Everyone knows what beer goggles are. Get a few Coors Lights deep and all of a sudden ugly girls start to look decent, decent girls start to look like dimes and dimes all look like Jessica Biel. (Note: I’ve never seen Biel in beer goggle vision, but I imagine the sight would turn John Amaechi straight.)
But I’m not here to talk about how girls look like when they’re drunk. I’m here to discuss “offseason beer goggles,” which turn bums into solid pickups, solid pickups into studs, and Matt Barnes into Jesus Christ himself. The offseason is a time for hope. It’s a time when Avery Bradley could be an All-Star next year, a time when Luke Harangody could threaten to make an All-Rookie team, a time when the Big Three is ageless. And it’s a time when every available player starts to look a whole lot better.
Here are some potential pickups the Celtics might be interested in, with predictions of their impact using offseason beer goggles compared to sober predictions.
Matt Barnes (with offseason beer goggles) – An absolute menace defensively and a multi-talented offensive performer. He can score, he can shoot, he can slash, and he’s tenacious enough to jump in Kobe Bryant’s face. A pure winner in every sense of the word. Simply the type of guy you want on your team.
Matt Barnes (sober thoughts) – A pure winner who has never won anything. A journeyman who hops from team to team for a reason. A good defender? He got absolutely torched by Paul Pierce in the playoffs. A good shooter? That 31.9% shooting from deep is nothing to write home about. Decent and helpful off the bench, but nothing more.
Marquis Daniels (with offseason beer goggles) – He was hurt last year and it killed his rhythm. That’s the only reason he didn’t play well. Don’t forget, this is the same player who averaged almost 14 points a game and did all the little things for the Indiana Pacers in ’08-’09. If he stays healthy and regains some confidence, Daniels is a big-time difference-maker.
Marquis Daniels (sober thoughts) - If he stays healthy? He’s only played more than 62 games in a season twice! And didn’t the Marquis experiment fail in a big way last season? Don’t forget, this is the same player who averaged only five points a game last season and completely lost Doc Rivers’ confidence in the process. I’m on board with re-signing Daniels… but only if the Celtics strike out everywhere else.
Antoine Wright (with offseason beer goggles) – Cheap, young and somewhat effective. Solid defender, improving shooter, and did I mention he’d come cheap? One of the few perimeter players likely to be paid the minimum who is actually worth a damn.
Antoine Wright (sober thoughts) – Antoine Wright? Did I just hear the name Antoine Wright? Are you honestly trying to talk me into Antoine Wright right now? Did you know he averaged 6 points last year for the Raptors, shot less than 41% from the field and nailed only 33% from the arc? And it’s not like he’s Bruce Bowen to make up for that shit. He’s only a decent defender.
Shaq (with offseason beer goggles) – The Diesel may have backfired a little bit in Cleveland, but he could be the key to the Eastern Conference next season. Just ask this one unnamed GM! The Heat are woefully thin inside and Shaq could take advantage of them. As old as he gets, the man remains beastly.
Shaq (sober thoughts) - Three or four years ago? Hell yeah, give me Shaq any day of the week and twice on Monday. But this is a different time. Shaq doesn’t dominate anymore and his inside scoring is completely overshadowed by his miserable pick-and-roll defense and his tendency to clog the lane. For the minimum Shaq’s probably still worth a shot. But would you want to waste Sheed’s valuable retiring contract in a trade for the Big Aristotle? Consider me completely unsold.
T-Mac (with offseason beer goggles) - Could the Celtics really get T-Mac with the minimum?!?!? No way! He’d be instant offense off the bench! He can do it all! He’s got one hell of a shoulder vain! He’s T-Mac! He was almost an All-Star last year! Once he fully recovers from microfracture surgery, the sky’s the limit!
T-Mac (sober thoughts) - T-Mac sucked last year. Not only did he spend the year playing in quicksand, but the end of his tenure in Houston was bizarre. T-Mac went off on his own to schedule surgery, leaving the Rockets completely in the dark. The way he has behaved and played, it’s hard to imagine any team offering him much money. Then again, Allen Iverson was signed by not one but two teams last season, so there’s always hope for T-Mac. Who knows? Maybe he’ll even regain a step or two from the five he lost.
You can go down the list of every free agent and it’d be almost the same across the board. Fans do their best to talk themselves into every free agent possibility, and especially the players who actually end up signing with their favorite teams (except in Minnesota, where offseason signings just make them want to batter David Kahn). Hell, right now I’m trying to convince myself that Nate Robinson is 6’8″ tall — the offseason beer goggles at their finest.
But let me try to snap you back to sober-ness before you have to get your stomach pumped: If the season started today, Tony Gaffney would be the C’s first wing off the bench. If that’s not a sobering thought, I don’t know what is. The list of free agents is dwindling and the Celtics still have a lot of holes. Damn it, I knew this offseason seemed better when I was under the influence.