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Tuesday, March 14, 2006 

Forever Young

I recently read Danny Ainge quoted saying that he considers Raef LaFrentz a "core player" for the Celtics. LaFrentz has shown flashes, especially while playing center recently, but on a contending team he is strictly a role player who mixes three-point shooting with decent defense. Only Paul Pierce, Wally Szczerbiak, and Delonte West have demonstrated enough multi-dimensional ability over the long-term to be considered "core players".

For the most part, the young players have been a mixed bag. I've been very impressed with Ryan Gomes since training camp (and completely mystified by Doc Rivers reluctance to play him), but Gomes needs more than one good month to prove his value. He looked tired on Friday night, which translated into a 6-15 shooting night. Al Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins could be a terrific tandem in the middle, but they are still very young and inconsistent. Gerald Green is athletic, but every time I see him play, the number 5 on his jersey reminds me of Kedrick Brown, whose athletic talent couldn't overcome his lack of NBA-caliber basketball skill.

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