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Doc Rivers doesn’t know what to expect from Darko, either

Sep 26, 2012, 11:42 AM EDT

Minnesota Timberwolves v Sacramento Kings

If Darko Milicic were taken, say, 25th in the 2003 NBA Draft, you would think the Celtics made a good signing bringing him in this summer — a serviceable big man to bring in off the bench, a guy who for 12 minutes a night will not suck and give guys like Kevin Garnett some rest.

But that is not Darko’s legacy. He is the former No. 2 overall pick, taken in front of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. He is “manna from heaven.” His name will always be associated first with unattained expectations and draft busts.

So what does Doc Rivers expect from Darko in Boston this year? He doesn’t know either, he told the Boston Herald.

“I don’t know (what to expect),” he said. “I like a lot that he has size. What we want Darko to do is fit a role for us, and not push all of these expectations on him that he’s had all of his career. His first concern should be our team, instead of trying to establish himself. It’s the second pick in the draft thing. I think that hurt him over his career. We’ll find out. I’ll tell you if that’s true in January. I hope it’s true.”

Celtics fans get really defensive if you call their team old, but the fact is Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are cornerstones that have a lot of mileage on their legs. Rivers knows that they need to get those guys rest to get through an 82 game grind and be ready to role in the playoffs like they did last season. So this summer GM Danny Ainge went out and got some real depth.

Darko is part of that. He’s not going to start, he’s not going to average 15 and 10. But if for 12 minutes a night he can be rock solid, play smart and within himself, defend and grab some boards, then he will have real value to the Celtics. The key for Darko is to do it every night — his NBA career has been filled with nights he has been good and nights he has been terrible, but little consistency. Boston needs consistency or they will turn to other bigs to get it.

Nobody really knows what to expect. But we will see pretty quickly in Boston if this was a smart move to bring him in.

  1. j0esixpack - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Celtics fans don’t mind it when old players are called old. KG is old but obviously was the most coveted potential free agent this offseason.

    Celtics fans do mind it when supposedly knowledgeable sports writers refuse to acknowledge that Ray Allen (only playing because the young starter Bradley was out) and Pierce we’re injured during the playoffs and they STILL nearly beat the Heat, playing them much tougher than a “young” OKC team

    Since then the Heat have gotten older with Allen and the Celts have gotten younger and better with Terry, and an assortment of players that will likely give them considerably more depth.

    Health is the key for the Celtics, like any team, and while being older makes staying healthy more challenging it seems Rivers and Ainge have increased young depth to try to help their veterans stay healthy and fresh. I think most unbiased sports reporters would acknowledge that the Celtics have improved and gotten younger.

    Whether the Heat have improved by getting older with Ray Allen remains to be seen.

  2. nycalldayz - Sep 26, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    “Celtics fans get really defensive if you call their team old, but the fact is Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are cornerstones that have a lot of mileage on their legs”. Well maybe u shouldn’t call their team “Old” especially when that line is false and vastly over-blown. I believe the Celtics were the fifth oldest team in the 2012 post-season. Going into this 2013 season they’re younger than teams such as the Knicks, Clippers, Lakers and Miami.

    Sports writers like Kurt Helin can be disingenuous with the term “old”. There’s a reason why veteran teams such as the Spurs, Lakers, Pistons, Celtics, Mavericks and Heat have been successful the past 12 seasons, because they have veteran players.

    • eventhorizon04 - Sep 26, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      It’s not about the average age of the entire roster – to me, an “old” team is one that relies on older guys for their starters.
      A team that has an average age of 30 can be “young” if all of their starters are under age 30.
      A team that has an average age of 30 can be “old” if all of their starters are over age 35

      By that metric, the Lakers are the oldest contenders (1-5, they’re 38, 34, 33, 33, 27), followed by the Spurs, and then the Celtics. They are all “old” teams, with the Celtics the “youngest” of the 3 due to Bass, Rondo, and Bradley.

      Heat are “middle-aged” with 4 of their 5 starters age 30 or younger but older than 25.
      OKC is “young,” relying on 3 players under 25.

  3. nycalldayz - Sep 26, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    All Darko needs to do is take charges and try not to get dunked on. lol

    • nbascreed - Sep 26, 2012 at 1:27 PM

      Actually no NBA player (or hooper of any stripe) for that matter’s goal should be ‘not to get dunked on.’ If you believe your skillset and athleticism allows you to challenge a play at the rim, you should go for it. Period. That’s what I positively, absolutely love about Wade. He got punched on by Bass and Thabo crucial in the playoffs but as soon as the opportunity presented itself he was right back at the rim elevating and challenging guys.

  4. 00maltliquor - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    I know what to expect…

    Nothing! That’s what they should expect, nothing! Then again they have Jason Collins so….

  5. money2long - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    the money i would pay to peek in on a practice where darko is slouching/slacking and KG didn’t have his morning coffee.

  6. paulhargis53 - Sep 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    That’s funny malt.

    The same thing can be said about your posting on here. We expect nothing from you, and that’s exactly what we get…nothing.

    Darko isn’t expected to be anything more than what Hollins was last year. He will get about 8-10 minutes a game.

    They aren’t asking him for starters minutes. It was a depth move plain and simple. Deepest team in the NBA this year.
    You’re right to be afraid of this team.

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