Three Conference Contenders
That Would Love to Have One of Our Big Three
Now obviously, Danny Ainge has made it pretty clear that the Big Three plus Rondo is going to give it another go at the NBA title. But it’s the off-season, the Finals are on the television, and the Boston Celtics are not in it.
The way I see it, the only option is to create completely far-fetched scenarios in the green and white mind sitting on my shoulders.
1. Chicago Bulls: Ray Allen
The Chicago Bulls were one series away from their first NBA Finals appearance since you-kn0w-who sported Chicago red. Frankly, any team who starts Keith Bogans at the off-guard has no business even getting that far. Two main criticisms of the Bulls during the season was an over-reliance on Derrick Rose, and lack of production from the two-guard position. Our own Ray Allen would provide plenty of relief for both of these problems. As a returning Celtics, fans and the front office (I’m assuming) are expecting Allen to log at least 30 minutes per game, and there’s no reason he wouldn’t be able to do the same in Chicago. Even at his advanced maturity, Sugar Ray is at least an offensive weapon that defenses must account for. Although media coverage labels Allen as a one-trick pony at this point in his career, I still believe he brings more to the table than a role player in a Kyle Korver mold. The Bulls possess enough depth at the guard position to provide relief for Allen’s aging body, while Allen still has enough miles left to provide Derrick Rose with another option and produce to a respectable extent.
2. Orlando Magic: Kevin Garnett
The Magic have always been one of those teams that costantly appear to be “one piece away” from legitimate championship contention. Through my perception, Orlando lacked the physicality and mental toughness (outside of Dwight Howard) necessary to win a championship. Characters passing through the roster such as Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, and Ryan Anderson support this theory. Now these players may be talented, and bring specific skills to the table, but hasn’t it all been seen before, and proven NOT to be effective? Ryan Anderson? Big man with a shooting stroke. Hedo Turkoglu? Big man with little man skills. Rashard Lewis? Big man-small man hybrid. Kevin Garnett would be the perfect fit to step in the Magic’s front court. Even with a 35-years-young KG, a Garnett-Howard frontcourt would be one of the most defensively formidable duos the NBA has ever seen. Not to mention that Garnett can still provide an offensive spark, stroke it from outside, and crash the boards with the best of them. Adding Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics changed the culture of the franchise, making it one of the most disliked in the NBA for all of the right reasons. If Garnett’s contagious intensity would have the same effect on the Orlando Magic, hell, maybe even Gilbert Arenas would wake up from his three year slump.
3. Atlanta Hawks: Paul Pierce
Five years ago, Marvin Williams was seemingly the whole package. Tall for his position, athletic, skilled, and already a proven winner coming into the 2005 NBA Draft. And what other options were there? Deron Williams? Chris Paul? Please, one was overweight and the other could probably only size up to ride half of the rollercoasters at Six Flags. It’s obvious the Hawks made quite the miscalculation here. Finishing his sixth year in the league, it might be time to accept that Williams will never be more than a servicable roleplayer for Atlanta; capable in many facets, but excelling at nothing. This is where Paul Pierce comes into play. The Hawks are a young and exciting team, and Pierce would provide a veteran prescence and proven winner (at the professional level) in the locker room. Paul Pierce can still be a dynamic scorer at this point in his career, and he would provide another option to relief the scoring load of Joe Johnson. Pierce has also shown the ability to defend the LeBron Jameses and Kobe Bryants of the world, to an extent. Pierce could be the piece for the Hawks that could finally allow them to make a serious push deep into the playoffs.