|2011-12 Team Rating|
|24th Overall||2nd Overall|
2011-12 Season Stats
There was no way the Celtics were letting Kevin Garnett leave. With a move to center, he was their most important player last season and formed an effective pair with Brandon Bass, who was also re-signed.
Ray Allen left money on the table to join the champs, and he was replaced by Jason Terry and Courtney Lee. That's not a bad recovery, but we'll miss those plays Doc Rivers ran for the 3-point king.
Garnett is back and Avery Bradley will eventually be healthy. As long as those two are around, the Celtics are going to have a top-five defense for the sixth straight season.
Once Bradley is back, the Celtics will have more offense coming off their bench (with Terry, Lee, Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger) than they did in the last two seasons.
Doc Rivers says that his decisions are to blame for Allen's departure. But they also helped the Celtics get to Game 7 of the conference finals. He'll again need to keep Garnett fresh.
Between the trade deadline and free agency, the Celtics had the opportunity to hit the reset button with their roster. But Danny Ainge clearly isn't ready to rebuild, and the Celtics proved in the playoffs -- taking a 3-2 series lead over the Heat - that they can still compete with the best in the league.
Kevin Garnett's return -- for at least two more years -- was the key to the offseason. Garnett is now 36, but he was the fulcrum of the No. 2 defense in the league last season, and the Celtics really suffered offensively when he stepped off the floor.
That should be less of a problem next season, especially if Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox return in form. Their medical issues really sapped the Celtics' depth last season, and a deeper bench should help Boston earn a higher seed this time around, while still keeping Garnett fresh for the playoffs.
-- John Schuhmann
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||C+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||B|
|Los Angeles Lakers||A|
|New Jersey Nets||A|
|New Orleans Hornets||B+|
|New York Knicks||C|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||C-|
|San Antonio Spurs||B|