The Boston Celtics newest center, Vincent Poirier, received some high praise from his France teammates Nicolas Batum and Evan Fournier. The Boston Celtics and Poirier agreed on a two year contract this summer.
The Boston Celtics did have four of their players competing with Team USA this summer. But the team also had two other players competing with their respective countries; Daniel Theis, who represents Germany, and Vincent Poirier, representing France. Poirier is a wild card player for the Boston Celtics this season.
This summer while playing with France, Poirier shot a solid 56% from the field, and 83.3% from the free throw line. Though he didn’t play every game, he still impacted the game when he played. Last season while playing for Baskonia, Poirier averaged 11.9 points per game, while shooting 61.7% from the field. He also led the Euro League in rebounds (8.3 per game), earning Poirier a spot on the All Euro League second team.
What impresses me most about Poirier is how athletic he is. The big man plays vertical and is always above the rim for an alley-oop or block. In more recent years, we have seen a lot of centers becoming reliable from shooting behind the three point line. What we haven’t seen is a center that plays with the energy and athleticism of Poirier.
NBA veteran Nicolas Batum, also a native of France, was a teammate of Poirier’s during the FIBA World Cup this summer. Batum shot 7.3 points per game, while shooting 40% from the field this summer for France. It’s also noteworthy that Batum has spent the last four seasons as a teammate of Kemba Walker’s, while in Charlotte.
“This guy, I think, just started basketball 5 years ago, so he’s had a special career. His energy was great. We can’t count on Rudy every game. He wasn’t scared by Bogut & Baynes. He was amazing tonight.” – Nicolas Batum, per John Schumann
Evan Fournier of the Orlando Magic, is another member of the France team. Fournier shot 19.8 points per game, while shooting 42% from the field, and 41% from three point range. He had this to say about the new big man for the Boston Celtics:
“It’s clear that he’s a center that can block shots and control the paint. He’s a terrific roller, can really catch a lob, and obviously has a lot of energy. it’s a good pick-up for Boston, for sure.”
The Boston Celtics center position has become popular this off season. After having a small taste in his rookie season last year, Robert Williams looked very impressive this summer, and is expected to have a large role this season. Daniel Theis is a great rotational player who can play solid ball from the four or the five spot. And the team has brought in both Enes Kanter and Vincent Poirier this off season. It’s safe to say that there is plenty of competition at center.
In an interview with EuroHoops in April, Poirier seemed intrigued about the opportunity to play in the NBA, but he did have this to say:
“I don’t prefer the Euro League or the NBA, but I’ll make my decision if there’s two contracts on the table. I won’t move to the NBA to find myself on the bench.”
Poirier won’t be a bench warmer by any means. He is going to get his minutes and be disruptive on defense and electric on offense! Poirier may even start a couple games along the way this season. Coach Stevens has already acknowledged the level of talent and depth at the center position. Celtics fans have to be excited about the depth and who we have in those spots.
Another player that shouldn’t be forgotten about is Tacko Fall. He will be competing for a roster spot during training camp. The team hasn’t made any indications about the final roster spot, but Tacko Fall has a good chance of taking it.
Vincent Poirier has some serious competition at center. I hope he is up for the challenge of the NBA.
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