Boston will have none of your small-ball, stretch-4 offense. The Celtics are as old school as it gets in the current NBA. I am not just talking about Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. This is a team that will beat you with defense and pound the ball inside.
The power forward is just another post player who happens to be able to hit jumpers. They are not hitting any 3-pointers.
The Celtics continue to build their cadre of post players to battle the ever dwindling centers left in the NBA. Boston will reportedly sign Jason Collins to replace the recently departed Greg Stiemsma. Collins was a backup center for the Hawks the last few years and was probably more famous for being a “Dwight Howard stopper” as the Hawks turned the tables on the Magic.
Boston is definitely the last bastion for an older idea of basketball. Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass are the starters with rookies Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo behind them. Collins makes it a fifth post player, a major cache among the contending teams.
The Celtics will still have to figure out how to replace Ray Allen in the backcourt. But Boston is now loaded in the front court, a place where many teams are frankly pretty weak. The Celtics saw the way the Heat were able to get to the basket against a still big but not big enough Celtics team at the end.
Boston is going to have to account for some of the matchup disadvantages that come with playing stretch-4s. Miami discovered LeBron James can be effective at the power forward position, a new wave of the NBA is coming if it is not already here.
The Celtics though are still going to grasp onto that old formula of a strong interior defense. That is what the Jason Collins move likely means. It is not like Boston has a ton of options or versatility down there. The Celtics lack a power forward with 3-point shooting ability. That weakness may come back to bight them in the Playoffs again.
For now, Boston is going to represent the old guard. That is both by the players on their roster and the way the roster is constructed.
The Celtics want one last hurrah before Pierce and Garnett hang things up. Collins is not a piece that is going to get them over the top. That much is for sure. Collins is a pure role player who provides solid defense and little offense. Considering the Celtics spent both of their first round picks on post players, adding Collins raises a lot of questions.
There are not many post players that would call for Collins’ specific skills. Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol might be the only centers who warrant a defensive stopper. There certainly are not many among the Eastern Conference contenders. So why spend more on Collins when there is still a need in the backcourt?
Boston is still holding on tight to their past.