- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Will Kris Joseph carve out a role in his rookie season with the Celtics?Oh sure, it's Labor Day and a dreadfully quiet time for the NBA season, but colleague Greg Payne and I are giving you a little holiday reading as our Over/Under series rolls into Week 2. We're setting potential benchmarks for Celtics players and predicting if they'll reach them. Up next: Rookie Kris Joseph, who faces the late-second-round pick's typical uphill battle for playing time, which adds a degree of difficulty to projecting his core stats.
Games played: 41
* Forsberg: Under seems the safe bet, but don't rule out the over. If we use E'Twaun Moore as our guide, last year's 55th overall pick played 38 of 66 games, so it's not unreasonable to think Joseph could appear in half of the 2012-13 contests. The question is whether the Celtics will need him that much. Paul Pierce and Jeff Green will eat up most of the minutes at the 3, but an injury could always open a door for Joseph.
* Payne: Under. Joseph's spot on the final roster isn't even guaranteed yet, and, similar to Fab Melo, it's more likely he'll spend the majority of his time in Maine playing for the D-League Red Claws. At 6-foot-7, Joseph can really only help the Celtics at the small forward spot (he could play the two, but the C's are already loaded there), and with Paul Pierce and Jeff Green taking all of the minutes there, the Syracuse rookie should be the odd man out.
Points per game: 2.9
* Forsberg: Under. Yes, he was Syracuse's leading scorer last season, but we don't expect him to be the type that guns away even if he only gets small doses of playing time at the end of lopsided games. It's his all-around abilities that will earn him a spot on the roster and it might be his defensive development that will hold the key to being on the floor. The scoring will come through the flow of the game, but don't expect much early on.
* Payne: Under. If Joseph does manage to find some court time, he won't be relied upon for much, if any, offensive output. Even though the rookie led Syracuse in scoring last season, we don't yet know how his offensive talents will translate to the NBA. Joseph has a good enough jump shot, and is athletic enough to score in transition, but none of that will matter if he can't consistently find floor time.
FG percentage: 42
* Forsberg: Over. Joseph shot 42.1 percent in his senior season at Syracuse (and 44.9 percent for his four-year career). With enough shots this is easily an over situation, but the question is whether he'll get enough shots to make up for any rookie shooting struggles out of the gates. The guess here is that Joseph will pick his spots (and shots) well.
* Payne: Under. This one could go either way (all depending on the amount of floor time Joseph sees). If Joseph does play, it'll probably be in garbage time, and if he's the type to chuck the ball up every time he touches it, his field goal percentage will dip accordingly. But, if he plays a smarter brand of ball, picks his spots, and plays to his strengths on the offensive end (excelling in transition, for example), he could shoot a solid percentage.
Oh sure, it's Labor Day and a dreadfully quiet time for the NBA season, but colleague Greg Payne and I are giving you a little holiday reading as our Over/Under series rolls into Week 2.