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Tuesday, 11 June 2013 15:55

Report Card: Shavlik Randolph

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With the season over and the draft still weeks away, we're taking a look back and assessing the season that was. That's right - it's report card time! Ninth in the series - Shavlik Randolph.

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Shavlik Randolph

Stat Line: (16 games) 4.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 0.3 apg, 12.4 mpg, 58.3 FG%, 40.7 FT%

What a nice surprise Shavlik Randolph turned out to be for the Celtics.

The former Duke big man last played in the NBA in 2009-10 for the Heat and Blazers, appearing in a total of just six games. He was out of the league for two years and failed in his initial comeback bid prior to the 2012-13 season when he was cut by the Washington Wizards in training camp.

He signed with the Foshan Long Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association and had an incredible season overseas, averaging 32.0 points, 14.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.0 blocks, shooting 53.1 percent while averaging 36.5 minutes a game.

Sure, that’s against much different competition, but averaging 32 points and 14+ rebounds in any professional league is nothing to scoff at.

Still, when he signed with the Celtics in early March, expectations for the 29-year-old journeyman would understandably low. But Randolph quickly proved to be far and away the most productive midseason acquisition for Boston.

While D.J. White could barely get on the floor and Fab Melo was shuffled back and forth from the D-League, Randolph established himself as the team’s best rebounder and impressed his coaches and teammates with how quickly he was able to pickup Boston’s defensive schemes.

The sample size is admittedly small (198 minutes in 16 games) but Randolph led the Celtics with a 17.8 percent offensive rebound rate. His defensive rebound rate of 24.3 trailed only Kevin Garnett’s 25.8 and Randolph was far and away the team’s leader in total rebound rate, at 20.9 percent. (Jared Sullinger was second with 17.5, Garnett third at 15.5.)

Randolph also led the team in defensive rating (98.0), an estimate of points allowed per 100 possessions. Excepting White and Melo’s miniscule sample size which was primarily logged in blowout games, Randolph led the team in block percentage as well, with 2.8.

So to recap, Randolph led the team in offensive rebound rate, total rebound rate, block percentage, and defensive rating and was second in defensive rebound rate to Kevin Garnett. Not bad for a guy who couldn’t make it past training camp with the Wizards.

Grade: A

Now what: Danny Ainge recently told the Herald’s Steve Bulpett that Randolph was likely to remain a Celtic, given his rebounding prowess – something the Celtics are decidedly lacking.

““Shav helped us a lot,” said Ainge. “I think Shav is a good player. He’s a guy that will probably have the best chance of being with us in the future, just because he rebounds, and that was one of our weaknesses. “I think Shav would have played a bigger role in the playoffs had we gone further.”

Randolph is set to be paid $1.1 million next season, though the contract is not guaranteed.

Jonathan Lemons

Jonathan Lemons writes and reports about sports.

He has worked for WEEI.com, 98.5 The Sports Hub, WickedLocal.com, WTBU Sports, and a number of newspapers, including the Allston/Brighton Tab and the Dedham Daily News Transcript. 

Jonathan recently received his Master's degree in Sports Journalism from Boston University. He is also an accomplished Monopoly player and enjoys apples.

Follow him on twitter @jonathanlemons