There are many question marks heading into the 2013-14 NBA season for the Boston Celtics, and the number one question being asked is who will step up to be the primary scorer? With Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in Brooklyn following the off-season deal with the Nets, there are a few possible options, but none of them are what a team would like to have as their primary scorer. With new head coach Brad Stevens, you never know just what he can get out of his players. Let’s take a look at what options the Celtics have.
Rajon Rondo, Point Guard
Obviously Rondo is the name that first comes to mind when one thinks about the Boston Celtics. Question marks are everywhere when it comes to his scoring ability. Rondo is coming off of a season in which he averaged 13.7 points per game, but he was helped greatly by defenses cracking down on Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
Another factor that will hurt Rondo’s chances to step up his scoring this season is that he’s coming off of a torn ACL and is expected to miss the first month of the season. You never know how a player will react after an ACL recovery, especially when that player relies on his cutting ability to get around defenders. Doctors are confident that Rondo will recovery fully though, but the fact that he’ll be out until December at this point doesn’t make things look too optimistic for his scoring to jump.
Jeff Green, Forward
Green is the player that most people to expect to step things up with the trade of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. He began scoring the basketball at a very high rate, especially during the NBA Playoffs. During the regular season last year, he averaged a total of 12.8 points per contest, but stepped it up in the postseason averaging 20.3 points per game.
Obviously he has to be able to score consistently each and every night with defenses looking to crack down, but if there’s anyone who has shown that they are capable of putting up numbers in big games on this Boston roster, it would be Jeff Green.
Gerald Wallace, Small Forward
Gerald Wallace is another guy who had a lot of struggles last season, and averaged just 7.7 points per game with the Brooklyn Nets. Just a few years ago when Wallace was with the Charlotte Bobcats, he averaged 18.1, 19.4, 16.6, and 18.2 points per game in four back to back seasons. There’s absolutely no question that Wallace is capable of scoring the basketball, but he needs to find his confidence again.
Maybe a change of scenery will be just what the doctor ordered for Wallace. He’ll be asked to be a veteran leader for a very young Boston squad, and will be asked to shoulder a big load on both offense and defense. If he’s able to regain his confidence, you can expect to see Wallace consistently putting up double-figure numbers.
MarShon Brooks, Shooting Guard
Brooks is the fourth and final player that we’ll look at in this article. He was acquired by the Celtics in the blockbuster trade this off-season and was a big piece in the Boston return. Entering his third season in the NBA, there are very high expectations for him assuming Brad Stevens gives him consistent minutes. MarShon Brooks averaged just 5.4 points per contest last year in very inconsistent playing time, but has shown in the few games that he received good minutes that he’s capable of scoring the basketball.
When Brooks was entering the NBA Draft, there were many scouts who compared his game to Kobe Bryant. Obviously, that is very high praise for any player, but there are many similarities in Brooks and Bryant’s games. They’re both very crafty with the basketball and can make shots that are near impossible for other players. There is a long ways to go, and no one knows just how talented Brooks really is, but even having those comparisons brings hope in Boston.
Only time will tell who steps up in Boston to shoulder the scoring load that was carried by Pierce and Garnett last season, but one of those four guys really needs to step up. They could all step up and score by committee, which would work as well, and is very possible. It will be a very interesting situation to watch in Boston.