Courtney Lee struggled mightily last season, appearing to lack a true identity in Doc Rivers' offense. While he shot fairly well from the field (46 percent), he showed very little aggressiveness and seemed to mistrust his jump shot. Expect a slight bounce-back from Lee this fall, as he and coach Brad Stevens should hit it off. In what will likely be a fast-paced, up-tempo style of play, the quick-footed 27-year-old could return to double-digit scoring averages like he enjoyed two years ago in Houston. Just don't expect him to distribute the ball or provide too many plays of the week.
26.4 MPG, 10.4 PPG, 1.9 APG, 1.2 SPG, 39% 3-FG
Heading into the 2012-13 campaign Courtney Lee was expected to be a key member of Doc Rivers’ rotation. A career 38% shooter from downtown and a respectable on-ball defender, Lee had all the tools necessary to be an effective “3-and-D” player for the Boston Celtics. Unfortunately, that’s not how things panned out for the 27-year old out of Western Kentucky.
Over the course of 78 games last year, Lee failed to match his career mark from three point range as he converted on just 37% of his attempts. And while the difference between 37 and 38 percent doesn’t seem like all that much, it’s important to remember that this is a guy who shot at least 40% from beyond the arc in three of his first four seasons.
Lee’s inefficient offense ultimately led to him being placed in Rivers’ doghouse during the playoffs where he would shoot 20% and 0% from the floor and distance, respectively, in just 39 minutes of play.
But now that Rivers is out and Brad Stevens is in, Courtney Lee has a chance to redeem himself in 2013-14. He’ll be given the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and essentially re-play his first season in Boston due to the simple fact that Stevens’ rotation is anything but set in stone. I expect Lee to serve as the first guard off of the bench while he takes another crack at being a “3-and-D” specialist.
With less pressure on him to produce, the 6-6 guard will find it this year to be much less stressful. He won’t have to play with the mentality that he is trying to replace some of Ray Allen’s production. Instead, Lee will be able to play his own game and, as a result, he should realize greater success in his sophomore season as a member of the Celtics.
26.0 MPG, 12.4 PPG, 1.7 APG, 1.7 SPG, 41% 3-FG