These preseason games will be used by the coaching staff to determine who will be on the 12 man active roster when the 2008-09 season rolls around in November. 15 is the absolute limit to have on the roster, but players 13 - 15 will be sitting next to Clifford Ray in the second row of benches, dressed in street clothes.
I think I've already got my 12 man roster set, even though we still have 3 weeks left of preseason games. Some of you may agree with my line of thinking, while others will be disappointed. (Feel free to discuss your point of view at our forums http://celticsgreen.proboards18.com/index.cgi)
Here's my list, and a brief explanation of my way of thinking: Starting 5: Perk, KG, Pierce, Ray, Rondo --No surprises here. This unit will be even better than last year, simply because they already have an entire year of playing together under the enormous pressure of winning a championship, and also because Rondo's and Perk's games will be better than it was last season.
Bench: O'Bryant, Powe, Miles, Tony, House, Cassell, *Pruitt--OK, some explanations here. O'Bryant makes the 12 man roster because of his athleticism, long limbs, and shot blocking presence. His points will be gravy. Powe makes it because he deserves it, and he gives us a low post scoring threat (something we don't really have much of).
Darius makes it because, even though he's not the same player he was 5 years ago, he's still an NBA caliber player and his talents will be good enough to help us off the bench. Tony makes it because this is his year to breakout and make his doubters eat his dust.
House makes it because we need sharp shooters, and he's got one of the quickest triggers in the NBA. Cassell makes it because his veteran presence and leadership will calm the second unit's nerves.
So that makes 11. If you noticed, Pruitt is my 12th man, but I placed an asterik next to his name. I did this because I had to wrestle with myself to settle who I'd pick for the last spot. It was between Bill Walker and Pruitt, and I eventually picked Pruitt because I believe we're going to allow Walker sometime in the D-League to develop his game. I know many of you have already jumped on the Walker bandwagon (I've got one foot on the wagon, and the other one is almost off the ground), but lets give our new puppy dog a chance to work on his game. We have the luxury to let him develop and bring him up when he's good and ready, or if someone gets hurt (knock on wood).
He may be exciting to watch, but ask yourself this: does he have the conditioning (stamina) to last an entire NBA season, plus the playoffs? is his ball handling good enough? is his jumper good enough? does he have counter moves to use when defenders take away his initial move? These are the things he'll focus on in the D-League, and in the long run, it will benefit him, and us, when he improves in these areas.
Now, we still have 3 more roster spots open, but its for inactive players. I think Scalabrine and Big Baby will occupy 2 of the spots, and the 3rd will be kept open for PJ later in the season.
If Bill Walker shows that he is ready for the NBA, Ainge can always bring him up and slide him into the final inactive roster spot while PJ isn't on the team. Walker won't be able to suit up for games, but he can practice with the team and watch the games--both which will be beneficial for him.
So there you have it--our complete 15 man roster. I may be jumping the gun prematurely, but I think we've got the deepest bench in the league. We are legitimately 9 deep, and if O'Bryant and Miles can hold their own, we are 11 deep (I won't consider Pruitt a key contributor this season).
So not only do we have the best starting 5 in the league, but we also have the deepest bench. No wonder we are the early favorites to win the title.
Thanks for chiming in RQK and Chris. I'd encourage you both to jump over to our forums, where your questions and comments will get lots more responses.
Yes, I did leave Jr Giddens out of my roster. I'm just not sold on him as some fans are.
Now, will he get cut? No, I don't think we're going to do that. Rather, I think we may end up trading him as a supplemental player with another guy (like Baby or Scal--maybe both). I think its pretty clear that something is going to happen before we finish up preseason--we just have too many players on the roster.
With Bill Walker emerging quickly, and Tony being Tony, Giddens is the odd man out.
But just my thought. I don't mean to upset Giddens fans with my opinion.