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10.18.2012

Revisiting the Ray Williams Acquisition



As if the Celtics could get any deeper.This will now give Boston an unbelievably talented guard rotation of Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley (when he returns), Jason Terry, Courtney Lee and now Leandro Barbosa. If you weren't convinced that Boston was a contender before, you should be now. Barbosa could be that final piece that absolutely puts this team over the top.

LINK

Describing the Barbosa move as one that could put the Celtics over the top seems a bit "over the top" to me. The nine-year veteran is certainly an upgrade over Jamar Smith and Dionte Christmas. He will certainly give Doc some added depth and flexibility. But is what some pundits are calling "an embarrassment of riches" in the Celtics' backcourt a source for concern?

I hope not. 

But there is the Ray Williams precedent.

The Celtics acquired Williams with 20 games to go in the 1984-85 NBA regular season. Williams, who had played with Kevin McHale at the University of Minnesota, was a talented player. Take a peak here to see what he could and did offer the Celtics, at least in one game. In those final 20 regular season games, Williams averaged 6.4 points per game, 3.9 assists, and 1.3 steal in 20 minutes per contest. He could play on both sides of the ball. 

The problem was that as the Celtics went further in the playoffs, KC Jones used Williams less and less. The Celtics were already rotating Dennis Johnson, Danny Ainge, and Quinn Buckner before Williams arrived. Then once the playoffs started, KC Jones frequently added Scott Wedman and ML Carr (sometimes even Cornbread Maxwell when Bird and McHale were on the floor at the same time) to the backcourt mix at the 2-guard. Williams' playoff role was reduced to 14 MPGs, and was increasingly  ineffective as the season drew to a close.

I'm not saying this will happen with Leandro Barbosa. But Doc Rivers will certainly have his hands full trying to make this work. You can also add Chris Wilcox to the white-board list of talent management issues, as he will someday be healthy, presumably before 2013 arrives. Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger are already competing for time at the 4-spot, while Darko seems to have earned some PT at the 5 spot. So exactly where does CW fit in?

There's gonna be a whole lotta talent not getting much PT for the Green and White this year.

 

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