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Danny Aigne should have played Poker in the Off-Season rather then Craps.

As we near close to the Feb. 19th trade deadline and the must be on roster deadline of March 1st we all wonder what move(s) Danny Ainge will make for a run at Banner 18, but if we look back to the off-season those moves could have already been made.


The two key components missing from last year's title team are the length/defense of P.J. Brown and the 3PT shooting/defense of James Posey. Ainge will try to address those issues in the next couple of weeks, but trying to guess which players are going to be where in a months time is like trying to figure Sam Cassell's role with the team. Two players who would have been helpful in filling those voids were around this off-season and signed for the veteran's minimum.


Matt Barnes of the Phoenix Suns and Chris "Birdman" Anderson of the Denver Nuggets were free agents and would have fit into two slots the Celtics need. Anderson would be the lengthy backup center who can block shots and provide high energy off the bench. Averaging just less than 19 minutes per game with 6 ppg and 5.4 rpg, Anderson would also give you more blocks per game then Kendrick Perkins. While his size his very comparable to that of Brown, Anderson does lack the veteran presence, but with the Big Three on the team that wouldn’t have been a factor. If Ainge is able to somehow acquire Joe Smith then Anderson will and should always be an afterthought, but if he doesn’t then come playoff time you have to wonder if the Celtics would be flying higher with the Birdman or with the big man they chose. . . Patrick O’Bryant.


Barnes on the other hand would provide the Celtics with something they don't have, an actual backup small forward. If Paul Pierce gets in foul trouble then the Celtics are forced to go small with Tony Allen, Eddie House, and Gabe Pruitt who do a great job filling the guard position, but won’t fare well in the playoffs guarding LeBron James, Rashard Lewis or Tayshaun Prince. The 6-7 Barnes is averaging 10 ppg and 5 rpg, but more importantly has high energy and length with every team covets. He also will help stretch the floor allowing Rajon Rondo to penetrate and Kevin Garnett and Perkins to roam the post. Besides shooting 36% from beyond the arc compared to Posey's 42%, Barnes' statistics are almost identical to Posey's this year. In no way am I saying Barnes is James Posey, but looking at the available players Ainge could have filled a void for the veteran's minimum before the season even started that he probably can't fill now.


(Posey’s states are on top, Barnes’ below)


Stats

FG

3PT

FT

Rebounds

Misc

MIN

FGM-A

FG%

3PM-A

3P%

FTM-A

FT%

OFF

DEF

TOT

STL

BLK

TO

PF

AST

PTS

28.5

136-301

.452

79-189

.418

69 - 84

.821

0.5

4.4

4.8

.90

.26

.98

2.9

1.1

10.0

26.2

145-338

.429

68-185

.368

35 - 54

.648

1.2

4.2

5.4

.51

.28

1.8

2.7

2.1

10.1


In the next couple of weeks Celtics Nation has a dream combo nightmare scenario of adding Joe Smith and Stephon Marbury to the team. Smith would be a perfect fit for this time with his size and playing style, but the jury is and will be out on Marbury until it actually happens. Would he really be okay backing up a soon to be 23-year old guard? We don’t know how this roster will fill out, but while we try to guess should Ainge have stuck to poker and played the face cards in Anderson and Barnes or continued the Craps game and rolled the dice?

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