The reign of the big three in Boston officially came to an end when Ray Allen decided to skip town and join up with the defending champions, the Miami Heat.The departure of Ray Allen may have devastated Celtics fans, but there is no need to worry. The Celtics bounced back very well from the loss of Allen by bolstering their bench and adding size.
The Celtics’ bench was a huge problem last season. The offense suffered greatly when Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were off the floor because the substitute players were often unreliable on offense.The unreliability of bench offense combined with Rajon Rondo’s pass first mentality proved a disaster for the Celtics. Rondo is not known for his scoring, but rather for his passing and defense. The majority of the Boston roster in 2011-2012 was known for its tough nosed defense, but sorely lacked offensive ability.The Celtics ranked 26th in scoring last season, averaging 91.8 ppg. They also played at a pace of 90.4, good for 21st in the league. Pace is measured by the number of possessions per 48 minutes in the NBA. According to these stats provided by basketball-reference.com, the Celtics were deplorable on offense. This summer, the Celtics addressed that problem by adding Jason Terry and Courtney Lee, and bringing back a healthy Jeff Green.All three players will be coming off the bench and are offensive minded players who can create their own offense.This bench unit will be a deciding factor in the success of the Celtics as Garnett and Pierce continue to age.
Another key factor that the Celtics addressed was size.The Celtics drafted big men Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo because they were unsure if Garnett, Brandon Bass, and Greg Steimsma would return as free agents. The Celtics were able to resign Garnett and Bass, but failed in resigning Steimsma. This gives the Celtics’ some much needed size that they were sorely lacking last season. They also resigned Jeff Green, who was hurt last season, but can play power forward if called upon.With these new additions, the Celtics will no longer need to rely so heavily on Garnett at the center position. Also, with a deeper front line, Garnett will also get more rest as the season progresses.
With a new bench and added size, the Celtics are once again in the hunt for Eastern Conference contention.With Dwight Howard in Los Angeles and Derrick Rose still hurt, the second seed in the East is up for grabs.The Celtics may be aging, but never count them out. Especially not now.