This will be an important year for Telfair.
Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images
On the SpotBy John Schuhmann
You could call them question marks. Or maybe X-factors. Call them whatever you want. These guys have something to prove this season. NBA.com gives you 10 players (in alphabetical order) who will be under the microscope in 2006-07. For various reasons, all eyes are on them.
Next up is Sebastian Telfair.
Sebastian Telfair, G, Celtics
He wasn't as high a pick as Darko, but Sebastian Telfair has had all the hype: a book, a movie and a big shoe contract. But things didn't work out in Portland and the Celtics were willing to part with the No. 7 pick to get him this summer.
With Boston's new up-tempo philosophy, Telfair has a chance to shine. But first, he has to do what he didn't do in Portland: distinguish himself as the clear starter. If he can do that, this is Bassy's chance to start anew.
What the Papers Say
"When Telfair gets to the court, heís getting a different look from his bosses. As a rookie, he was "brought along" in Portland, not really expected to take over as starting point guard in his first year out of high school. In his second season there, he was caught in a maelstrom that included an injury, a change in team style and swirling questions of whether the team would be sold and moved.
"Despite the fact the Celtics are just a Paul Pierce away from a complete overhaul under Danny Ainge, the team is the picture of stability in Telfairís court vision. That his new team expects him to contribute heavily and play the up-tempo style most suited to him only adds to his joy."
"For Telfair, the right mental preparation may entail not thinking too much or too hard. Rivers would like Telfair to rely more on his natural basketball instincts when running the uptempo offense. With each exhibition game, Telfair looks a little more natural on the court and, more importantly, his play is more effective. '[Rivers] thinks I'm better going out there and just playing,' said Telfair. 'When I play without thinking too much, I think I make less mistakes out there. The more I get to play with guys, the more I know where they're going to be at to get my assists. I know how to pick when I shoot and when not to shoot.'"
What the Blogs Say
"Of course thereís a chance it could work out. Heís got some great point guard skills and heís now had a couple of years in the league to grow up. If Coach Rivers keeps him running and gives him enough freedom within the offense to make plays, he should be alright. The flipside is that he hasnít proven anything yet and heís plagued by off court questions and distractions, so thereís always a chance things could go South in a hurry."
-- CelticsBlog via SLAM Online