Do the Celitcs need a back-up point guard?

776812.jpg

Do the Celitcs need a back-up point guard?

Yesterday afternoon, the Celtics waived Dionte Christmas and Jamar Smith, thus leaving an open spot on their once crowded roster. And when you take a look at what the Celtics have, and what they might need, the most glaring hole is at back-up point guard.

After Rajon Rondo, the closest thing the Celtics have to a true back up is Jason Terry or Avery Bradley (when healthy), but considering Terry's effectiveness off the ball, and the fact that Bradley will likely be starting alongside Rondo, neither fills that back-up role in the purest sense of the word. That's why many believe that that's where the Celtics will turn with their open spot. However, I wouldn't get your hopes up.

First of all, because a true back up point guard has never been a priority for the Big 3 (2.0) era Celtics. In that first season, they had Eddie House backing up Rondo, before later bringing on Sam Cassell who was a point guard, but also 85 years old at the time. In year two, it was House, mixed in with a little Gabe Pruitt and eventually Stephon Marbury. In year three, it was House and Nate Robinson (hardly a pure PG). In year four, it was Robinson and Delonte West (a capable PG, but one who can't stay healthy and a tweener in his own right), and then Carlos Arroyo, who never saw the floor. Last year, it was Keyon Dooling again, not a pure point guard.

Second of all, there's not much else available. Derek Fisher's probably going to sign with the Lakers (if anyone). Mike Bibby's useless. Leandro Barbosa probably won't play for the veteran minimum. Johnny Flynn is a train wreck.

Is there anyone out there who you'd want the C's to waste a spot on to fill the 10 or so minutes that Rondo won't be on the court, or do you think they'd be better off leaving that last spot open, rolling with what they have for now, and waiting to see who's bought out later in the season?

I'd go with option two, and won't be surprised if the Celtics do, too. Or if not, history and reality suggest that they won't use it on a back-up point guard.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Celtics-Hawks preview: Thomas 'not worried about' Schroeder

Celtics-Hawks preview: Thomas 'not worried about' Schroeder

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. –  Isaiah Thomas has respect for the Atlanta Hawks team.

So when I asked him about the Hawks, Thomas spoke glowingly about Paul Millsap as being a “special player” and Dwight Howard having a huge impact on shot attempts whether he’s blocking them or not.

But he knows all eyes will be on him and Hawks point guard Dennis Schroeder who had some not-so-nice things to say about Thomas following Boston’s 103-101 win at Atlanta on Jan. 13.

The two waged a feisty, highly combative game most of the Jan. 13 game with Thomas getting the better of Schroeder in just about every statistical category such as scoring (28 points for Thomas compared to 4 for Schroeder), assists (nine to three), and minutes played (36:16 to 22:36).

And then there was the one statistic that mattered most … the win.

But after the game, Schroeder told reporters that Thomas had spoken badly about his mother.

“I’m playing basketball,” Schroder told reporters after the game in January. “If he think that he got to curse at my mom or say some dumb stuff about my family, that has nothing to do with basketball. That’s his choice. I’ve got too much class for that. Next one, we are going to get it.”

The news got back to Thomas who emphatically denied he said anything along those lines.

“I don’t talk about nobody’s mom,” Thomas said when he became aware of Schroeder’s comments. “I don’t cuss at anybody’s mom and I don’t talk about people’s family. So whatever he said, that’s a 100 percent lie and he knows that.”

When I asked Thomas about Schroeder following Boston’s 104-98 win at Detroit Sunday night, he had little to say about the Hawks point guard.

“Man I’m past that. I’m not worried about that guy,” Thomas said. “Once he did that the last game, where he tried to damage my character, (saying I was) talking about his parents … I’m past that. Hopefully we can beat the Atlanta Hawks. I’m not even worried about him.”

Schroeder may not be on Thomas’ radar as a major concern, but the players he spoke of earlier – Millsap and Howard – are two players who can have a significant impact on whether the Celtics can continue to build off of the good things they did against the Pistons.

And Atlanta (32-26) will come in extremely thirsty for success having lost their last three games – all by 15 or more points - and four of the last five.

Despite the Hawks recent struggles, the Celtics understand that despite their success this season they are in no position to take any team lightly.

“They’re a good team. They play the game the right way,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown. “They have some really good players, some really good shooters, really good bigs down low. We have to come out and play harder than them, match their intensity, execute, move the ball, share the ball and have fun.”

Shaughnessy: Why I'm not a fan of Celtics not trading at deadline

Shaughnessy: Why I'm not a fan of Celtics not trading at deadline

Dan Shaughnessy joins Sports Sunday and talks with Felger about why he hated the Boston Celtics not making any moves at the deadline.