NBA.com is doing an summer report card for every team, and the Celtics earned a B.
While explaining the pick, John Schuhmann wrote, “On-the-floor chemistry has been the Celtics’ strength for the last three seasons. So integrating Shaq into both the offense and defense will be a critical challenge. But priority No. 1 with this team, as always, is staying healthy.
“The Celtics proved last season that they don’t need to tear through the regular season. They just need to be fresh come April. And when healthy, Boston is a tough out. They just may be short on talent when it comes to matching up with the new beast of the East, the Miami Heat.”
I’ve got to admit, I know nothing about how these grades were compiled. I have to assume, though, that they are only grading the offseason, and not rating the teams. Why do I assume that? Well, the Wizards (B+) scored a better grade than the Celtics. There’s no other explanation for that.
Which means the Celtics got the shaft. Only a B? I mean, what else were they supposed to do this summer? They kept everybody worth keeping (besides Tony Allen), added Delonte West, Von Wafer and Shaq for the minimum(!), plucked Jermaine O’Neal out of Miami, and drafted a player who Doc and Danny are really hyped about (Avery Bradley). Then, on top of all that, they kept plenty of salary open for a 2012 free agent bonanza. And don’t forget, they accomplished all that with no spending money besides the mid-level exception. And it still only gets them a B? Child, please.
The Celtics got better, bigger and deeper, and they extended their window of opportunity another two years. If that doesn’t earn better than a B, please tell me why San Antonio overspending on Richard Jefferson and coaxing Tiago Splitter from Brazil does, or why the Milwaukee Bucks insuring a few more years of mediocrity does, or why the Dallas Mavericks breaking the bank to keep Brendan Haywood and add Tyson Chandler does.
If I’m Danny Ainge, I’m appealing this grade. It’s a bunch of B.S. Or maybe I’d just do this: