Whelan & Dealin’

Whelan & Dealin

Whelan & Dealin’

Ben Whelan

To say that the present of the Boston Celtics is dim is an insult to all things dim. Rex Grossman is dim. Bruins management is dim. By comparison, the present state of Celtic Nation is pitch black, darker than the weight room at David Wells’ house. However, believe it or not, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is not completely in the form of the messianic teenagers in Columbus and Austin currently vying to be the number one overall pick in this years draft.

Championship teams, like good movies, must rely on a strong overall cast of characters in order to be successful. As proven in the classic Bennifer (Lopez) disaster, Gigli, two stars cannot carry the show on their own. The problem with the Celtics is that they have the supporting cast, they have the director (Doc Rivers), they have the producers willing to fund the project, and they have one star. This Celtics team is really a blockbuster just waiting for its co-star.

Ryan Gomes and Al Jefferson are the Jeremy Piven’s of the team, guys who are paying there dues being in awful movies until the right project comes around that they can really sink their teeth into. Neither one is a bona fide superstar that can carry a team, but both have superb complimentary skill sets. Jefferson is a guy who could easily put up 15 and10 every night if the team had another low post-presence to take some of the pressure off. He will never be that dominant, franchise player that we all hoped he would be, but he definitely has the potential to be a low-post presence on a solid squad. To use an example from last years champion Miami Heat, Al Jefferson could be the Celtic’s version of Udonis Haslem.

Gomes similarly does not have the offensive skill set to take over games, nor does he have the size to defend against the leagues premier power forwards. However, one thing that Gomes does bring to the table that every team needs is the ability to lock-down the perimeter and make life difficult for many of the games dynamic scoring wing players. His defensive prowess combined with his ability to stuff a stat sheet by cleaning up the garbage off the boards and taking smart shots on offense makes him an extremely valuable cast member and the kind of guy who does a little bit of everything to help a team run smoothly. In essence Ryan Gomes is the equivalent of a good character actor who dramatically improves the quality of a movie whole not being featured, occasionally stealing a scene, then melting into the background unnoticed.

Gerlad Green also fits into this cast in a significant way as the celebrity cameo, making a brief stupendous appearance, doing something incredible that stands out in memory, but then never being heard from again in the rest of the picture. Think Bob Saget in Half Baked. At this point in his career Gerald Green has enough talent and physical ability to inject some energy into the team off the bench but is a liability if left on the floor too long. He does a few things very well but is too inconsistent to do more than make quick appearances and throw down a highlight dunk or hit a couple threes before he exceeds his capacity as a player. Imagine a movie starring Saget and I think you’ll get what I mean.

All that’s really left is the development of Delonte West and Rajon Rondo into a Jay and Silent Bob like tandem platooned at point guard and the addition of a co-star for Pierce, through trade or draft, and this Celtics team is ready for the big time. Until then, they will just be a B movie: Fun to watch if you have nothing better to do and entertaining for what it is, but unsatisfying overall.