Many Boston Celtics fans had high hopes for Courtney Lee when he joined the team last season. Lee had just come off a productive season with the Houston Rockets and was expected to be a shooter and a stopper for the Celtics. He didn’t work out well, though, and last year, he scored his fewest points and hit his fewest three pointers of his short career.
Lee is back with the Celtics this year, and it’s hard to expect him to play much better. He actually shot fairly well last season, connecting on 46.4 percent of his field goals, his highest ever percentage on a season. That boost in field goal percentage is largely due to taking fewer three point shots, though, which was one of the things he was brought in to do. Even on his fewest ever three point attempts, Lee shot 37.2 percent from behind the arc, his second worst mark of his career; 37.2 is still a relatively good percentage from deep, and this seems like one area he may actually improve in this year, as he typically shoots around 40 percent, and the Celtics don’t have many other shooters.
Defense was supposed to be another of Lee’s specialties, but he was failed to deliver there too. Lee posted a defensive rating of 104, the lowest of his career since his rookie season. While that isn’t too bad, and he is still considered a passable defender, the Celtics played worse when he was on the floor.
Last year, people expected a breakout season for Lee, as he would have the opportunity to start right away and play the most minutes of his career. Lee ended up starting exactly half of the games he played in and earned just 24.9 minutes per game. This year, he’ll have the opportunity to earn plenty of minutes again, as the current Celtics squad has no guaranteed starters besides Jeff Green .
Unfortunately for Lee, the Celtics will likely use him as a point guard some, as they did last year after Rajon Rondo went down. Lee (and Avery Bradley) ran the point fairly poorly, leading to a career high 84 turnovers last year. So far, new coach Brad Stevens hasn’t given Lee much run, and he’s averaging just 18.2 minutes per game over the Celtics’ first five games. This year should be pretty similar to last year for Lee, unless Stevens finds a better way to use him.