10.06.2008

Darius Miles at the Four Spot

Versatility.

That's the quality that comes to mind when I think of James Posey (ok, it's actually "clutch." But work with me).

Posey could guard Chauncey, Dirk, Kobe and LeBron. If you're name isn't Shaq or the Big Fundamental, chances are pretty good that James Posey has guarded you at some point during his career.

How many years had the Celtics gone without one player on their team who could defend the Dirk Nowitski's of the world? The 2007-08 Boston Celtics roster boasted two players who could guard Dirk Nowitski and players of his ilk--KG and Pose.

With the departure of Nails, my level of concern has increased over how the Celtics will match-up against teams playing agile seven-footers at the 4-spot, at least when KG is taking a breather.

Before training camp began, most of us had Glen Davis and Leon Powe coming off the bench behind KG. While I like both of them, I have serious doubts whether either of them could effectively guard a mobile and talented seven-footer like Dirk. Both of them spent time guarding TD in our two wins against San Antonio last season, but the Big Fundamental doesn’t qualify as a mobile seven-footer inclined to take shots from range.

Enter Darius Miles.

Again, before training camp began, most of us assumed Miles would be coming off the bench behind Pierce at the 3-spot. T.Allen would be backing up Ray-Ray for the most part, and maybe playing a little forward against smaller threes.

Playing Miles at the four spot changes our thinking. A lot of Celtics fans still think of D.Miles strictly as a player with offensive skills, and as a sieve on defense. I guess we’ll find out.

But I am heartened by the fact that at one point his coach often gave him the team’s toughest defensive assignments. I’m also heartened by the fact that he sees his job with the Celtics as contributing on the defensive end.

The questions I have are as follows:

Will his bum knee prevent Miles from keeping up with the mobile players I'm describing?

Is Miles really taller than Glen Davis or Leon Powe, and, if so, by how much?

Is Miles a better leaper than Davis or Powe?

One thing I always liked about Leon was his length, or, rather, the length of his arms.

For a guy 6'7", Leon's wingspan is 7'4".

By contrast, Miles is thought to be 6'8" with a 7'2" wingspan.

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