In this week’s edition of ‘A Study In Green’ we turn our focus to Courtney Lee.
The Celtics acquired Courtney Lee in a sign-and-trade with Houston in July 2012. At that time, it was seen as a big step forward in trying to replace Ray Allen. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to find consistency and confidence throughout the season.
It wasn’t all bad for Lee. When Rajon Rondo went down with that season ending knee injury, Lee stood up in the 6-game winning streak that followed. Over that streak, Lee was able to average 10.6ppg. His best game over that stretch came against Orlando, where he put up an impressive stat line of 14 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.
Although Courtney wasn’t really able to find his feet with the team on the court, he looked to mesh well and become good friends with many of them off the court, especially Jeff Green and Avery Bradley. This is good for Lee’s future in Boston, with those two looking like being huge parts of the Celtics rebuild. I just hope next season, Lee is able to mesh better with them on the court.
Towards the end of the regular season, Lee fell out of Doc Rivers’ rotation and hardly saw any game time. Personally, I thought this was a bad move from Doc, and don’t think that I’m only bashing Doc now that he has packed his bags for Hollywood. Yes, Lee wasn’t producing what we had all hoped, but I still don’t think he was playing badly enough to fall behind Jordan Crawford and to a lesser extent Terrence Williams. Williams did show glimpses, but I think Lee should’ve been getting more minutes than T-Wil.
To highlight just how little time Lee spent on the floor in the Playoffs, consider this: he played only 39 minutes and 9 seconds of 293 first round Playoff minutes against the Knicks.
(Ed: Let us not forget how hesitant Lee looked at times on offense. While this would have been a visible effort from finding the balance between deferring to Truth and Ticket and finding his own offense, he did succeed in making me cough blood on countless transition attempts, when he would pull the ball back into half-court offense instead of attacking.)
Courtney Lee has 3 years and upwards of $15 million left on his contract. I hope he is still around next season to show us that he is still worthy of that contract. With a new coach, comes a new opportunity and a clean slate for Lee. I truly believe that Lee can find his shooting stroke and be a threat from beyond the arc next season.
What were your thoughts on Courtney Lee’s season? Do you think the Celtics should keep or trade him?