Boston Celtics 2008-09 Fantasy Preview

All previews follow the same format, I’ll be going in depth only on the players worth owning in a standard 12-team league, followed by players who you might consider as injury handcuffs/deep sleepers. As always, it starts with the most valuable player on the team:

Kevin Garnett could slip past the first round in fantasy drafts for the first time in a long time.

Kevin Garnett could slip past the first round in fantasy drafts for the first time in a long time.

Kevin Garnett (PF):

Helps: FG%, FT%, Rebounds, Points, Blocks, Steals

I’ll admit it, I drafted Garnett as the No. 1 overall pick in one league last season. I knew his scoring would come down but thought he would make up for it with assists to his new, more effective teammates, and better defensive stats.

What I didn’t count on was the Celtics being SO good that the minutes of their core players was restricted and minor injuries, like Garnett missing 11 games due to an abdominal strain. So that’s now the story for most of the Celtics key veterans.

The team is likely to be so good during the regular season that the players’ values are lower than their abilities because of the limited minutes they’ll receive as well as the fact that they will be useless for the last two weeks of the season as Boston rests for the playoffs.

Garnett’s per minute numbers were pretty much in line with his last season in Minnesota (20.7 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 1.4 blocks) and his FG% greatly improved (from .476 to .539). He still helps in nearly every category, although his assists are down because of his role with Boston being less of a facilitator and more of the anchor inside.

But he is as consistent as any player in the sport and still a top flight fantasy pick.

Where to take him: Late first round, although he could slip to the early second round.

Paul Pierce (SF):

Helps: Points, FT%, 3-pointers, Assists, Steals

In the same situation as Garnett, Pierce’s numbers decreased significantly last season as he found himself surrounded by elite talent. His cumulative numbers were lower but his percentages went up as he was not forced to carry a crappy team by himself.

Pierce help across the board, his FG% is no longer a liability and his turnovers were down as well, making him a more reliable fantasy player, although not nearly as explosive on a game-to-game basis as he once was.

Where to take him: Late third round, because he can no longer help you dominate any one category and his minutes will dwindle as the season moves along.

Ray Allen (SG):

Helps: 3’s, Points, FT%

Hurts: FG%

I am always wary of drafting one-dimensional players and Allen is becoming just that. He is a lethal 3-point shooter, making 180 last season, but his scoring dipped below 18 per game and his assists and steals were the lowest since his rookie season in 1996-97.

Allen is still one of the game’s all time great free-throw shooters, but he only attempted 3.2 per game last season – also his lowest number since his rookie campaign. He is a career 45% shooter from the floor, which is harder to accept when he isn’t averaging 24 points per game.

Allen is a big name and may get overvalued based his notoriety, but for me he is a last resort kind of a guy if I am desperate for 3-pointers in the middle rounds.

When to take him: In the sixth round or beyond. His minutes and ability to stay healthy are question marks.

Rajon Rondo (PG):

Helps: Assists, Steals

Hurts: FT%

Rondo continually improved as last season went along and will likely be the only Celtics starter to consistently log major minutes. He averaged 12.7 points, 6.1 assists, 5.0 rebounds and two steals per 36 minutes last season, including a slow start.

I’m not totally convinced Rondo will duplicate is 48% shooting from the floor, but he’s no longer the shaky shooter from his rookie season. Smart selection will keep his FG% respectable and he’ll provide enough steals and assists to make him a solid backup point guard or utility player.

The big drawback is he adds very few 3-pointers for a point guard (only five last season) and is an awful free-throw shooter (.611). Mercifully, he does not go to the line all that often.

When to take him: I view Rondo as an eighth or ninth rounder based on the assumption that you should already have two decent point guards and aren’t desperate for assists and steals.

Kendrick Perkins (C):

Helps: Blocks, Rebounds, FG%

Hurts: FT%

Perkins took a big step forward last season as playing alongside Garnett boosted his per minute numbers from the previous season. He averaged 10.2 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per 36 minutes while shooting 61 percent from the floor. Even for a player who does not score a lot, that kind of percentage can help.

Perkins’ minutes have increased in each of his first five seasons and if he can approach 30 minutes per game this season (aka stay out of constant foul trouble), he will be a nightly double-double threat. His 62% free-throw shooting isn’t much of a concern in light of his gaudy FG%.

When to pick him: Tenth round or lower. You should probably have a couple solid centers before grabbing Perkins, but his upside for rebounds and blocks makes him a player to be drafted in all 12 team leagues.

THE REST:

If Garnett or Perkins goes down with an injury, Leon Powe or Glen Davis could have significant value securing the interior on such a talented team. Powe averaged an astounding 19.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per 36 minutes last season while Davis posted 12 and eight. There will likely be little room for either player to produce at the start of the season, especially with Doc Rivers’ maddening bench rotation, but that could change.

Be sure to check your league rules for specific position eligibility rules.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Draft Strategy, Season Preview, Team Preview

3 responses to “Boston Celtics 2008-09 Fantasy Preview

  1. Not to brag, but I also made the mistake of picking KG at #1 overall last year in my personal, friends league. Having a reputation to protect and immediately panicking that my Garnett/Gasol duo was going to fall grossly short of expectations, I dealt Gasol for David West and change and flipped KG for Chris Bosh and Rudy Gay, who lead me to the finals and a 2nd place finish. It’s my favorite war story of last season.

    Isn’t it amazing how quickly he’s dropped from #1 to a borderline top 10 pick? I mean, dude won his ring, so there’s no way he’s sweating it, but still. I’m a bit concerned that if D Wade isn’t 100% or he doesn’t end up a team with a killer PG, Marion will fall similarly.

  2. fantasyaddict

    I’m wary of Marion, too. He was miserable in Phoenix, how happy will he be watching Wade hog the ball along side Udonis Haslem?

  3. Exactly! Here’s my trade scenario: Marion and either Daequan Cook or Dorrell Wright to Utah for Boozer and Matt Harpring. The math on replacing Harpring with Korver works too, but I don’t see that happening. Miami gets a leg up on the player they want next free agency anyway, and Utah gets an even more PERFECT compliment to D-Will in Marion. I can’t see this happening, because Sloan likes the game so slow and really likes the big white stiff Harpring, but still. If I’m running Utah, I’m calling every night with that deal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s