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Monday, February 07, 2005
Mid-Season Awards 
With the season now past its mid-point and the All-Star game fast approaching, we've put together some nominations for two mid-season awards for the Celtics - MVP and a unique to the C's Young Gun Award. As this team is influx with a number of young players we have decided to break out these awards into two separate categories. Obviously, MVP is self-explanatory, the Young Gun award goes to the player with 2 years or less of NBA experience who has contributed most to the squad this season. Here are a look at the MVP nominees....

MVP
Paul Pierce - The Celtics Captain is again having a solid season. While he has bristled at times under Doc and with the new (read first time in his NBA career) offensive system, Paul has continued his stellar play, particularly of late. The Truth leads the team in minutes, points per game and steals, and is 2nd on squad in rebound and assists. Looking closely at his numbers thus far into the season, PP has upped his FG and 3P % to levels last seen in the 2001-2002 season. He is also taking 2 fewer shots per game, while holding his other statistics relatively consistent with his career levels. Whether he makes the All-Star game or not will be determined shortly, however his numbers this season are certainly worthy of selection. Here is the per-game break down through 47 games of the season:

MIN FG% FT% STL BLK TO REB AST PTS
36.3 44% 82% 1.7 0.4 2.9 6.9 4.3 22.3

Ricky Davis - Ricky joined the team around the 25 game mark last season in a fairly controversial trade which ultimately led to Obie punching out. Despite a history of off-court issues and personality flare-ups, Buckets has been nothing short of fantastic this year. He brings an athleticism to the court that is unrivaled in Celtic history. In addition to his physical gifts, Ricky brings a fantastic energy off the bench which pegs him perfectly as Red's classic 6th man. Looking at the stats, Ricky is second on the team in scoring, and steals, and third in minutes and assists. Ricky really shoots a fantastic percentage for a swing man in the NBA today, from all areas of the court. If the team can continue on its current upswing and finish the season strong, Ricky will get very serious consideration for the 6th Man of the Year award. Here are Ricky's stats through 47 games this season:

MIN FG% FT% STL BLK TO REB AST PTS
31.5 46% 81% 1.2 0.3 2.4 2.9 2.8 14.9

Gary Payton - The trade which brought GP to Boston received mixed reviews in Celtic Nation at the start of the season, particularly from some of the beat writers in the Boston media. I think its safe to say, GP has proved he still has it. After his frustrating season on the Lakers, the 36 year old Glove is 14th in the league in assist. While he no longer plays at his mortal lock for Hall of Fame level of the mid-90s GP is a very effective floor general. In addition to his on the court contributions, Gary is just as important to the team off the court with his mentoring to everyone from PP to Marcus to Big Al. Unfortunately, trade rumors abound with GP and given some of the family difficulties he is currently experiencing (his mother is undergoing cancer treatment) it seems that GP could possibly finish the season with a west coast team. Here is what GP has done on the
court, unfortunately there is no way to measure his impact off the court....

MIN FG% FT% STL BLK TO REB AST PTS
33 47% 74% 1.2 0.1 2.0 2.9 6.3 12.4

Raef LaFrentz - Raef came to the team in the watershed deal for Antoine. This bold move by Danny Ainge is still a sore subject to some Celtics fans. Last season, Raef's creaky knees brought him to the surgeon's table after 17 games of relatively uninspired play. This season however, it's a whole new Raef. Raef (who really needs a nickname) leads the team in both rebounds and in blocks while scoring 11 points per game. While this level of performance is not quite up to par with the generous contract Mark Cuban extended to Raef, his performance has been a pleasant surprise this season and frankly without his contribution this team would get destroyed on the glass on a nightly basis. That being said, Raef could be attractive to an underperforming contender (cough Minnesota cough) who needs help on the glass and is willing to take on his contract and creaky knees. For the season Raef's numbers are as follows:

MIN FG% FT% STL BLK TO REB AST PTS
27.7 49% 80% 0.7 1.1 0.9 7.5 1.1 11.1


If you want to do some investigating on your own you can find stats from the Celtics here and a more analytical breakdown at 82games.com here

Celtics Nation, the floor is now open to debate.

Part Two - The Young Gun Award to follow....

# posted by Green17 @ 2/07/2005 02:58:00 PM - Message Board

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