Cast Your Vote

Do you expect Paul Pierce to make a fourth straight All-Star appearance in 04-05?
Do you expect Paul Pierce to make a fourth straight All-Star appearance in 04-05?
View Results

With just a few preseason games left and the regular season approaching, join as we wrap up our Depth Chart series over the next few days. We've broken down three of the positions and have just two left.

Today we take a look at the shooting guard position. There's not much debate at this position as Paul Pierce is a three-time All-Star who plays around 40 minutes every game. Look for rookie Tony Allen to spell Pierce.

Paul Pierce
Tale of the Tape: 6-6, 230 lbs, Kansas, 7th Season
2003-04 Stats: 23.0 ppg., 6.5 rpg., 5.1 apg.
Skinny: If anyone on the Celtics is set up to benefit from Doc Rivers new offense, which is based on ball movement, and the addition of point guard Gary Payton, it's Paul Pierce. In Coach Rivers system Pierce doesn't have to initiate the offense, he receives the ball when he's already in a position to shoot, and with Payton he has a guard who knows where to get him the ball. This should allow Pierce to be a much more efficient scorer, and maintain a high energy level throughout the year. Look for Pierce to have a big year and return to the higher shooting percentages he enjoyed early in his career.
Questions: The only question about Pierce is how he'll react to not having the ball in his hands at all times. This should be answered pretty early, since Pierce has asked for more help and has shown throughout his career that he's a team player and is only interested in winning.

Tony Allen
Tale of the Tape: 6-4, 213 lbs, Oklahoma State, Rookie
2003-04 Stats (College): 16.0 ppg., 5.5 rpg., 2.1 spg.
Skinny: Looking at the depth on the Celtics roster it's most likely that Pierce, Ricky Davis and Jiri Welsch will rotate between shooting guard and small forward and spell each other, but Coach Rivers like this young rookie and the emotion that he brings to the game. If Allen keeps up his defensive tenacity and shows he can get to the basket like he did in college, then he could see more minutes than the normal rookie, and serve as Pierce's backup.
Questions: For Tony Allen it comes down to just how ready is he to contribute right away. He's already shown he's ready to play defense at this level, but can he hold his own offensively? Those are questions he'll have to answer early in the season.