The Daily Ubuntu is a collection of Celtics-related news and columns from around the intarwebs, just so that you keep in touch with our favourite green team.
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Today’s edition features talk about wrapping up the postseason, Doc’s view on the backup point role and more.
Post-game interview from Rondo, KG and Pierce. Watch out they take turns to answer a few questions, then slip away soon as the next teammate is ready to leave – funny! (via Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston)
Interesting blurp: you can see Rondo being the leader here, as he is keeping an eye on everyone in the locker room (out of camera), and directing guys to do their share of the post-game interview.
Here’s our favourite (White) Mamba doing a season preview for the team, check it out all you Scal fans. (via CelticsLife, CSNNE)
Preseason wrap up
Sherrod does a very good job summing up what we have seen so far on the preseason games, the storylines being Rondo’s leadership, a defense that is still in the midst of working out its kinks, and of course Jeff Green’s growing contributions every game.
Kris Joseph makes the team, Celtics will cut two more – CelticsBlog
With the need to cut the roster down to 15 men, it’s quite likely that Kris Joseph will be staying on. Jeff Clark muses on the possibility of having Kurz and Downs in the D-League team, and Joseph’s role in the season ahead.
I like how Joseph has begun to assert himself, especially on offense. Given time, he has the potential to become the second insurance policy for Paul Pierce, and I’m looking forward to that development. Until then, would it be better for him to head over to the Red Claws, or to play garbage time in season minutes?
The case for starting Brandon Bass – Red’s Army
John Karalis puts forward a strong argument for putting Bass into the starting lineup. Bass provides consistent defense and offense, and the main sell (in my opinion) is that enthusiasm aside, Sully would fare much better against the opponent reserves than he would fighting against enemy starters on the floor.
What do you think?
Sullinger hops on ‘dinosaur’ train – ESPN Boston
A great summary piece of Jared Sullinger. Greg Payne describes how Sully’s various skills on the court translated into results, which in turn convinced Doc to let the rookie run with the starters.
In some instances, the little things stood out with Sullinger — the quick outlet passes, going right up for a layup without hesitating after receiving a pass and finding the correct positioning around the basket in accordance with where his teammates were lined up. It all adds up to a rookie who doesn’t play like a rookie, and he’s managed to make an impact both on the floor and in the locker room.
“He’s still got a lot of work, but he does a lot of good things,” Rivers said of Sullinger. “He has a veteran mind, does not play like a young guy, except for he makes rookie fouls, he does things, and that’s why he had the foul trouble. But he’s just a good spirit and it’s good to have him in the locker room.”
By showing the right work ethic, making his contribution in the one area the C’s have needed most (rebounding) and having the court vision to always make the right pass, Sully has meshed with the team very well on the court.
Of course, it helps that he has been showing respect and listening to advice – no one likes a rookie who has a ton of pride and thinks he knows it all. Humility never hurt anyone, and it definitely has not hurt Sully; much rather the opposite I would say.
For this year’s Celtics, Green means go – Boston Herald
With the performance Jeff Green has been putting up, it’s no wonder everyone has been impressed so far during the offseason – add Danny Ainge to the list.
“So I don’t see what’s happening now as just a function of, ‘Oh, I’m going to be more aggressive.’ I mean, when you’re in a certain role, it’s tough to just take that initiative on yourself. That has to be a function of the team and your role within that team, how your coach sees that role. So I just don’t think that it’s that simple.”
“I understand that,” Ainge said. “I just think it needs to be more than that. You need to have your number called and sort of have that role. I mean, it’s tough for Danny Ainge to have that role when he’s playing with Kevin (McHale) and Larry (Bird) and DJ (Dennis Johnson), you know what I’m saying? It’s not as easy as just being more aggressive or assertive, although I’m not saying that assessment’s not right. I just think that there are a lot of factors.
I would say cautious optimism, but things are looking as well as they can get right now. There were no major injuries, court chemistry is decent (but not five stars), and we have a week of training to go before the season opens. If Green continues to assert himself in the Heat game and beyond, we will be looking at a very big scoring option in #8 for months to come.
Leandro Barbosa unfazed by guard logjam – Boston Herald
Asked about the backcourt traffic ahead of him, Barbosa didn’t blink.
“That will be on Doc’s call,” said Barbosa, a Brazil native who was unable to play last night because of visa issues. “I think he’s the coach; he knows what he has to do. I’m here to help. They’re all good players. You know, I’m here just to help, and as soon as I get my chance to go on the court, I’m just going to try to do my best to succeed and help the team. It’s an experienced team, so I’m still young.
“I’m here to learn, too. So whatever happens happens. I just want to help. It’s a great team. To be here and play with (Kevin) Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo — all those kind of guys — is great. I’m very happy.”
Everyone likes an unselfish player. For a guy to take the veteran’s minimum to (relative chump change for NBA players) to join the Celtics, say that he’s not concerned about game minutes, but to stay ready and play when his number is called – always good news. I’m liking Barbosa already.
Should he decide to stay on after this season, we could possibly be looking at the making of a great guard roster over the long term.
Over the past five seasons the following players have attempted to fill the role of Rajon Rondo‘s backup: Eddie House, Sam Cassell, Stephon Marbury, Tony Allen, Nate Robinson, Delonte West, Keyon Dooling and Avery Bradley.
Also appearing in minor roles: E’Twaun Moore, Carlos Arroyo, Gabe Pruitt and the immortal Lester Hudson. (Oliver Lafayette never played in an actual game, but go ahead and throw his name in there as well along with Jamar Smith.)
“We’ve never really had, like, a true backup point,” said Doc Rivers. Of the dozen or so players listed above only two players — Marbury and Cassell — were anything like true point guards, but they sure have tried almost everybody else on the combo guard platter.
This year figures to be different. No, they still don’t have a true backup point guard, but what Rivers does have are four guards who can all handle the ball.
“I like it,” the coach said. “I like that there are multiple guys. Instead of trying to force and find a guy who’s a point guard, just find two guys who can dribble.”
Apologies in advance to Paul Flannery for the huge quoted chunk, but the context of this topic is fairly interesting.
First up, it is evident that almost all of the players listed were more of the two than one, but I would include Arroyo into the pure point guard list. He is a smart guy who spreads the ball, knows how to execute plays and shoots it when he has to. It is just a pity he plays in Europe now, I reckon he would make a fine addition in his role as the backup point guard this season.
However, Doc is right in saying that having two combo guards bringing the ball up would serve the purpose equally well. So long as they take turns handling the ball, they will still be freed up enough to take the off guard role and attack with the ball.
Conclusion: ball-handling by committee is the answer for this season. With Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, Avery Bradley, Leandro Barbosa in the combo guard bunch, we are looking at a group of players that can handle the ball and attack. Problems? What problems?
That’s all for today folks, have fun and I’ll see you soon.