A Detailed Look at the Newest Celtics
BOSTON – You already know that the Boston Celtics acquired Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace from the Brooklyn Nets. But what did the Celtics really get in this deal?
In short, Boston did well in acquiring three legitimate NBA veterans and one youngster who has showcased great potential. That’s all in addition to acquiring three future first-round picks, the option to swap picks with Brooklyn in 2017, and a sizable trade exception that could be very beneficial.
The latter portion of the paragraph above will pay off in the future. Let’s examine the former portion of that paragraph to figure out exactly what the Celtics got for the now. Here’s an in-depth look at what these players bring to the table, and what they truly excel at.
Bogans has been an unsung hero while starting 333 of his 665 career games. He started 50 games in 2009-10 for the 50-win Spurs, then started all 82 games for the 62-win Bulls in 2010-11.
Simply put, a team doesn’t win that amount of games without a quality starting shooting guard. Bogans isn’t going to wow you with his numbers, but he will make a legitimate impact by doing the small things. The best part about him is that he has accepted his niche with open arms.
“I’m a team guy,” he told Celtics.com. “I’ve learned that everyone can’t be a superstar. You can’t have five superstars on the floor at one time.
“I’m a role player,” he continued. “I’m going to come in and play some defense. I’m going to be an energy guy. I’m going to knock down some 3-point shots.”
Boy, does Bogans knows himself well.
According to Synergy Sports, he rated out as a ‘very good’ defender last season in pick-and-roll situations, limiting opponents to 38.1 percent shooting. He also was ‘excellent’ at defending runners (27.6 percent) and jump shots of less than 17 feet (33.3 percent). While starting for the Bulls in 2010-11, he was in the 94th percentile in defending post-ups, limiting opponents to 31.6 percent shooting.
His offense is all about shooting – deep shooting. In fact, 53.7 percent of his career shot attempts have been 3-pointers. He rated a ‘good’ spot-up shooter last season and a ‘very good’ jump shooter, according to Synergy.
Brooks is a scorer. Plain and simple. That’s what he likes to do, and that’s what he does best.
Brooks is a shooting guard who has improved his stroke year-over-year. He shot 42.8 percent from the field as a rookie in 2011-12, then bumped that percentage up to 46.3 percent as an NBA sophomore.
The third-year player’s greatest skill is taking the ball off of the dribble. More than half of his shots were attempted in or near the restricted area last season. Synergy also says that Brooks’ isolation plays last season resulted in .922 points per possession, which rated as ‘very good’ and fell in the 77th percentile of the league – right behind Carmelo Anthony. In Brooks’ rookie season, he rated as ‘very good’ in his isolation drives both to the right and to the left.
As proof of Brooks’ ability to score, he put up nine 20-point games during his lockout-shortened rookie season. That’s just two fewer 20-point games than Jeff Green logged during his breakout 2012-13 campaign, which was a full 82-game season.
When people say that Humphries is one of the best rebounders in the NBA, they aren’t kidding. His numbers prove as much when he’s given ample playing time.
Humphries has averaged a double-double in two of the past three seasons. His best season was in 2011-12, when he ranked 10th in the NBA in double-doubles and averaged 13.8 points per game and 11.0 rebounds per game. He only averaged 5.8 points per game and 5.6 rebounds per game last season, but that’s because his playing time was nearly cut in half, all the way down to 18.3 minutes a night.
Despite his limited playing time in 2012-13, the numbers tell us that Humphries remained as an elite rebounder. Of the 305 NBA players who appeared in at least 50 games last season, Humphries ranked 16th in rebound percentage (18.0 percent). That was the third consecutive season in which he has ranked in the top 16 in the league, as he was 10th in 2011-12 (18.4 percent) and third in 2010-11 (22.0 percent).
Like we’ve already said: Humphries is one of the best rebounders in the NBA.
Some of the negative rumors about Wallace are correct; just don’t let those rumors taint your opinion of him. He may have struggled at the offensive end last season, but he remains as an elite defender.
Wallace has been known over the past decade as one of the league’s most gifted wing defenders. He’s a rock-solid athlete who stands in at 6-foot-7, 220 pounds. Wallace’s athleticism and size have allowed him to excel at the defensive end for years, and that talent remains to this day.
There are eight play types that Synergy Sports tracks (i.e. spot up plays, isolation plays, post-up plays, etc.). While starting 68 games for Brooklyn last season, Wallace rated out as either a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ defender in six of those eight categories. That’s a very impressive accomplishment.
In addition to his stout defense, it’s a near guarantee that Wallace will improve dramatically at the offensive end in comparison to last season. In Ainge’s eyes, Wallace’s streak of eight consecutive double-digit scoring seasons was snapped last season because he wasn’t a main option for the Nets.
“They had a deep team,” Ainge told reporters on Monday. “The ball is in Joe Johnson’s, (Brook) Lopez’s and Deron Williams’ hands a lot. A lot of times numbers are deceiving in that way. And despite numbers going down, opportunities are going down when you are surrounded by guys who have the ball as much as those three guys do.”
Wallace’s defense is here to stay, and Ainge expects his offense to return in Boston as well.