The following originally appeared at Krucial Kuts Blog on February 19, 2012. It has since been revised, mostly to include statistics through the end of the 2011-’12 season.
Earlier this year, Friend of the Kuts Nigel asked for our take on the Celtics’ draft evaluation acumen and strategy under the iron-fisted rule of former Toronto Blue Jays infielder Danny Ainge. Along with his question, Nigel expressed two ideas. The first: when it comes to the draft, Ainge has placed an out-sized emphasis on defensive specialists at the expense of capable scorers (Kendrick Perkins, Avery Bradley, and Tony Allen). The second: Ainge has demonstrated an inability to properly evaluate offensive skill (Gerald Green).
June 3, 2012
Eastern Conference Finals, Game 4:Boston Celtics (2-2) vs. Miami Heat (2-2)
Keyon Dooling fidgeted anxiously, rubbing his hands together as if to keep warm. He stood near the baseline, a stride’s length separating him from a corner-bound Mario Chalmers. He watched Shane Battier send the sideline inbound to Dwyane Wade several feet above the arc. He rocked side-to-side on his feet, separated his hands, leaned forward, and waited.
Dwyane Wade stood at the line, gazing flatly at the rim. He pinned the ball against his hip with his left hand while his right hand, his shooting hand, dangled loosely at his side. He bowed his head and bounced the ball into the floor three times. He bent his knees, held, and then extended, a motion suggesting the compression and release of a well-worn spring. Arms raised high above his head, he flipped his wrist forward, lofting the ball on a smooth arc toward the basket. He stood as though posed for sculpture, frozen in place save a barely-perceptible bobbing from the toes, as he tracked the path of the shot. The ball splashed through the net. He de-rected himself and ran back on defense.