2004-05 Season In Review

With the Celtics season now over Celtics.com thought it would be a good time to take a look back at the 2004-05 season. We're breaking down each player's season as well as taking a look at what they can bring to the table in 2005-06. It should be an exciting summer and an even more exciting season next year as the young Celtics look to improve.

Tony Allen - G
04-05 Stats: 6.4 points and 2.9 boards in 16.4 minutes per game

The Season: As most rookies do, Tony Allen had a very inconsistent season, but showed at times that he could be a very important player in the Celtics future. The 6-4 rookie started 34 games for the Celtics, with the team going 21-13 in those games. Allen, one of the most athletic players selected in last year's draft, showed he has the ability to become one of the leagues top perimeter defenders, something the Celtics definitely need.

What He Needs To Bring In 05-06: The biggest problems for Allen in his rookie campaign were focus and his ability to consistently knock down the open jumper. If Allen spends the summer improving his perimeter game he could be a force next season. He's already one of the best in the league at beating his defender off the dribble, so shooting from 15-20 feet could take his game to another level.

Marcus Banks - G
04-05 Stats: 4.6 points in 14.1 minutes per game

The Season: Banks had his struggles this season, but let's give the young point guard the benefit of the doubt, as he entered training camp under his third head coach in just one season. The good signs for Banks were that he seemed to finally be "getting it" as the season came to a close, and he played arguably his best basketball of the season in the playoffs, something that should give him confidence heading into next season.

What He Needs To Bring In 05-06: With a year in Doc Rivers system under his belt Banks needs to come training camp showing he's ready to run the offense and be a leader. In his two seasons he's shown he can defend as well as score, but playmaking is something he needs to become more consistent at if he wants to take over the reigns at point guard.

Mark Blount - C
04-05 Stats: 9.4 points and 4.8 boards in 26.0 minutes per game

The Season: Most consider Blount's season disappointing, but he did average nearly 10 points and 5 boards in just 26.0 minutes per game, but his minutes dropped off dramatically towards the end of the season. Blount once again finished among the league leaders in field goal percentage.

What He Needs To Bring In 05-06: Blount, who is known for working hard in the offseason, needs to return to Boston next season with a renewed sense of team. He really can still be a huge asset to the Celtics, as few teams have a seven-footer with Blount's skills coming off their bench, but it will be up to Blount to bring the right attitude.

Ricky Davis - G
04-05 Stats: 16.0 points, 3.0 boards, 3.0 assists and 1.1 steals

The Season: Davis had an outstanding season for the Celtics as he finished the season as one of the top sixth men in the NBA. What was most impressive was that Davis got better as the season wore on; especially considering this was really the first playoff push of his seven year career. Over the Celtics final 30 games he averaged 17.9 points as the team went 19-11.

What He Needs To Bring In 05-06: It's hard to find much Davis can improve on after his performance in 2004-05. The Celtics really just need him to return next season with the same fire and team first attitude he brought this season. Though Doc Rivers loves his energy, the Celtics may be looking for Davis to tone down his flare for the dramatic just a bit.

Al Jefferson - F/C
04-05 Stats: 6.7 points and 4.4 boards in 14.8 minutes per game.

The Season: What a season for the rookie drafted directly out of high school. Jefferson proved he has a chance to be a force for years to come, as he had some his best performances in the Celtics biggest wins, including a career-high 19 points in the Celtics late season win over Shaquille O'Neal and the Miami Heat, as well as 11 points and 16 boards in the Celtics huge Game 6 win over Indiana in the playoffs. If all goes according to plan, the Eastern Conference could have quite a rivalry with Jefferson, Dwight Howard of the Magic and Emeka Okafor of the Bobcats all from last year's draft.

What He Needs To Bring In 05-06: What's exciting about Jefferson is with all of the hype and expectations being placed on him, there is still so much he can improve on. Although he showed he has one of the best low post games for a rookie in a long time, Jefferson would be wise to spend the summer working on his left hand, as well as his mid-range jumper. Already a great rebounder and shot blocker, it would also please Coach Rivers if Jefferson came to camp more ready to play team defense at the NBA level.

Raef LaFrentz - F/C
04-05 Stats: 11.1 points, 6.9 boards and 1.2 blocks in 27.5 minutes per game

The Season: Considering what Raef LaFrentz went through during the 2003-04 season, this season was a very successful campaign. LaFrentz played in and started 80 of the possible 82 games, while proving to be the Celtics best option from beyond the arc. LaFretnz's sharp-shooting was able to spread the floor and open up driving lanes for the Celtics athletic wingmen.

