Celtics grades through two preseason games

Celtics grades through two preseason games
October 10, 2013, 3:15 pm
Share This Post

BOSTON — Only two games into the preseason schedule, it's way too soon to make any iron-clad judgements or proclamations just yet about this bunch of Boston Celtics players.

But it is a large enough sample size to at least start to form opinions about  the various players, similar to what you do after the first academic quarter.

There's no question that the Celtics are better now than they were at the start of training camp on October 1 which has been noticeable by many, including Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.

"They are playing hard," Ainge told CSNNE.com. "Trying to figure everything out."

And Ainge is trying to get a handle on what to make of this roster as well.

"I'm trying to evaluate each guy, to see who can play," Ainge said. "Who fits in with one another, who is talented enough and a team player, self-motivated, guys that we want."

While Ainge has every reason to reserve judgement on who has played well and who has not thus far, we don't have those same hang-ups!

That's why as we pass the first quarter of the preseason, it's only fitting that we start grading the players on how they have fared thus far.

HONOR ROLL

Gerald Wallace - Maybe the biggest surprise in camp thus far, Wallace's scoring, defense and overall toughness have put the starting small forward job a two-man race between him and Jeff Green. Grade: A-

Kelly Olynyk - "Sunshine" hasn't been lighting it up scoring-wise, but he has been surprisingly solid for a rookie at both ends of the floor. Grade: A-

Rajon Rondo - Even though he's out with a torn ACL injury, his imprint on this team can be seen in the confidence that guys who look up to him like Phil Pressey, are playing with in games. Grade: A-

Phil Pressey - The only healthy true point guard on the roster, he has a contagious "never give up" spirit that will bode well for him and the Celtics this season. Grade: A-

Chris Babb - A long-shot to make Boston's roster, the 12-point outburst in just under eight minutes against New York on Wednesday was the kind of performance that, if he can do it consistently, will land him a job with the Celtics or with another NBA team. Grade: A-

MERIT ROLL

Vitor Faverani - Needs to keep improving defensively as well as cut down on his turnovers, Faverani clearly has the size and skills to help this team this season. Grade: B

Jared Sullinger - Has been solid around the basket, but the long lay-off following back surgery has clearly impacted his conditioning. Grade: B

Kris Humphries — Has been pretty consistent for the Celtics in just about every role he has been asked to play. Can't ask for more than that. Grade: B

Jordan Crawford — Surprisingly solid playmaker, still searching for a good balance between the role of scorer - his strength - and being a facilitator. Grade: B

HONORABLE MENTION

Brandon Bass — Like most of his teammates, Bass is also trying to figure out his role on this team. Grade: B-

Keith Bogans — Very little is expected from Bogans other than to provide leadership inside the locker room, knock a corner 3 down every now and then, and defend. Grade: B-


NEEDS IMPROVEMENT

Avery Bradley: Bradley needs to look to become more of a scoring point guard which plays to his strength as well as masks his weakness at the point guard position. Grade: C

Courtney Lee: He has shown many of the same inconsistencies that were problematic for him and the C's last season. Grade: C-

MarShon Brooks: Has fallen behind just about every other guard on the roster, defense and shot-making have to improve if he is to have a chance at cracking into the regular playing rotation. Grade: C-

Jeff Green: He's the most talented player on this team, but you wouldn't know it by the way he floats in and out of games. Grade: C-


NO GRADE

DeShawn Sims: Has already proven himself in the D-League, look for Sims to resurface at some point playing overseas. Grade: Incomplete

Kammron Taylor: With so many guards on the roster with guaranteed contracts, Taylor's not likely to stick around much longer. Grade: Incomplete

Damen Bell-Holter: Will probably wind up with the Maine Red Claws for this upcoming season. Grade: Incomplete