Celtics at a glance

Updated: October 26, 2004, 12:47 PM ET
ESPN The Magazine

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Fantasy tip
Mark Blount
Pierce is the only sure thing, but Mark Blount (13.4 ppg and 10.3 rpg over the final 20 games) and Jiri Welsch are intriguing maybes.

Danny Ainge dismantled the Celtics, and now it's up to Doc Rivers to put them back together. Doc wants this team to get out and run, and they have the horses to do it.

Paul Pierce remains the go-to guy. A healthy Raef LaFrentz could be a dominant frontcourt force. But The Glove is the glue. If he's disgruntled, the Celtics will disintegrate. If Payton buys in, he and Pierce could lift the Celts to the playoffs.

Roster analysis
The starters: They will run, but they canŐt hide the fact The Glove is worn out.
Pos. Player Comment Grade*
PF Raef LaFrentz Biggest question mark on this team: his right knee 6
SF Paul Pierce Shot 631 FTs, second only to Shaq. Still needs more help 7
C Mark Blount Career year in points, assists, rebounds, blocks, FG% ... 7
SG Ricky Davis He likes to shoot. He really likes to shoot ... a lot of bad shots 6
PG Gary Payton 14.6 ppg, 5.5 apg lowest in 11 years. Blame old age? 6
BENCH Jiri Welsch supplies points. Walter McCarty brings energy. Marcus Banks provides rest for Payton's 36-year-old legs. And Kendrick Perkins? Too soon to tell. 5
*-out of 10