Boston Celtics’ Rookie Big Men Are Key To Beating Miami Heat
The Boston Celtics are going through a rebuilding phase after trading away Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets and sending head coach Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers. The players that they got in return are not likely to be long term solutions for the Celtics, but the three first round draft picks they acquired could be.
The Celtics are rebuilding around point guard Rajon Rondo, who is currently injured, and forward Jeff Green, who is the leading scorer for Boston at 15.8 points per game. The Celtics have plenty of veteran forwards that will probably be used as trade bait later in the year, as well as young athletic guards.
Through trades and the draft, Boston has a duo of young centers that could be the key to them contending in the next few seasons. Victor Faverani was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Brazil and has started all six games for Boston. He has averaged 6.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game in 22 minutes.
With their first round pick in the 2013 draft, the Celtics drafted 7-foot center Kelly Olynyk out of Gonzaga. He has been coming off the bench and has averaged 8.2 points and 4.7 rebounds in 22 minutes per game. He has struggled shooting the ball at only 37.5 percent, but has been a great offensive rebounder.
The Miami Heat‘s biggest weakness is covering big men and keeping them off the boards. Carlos Boozer scored 31 points and grabbed seven rebounds against them opening night. In their last game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan combined for 38 points and 28 rebounds. The Heat, as a team that night, had only 30 rebounds, including only eight from their starting power forward and center.
If the Celtics hope to beat the Heat, they will need big games on the boards and in the paint from Olynyk and Faverani, as well as Jared Sullinger and Brandon Bass.