Boston Celtics: Courtney Lee Needs to be More Assertive
The Boston Celtics are enjoying themselves a nice five game winning streak that has them steadily climbing the standings in the Eastern Conference. The “team by committee” idea seems to have finally come to fruition and the Celtics are receiving a nice balanced level of sustained contribution from most of the core of the rotation. Courtney Lee, however, still sometimes shows a timid approach when it comes to penetrating the lane on the offensive end. On defense he is far above average and the combo of him and Avery Bradley in a deadly full-court press has really opened up doors for the Celtics in terms of finding their defensive identity.
Lee’s numbers this year are slightly below his career average, but it’s looking like he is unfortunately becoming less and less involved in the Celtics offense, and the Celtics need him to contribute even more. Lee is one of the Celtics only players that can penetrate at will, and when you have a team full of jump-shooters, a player with the ability to penetrate and draw fouls should certainly be utilized more.
Doc Rivers has an obvious trust in Lee already and his role certainly won’t lessen or diminish, but his skills are not being used properly. The Celtics’ offense has been on a steady climb as well as on the defensive end of the floor. In the long run, the Celtics are going to need Lee to drive to the lane and use his abilities and offensive tools to the fullest.
Lee’s last 10 games look pretty admirable- averaging 9.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in just under 30 minutes per game. Even though these numbers look “decent” or “good enough” Lee could really be helping a team that tends to get caught in scoring droughts and lacks inside points. It’s up to Lee to be more assertive down the stretch, and if he can get more touches on the offensive end along with continuing his above average perimeter defense, the Celtics will become an even better team.
Eric St. Cyr Covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. Follow Him on Twitter @EricJsaint