.  Not that they're right, or that this is terribly likely, but it's actually more logical than you'd think.  Toronto and Chicago will probably take Bargnani and Aldridge.  Charlotte and Portland both need scorers at the 2/3 positions; Roy and Morrison fit that bill.  The Hawks need a point guard pretty badly, so Marcus Williams makes more sense for them than would another forward.  The T-Wolves already have Kevin Garnett (right now) so they might prefer Gay, who can at least share the floor with KG and Ricky Davis.  That leaves Ty Thomas on Ainge's lap.  QED.  In that scenario, nobody of the top six makes a mistake, makes a reach, takes someone indefensible.

Marcus Williams: Frankly, I think this guy isn't All That.  He's the most likely to drop.  Even the Hawks might look at him and come away unimpressed.  But he's still the top PG in the draft, and the Celtics could use one.  (Unless you're a Dan Dickau fan!  Speaking of Dick, if he becomes a fan favorite, wouldn't his cheering section have to be The Dickheads?  That's a rock-solid reason to root for the guy.)

Bargnani: Although he's the least likely to drop, he's my least favorite of the top 6.  A power forward without power.  A Euro who has been compared to Dirk Nowitzki, but will probably end up more like Vlad-manovic.  Not interested.  But if he's still around, you might as well take him.  Better him than Gay.

Shelden Williams: Another anti-Gay choice, but this one is a much bigger slap in the face.  As much as I loathe Duke University and everything it stands for, I'd rather have a low-ceiling contributor like The Slumlord than a waste of time like Gay.  Reliable, experienced, and tough enough.  He'd suck up minutes and fouls for a team in need of a backup big.  He'd also increase the roster's average forehead size by at least six square inches, which could be useful somehow.

Rudy Gay:  The only possible way for this draft to fail.  Rudy Gay is like the ugly weird chick you only go home with because the bar just closed... you keep your fingers crossed and pray that it works out.  I'd just assume let Houston have him.  Swap picks with Houston and see if they give up a future second-rounder or something.

Again, I would much prefer that the Celtics trade out.  Maybe package the pick along with Tony Allen or Ryan Gomes for a future, non-lottery-protected #1.  Or even better, acquire a cagey veteran.  Hell, he doesn't even have to be that cagey... I'd settle for someone old enough to buy a drink.  But if not, ABG... anyone but Gay.


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