Celtics' president of basketball operations Danny Ainge joined Mut & Merloni at the team's Shamrock Classic golf tournament on Tuesday to discuss what the upcoming season will hold for a team that came a game away from the NBA Finals.
The C's lost Ray Allen as a free agent to the Heat this summer and added the likes of Jason Terry, Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo. While the roster has undergone some changes, Ainge noted that one of the bigger differences from seasons past is that Rajon Rondo, entering his seventh season in the league, stands alone as the team's best player.
"What you saw in the playoffs is what we've known for a little while about Rajon, is Rajon -- a lot of people will say Rajon's had success because he's had there superstars and Hall-of-Famers playing with him -- and what we saw in the playoffs is that Rajon's the best player on the team. Even the game that Paul fouls out, Rajon goes and scores nine straight points and was more aggressive where he probably wouldn't have been that aggressive had Paul still been on the court.
"That's going to be sort of the next phase for our team, is when does Rondo take the game over as opposed to waiting for Ray, Paul and KG to take the game over. Rondo's our best player, and I think everybody knows that and he proved that in the playoffs this year."
One addition the C's will be getting is a healthy Jeff Green. The 26-year-old forward missed all of last season after suffering an aortic aneurysm, but is cleared to play.
"Jeff's a terrific player and he's in the prime of his career and he looks really good," said Ainge. "The heart condition, based on what we've seen so far and what our medical staff tells us is it's going to be easier for Jeff to come back from this condition once he gets established on the court and gets his conditioning back, easier than it would be for an ACL tear or an ankle surgery or something like that, because physically his body is fresh and healthy.
"It was just a minor defect in the heart that he had to get fixed, and it's a major surgery and it's a long rehab, but he looks fantastic. We look for Jeff, with his versatility at the 3 and the 4 position, he can spread the post at the 4, he can post up bigger 3s, he can defend the perimeter. He's another guy we can throw at the Carmello [Anthony]s and the LeBron [James]s in our conference. I think that Jeff that Jeff is a terrific player, right in the prime, and he's a great runner [who] I think will complement Avery Bradley, will complement Rondo, and he's in that same age range as Brandon Bass and Rajon Rondo as well."
For more on the Celtics, visit weei.com/celtics.
The guys have even more reaction to Deflategate and if this is actually a showdown between Bill and Roger.
Tom E. Curran calls the boys during his layover in Denver and gets right into the Deflategate craziness. Tom talks about his knowledge of the situation including his thoughts on if the NFL was indeed trying to set up and catch the Pats in the act. He gets into the relationship between Belichick and the league office, Belichick and Kraft and the actual game on Super Bowl Sunday.
Greg and Steve discuss the Deflategate debacle with callers and give their theories as to what went down in Foxboro last week against the Colts. Both guys think that Pats may be guilty of doing something to the balls, but that so do most other teams. Will Belichick and Brady be punished? Not if the NFL doesn't have proof, which it's looking more and more like they don't.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out of hardware, and give their Finals predictions
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
The Red Sox have taken over Foxwoods and Red Sox Manager John Farrell sat down with Mut and Bradford to talk about the roster and how the 2015 season is looking.
Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly and 3B Pablo Sandoval sat down with Mut and Bradford. Joe Kelly had a few interesting proclamations. First he said that 95% of pitchers use some sort of grip enhancer, and then he said he was going to win the Cy Young. Pablo leaned over and promised 10 HR's, explaining to Joe that the trick is to set the bar low.
Mut and Rob are in on the Hot Stove Show this week and they're taking calls and talking about the Red Sox pitching as we are 5 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training.
Pierre McGuire talks about ways hockey players skirt the rules in the NHL and the development of Dougie Hamilton.
Pierre McGuire joins Lou, Christian and Tim to discuss the resurgent Bruins, the emergence of David Pastrnak, and former Boston College stand-out Johnny Gaudreau looking to trademark the name 'Johnny Hockey.'
We get our state of the B report from NESN's Jack Edwards, right in the midst of a 4 game winning streak and hot return for David Pastrnak.
Tom Brady joined the show before his trip to Phoenix.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys opened the show by discussing Belichick's presser Saturday.
The guys react to comments made by Former Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney
After Tom Brady answered questions for a half hour about Deflate-Gate, the guys discuss whether or not they believe him.
Adam Schefter, ESPN, talks everything Deflate Gate with Lou, Christian and Tim on Patriots Friday
We get the national perspective on Deflategate and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.
We discuss deflategate and move beyond it for some game talk with Tom E Curran of CSNNE
Michael, Jerry and Andy Hart of PFW continue the dialogue and try and find some sanity in this sea of madness.
A caller named Jumbo from California raises a question that hasn't been talked about too much, what happens if it's determined that the Patriots aren't found responsible for the deflation of the footballs?
Mut and Lenny continue talking and taking calls on deflategate, as well as hearing the sound from Kirk Minihane's appearance on the O'Reilly Factor.
Mut and Lenny are talking deflategate and what impact it could have on the Patriots organization.
Chris and comedian Mike Mulloy recap the final Raw before the Rumble and preview the Rumble itself.
Would you rather watch important games in the stadium or on TV? Also we discuss our worst experiences at stadiums.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out some hardware, and give their Finals predictions.
We get the national perspective on Deflategate and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.More from this show
Tim Hasselbeck joined the show to give his expertise on deflate gate.More from this show
We discuss deflategate and move beyond it for some game talk with Tom E Curran of CSNNEMore from this show