What He Needs To Bring In 05-06: You always hear in football that a players second year back from a knee injury is really when you see them return to their normal production, well that's what the Celtics could use from LaFrentz next season. You would think with a year under his belt he should be able to improve on the solid numbers he put up in 2004-05, something that would make the improved Celtics frontline that much better.

Gary Payton - G
04-05 Stats: 11.3 points and 6.1 assists in 33.0 minutes per game

The Season: Gary Payton proved a lot in his first season in Boston, mainly that there is still a place for the 36-year old in the NBA. He was a stabilizing force on a team that had trouble focusing at times, and showed that he can still take a game over.

What He Needs To Bring In 05-06: Payton is a free agent, so his return is not certain, but should he be back he may need to be willing to take on a smaller role. With Marcus Banks entering his third season and Delonte West showing the poise of a veteran, the Celtics may be looking more towards the future at point guard. But if he does return, don't be surprised if the 14-year vet still runs the show during crunch time.

Kendrick Perkins - C
04-05 Stats: 2.5 points and 2.9 boards in 9.1 minutes per game

The Season: Perkins showed brief flashes in 2004-05 of what he is capable of on the defensive end of the floor and on the boards in very inconsistent playing time. In one of his best performances of the season Perkins grabbed a career-high 13 boards in the Celtics 114-109 win over New York (12/22/04).

What He Needs To Bring In 05-06: Doc Rivers has already stated that Perkins will see more playing time next season, so it is up to Perkins to work as hard this offseason as he did last summer. Perkins is arguably the Celtics best passer as a big man, but he needs to come back next season with a go to offensive move, whether it's from the low block or a mid-range jumper, something that the defense must respect. If both continue to work hard the Celtics could have quite a combo for the future with Jefferson on offense and Perkins cleaning up on the defensive end.

Paul Pierce - G
04-05 Stats: 21.6 points on a career-high 45.5% shooting.

The Season: Pierce had one of his finest seasons as pro, shooting a career-high from the field, as well as committing his fewest turnovers since his second season in the league. He once again led all guards in the league in rebounding, while making his fourth straight all-star appearance.

What He Needs To Bring In 05-06: Pierce needs to continue to adapt to Doc Rivers offensive system, as it's proven to have a dramatic effect on his efficiency. The Celtics will also be counting on their captain to even step up his leadership role, especially if both Payton and Walker are not back.

Justin Reed - F
04-05 Stats: 5.3 minutes per game in 23 appearances

The Season: We didn't see too much of Justin Reed this season, but he did show he has NBA ability with his play in the Celtics 104-101 win over the Lakers March 2. In that game Reed scored 4 points in 10 minutes, while also shutting down Kobe Bryant during his time on the court. Reed scored a career-high 13 points in a Celtics loss at Milwaukee in February.

What He Needs To Bring In 05-06: Reed, who is naturally a hard worker, needs to take the summer and work on his overall game, specifically his mid-range shooting which he already improved during the season. If Reed comes to camp having improved across the board he could work his way into the lineup an energy/defensive specialist off the bench.

Antoine Walker - F
04-05 Stats: 16.3 points and 8.3 boards in 34.5 minutes per game (with Boston)

The Season: Antoine Walker had a huge impact on the Celtics season, helping turn the Green from fighting for their playoff lives, to Atlantic Division Champions. In his return, he fit into the Celtics system moving his game more inside than it had been in the past. After Walker's return the Celtics went 18-9, with Walker leading the team in scoring 7 times and rebounding 14 times.

What He Needs To Bring In 05-06: Walker enters the summer as an unrestricted free-agent, so his return is not certain. Should he return, Walker will have to continue to mesh into Doc Rivers offensive system, which has him more in the post than out on the perimeter. The team will also have to experiment with Jefferson and Walker in the lineup together.

Delonte West - G
04-05 Stats: 4.5 points in 13.0 minutes per game

The Season: West's rookie year was derailed by injuries early on, but he bounced back to show he has a definite future in the NBA. West proved to have one of the highest basketball IQ's on the team, as well as being one the best perimeter shooters. In his 7 starts West averaged 10.4 points, on 47.4% shooting from the field and 50.0% shooting from beyond the arc, as the Celtics went 6-1.

What He Needs To Bring In 05-06: We know West can play the game, now he just needs to stay healthy and become more consistent. The biggest thing for West will be gaining experience which only comes with playing time. Look for West to have a much greater impact next season.