Boston Celtics Mid-Season Report Card
More like the 3/4 season report card, what with only 25 games left. But again, the All-Star Game was just Sunday, so this seems like the right time.
As with the Boston Bruins’ report card done a few weeks ago, the Blowhard has to admit that he hasn’t watched every minute of every game. For the B’s, it was about tolerating Jack Edwards. For the C’s, it’s listening to Tommy Heinsohn berate the officials all game that is difficult to do. Or listening to Scals flapping his gums about anything really. Ok, those aren’t the only reasons for not watching…but they don’t help.
Jumping right in:
Ownership: N/A. There’s no doubt that Wyc Grousbeck can be fairly visible. Steve Pagliuca is around from time to time. There seem to be some other part-owners…Wyc’s Dad, a couple of dudes named Epstein and I guess others involved with Boston Basketball Partners, LLC (yup, looked it all up!)…but Wyc and Steve are the most noticeable. To me though, it appears they let the basketball people run the basketball show. They will spend the money if they have to. And unlike Jeremy Jacobs of the Bruins, their actions over the years would seem to indicate that they want to win championships instead of just count their money. So I feel that the grading for management falls squarely on…
Danny Ainge: B. This may even be better graded as “Incomplete”…until this week’s trading deadline anyway. Yes, it’s been a long and slow rebuild. But, based on the circumstances, it really has been the only way to go. They didn’t get Kevin Durant last summer to speed up the process. But they tried. Ainge has been accumulating significant assets over the years (I know, we are ALL sick of the word “assets”!). He is looking at a potential #1 overall pick this upcoming offseason with Brooklyn being as atrocious as they are. Of course, the lottery never goes the C’s way, but that’s a story for another day.
Ainge has missed on some draft picks, but he has put together a bunch of talented players that are currently in the 2nd position in the East. Is it enough for Banner 18? Nope. But it’s been a consistent upward climb since the rebuild started. The team is in a good position as of right this second salary-cap wise. There is work to do still though. And with a few key contracts expiring after next season (Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart), combined with the inability thus far to land the “Big Fish”, is the window closing? I don’t think quite yet. But the clock is certainly ticking.
Brad Stevens: A-. I still don’t like how the team shoots way too many threes. I wish young guys like Jaylen Brown would play more consistent minutes. But there is not much else to argue with. Isaiah has obviously helped this grade. But Bradley has missed 21 games (and counting). And he is inexplicably their best rebounder, by the numbers anyway. Marcus Smart has seemed to have taken the “next step”. Brad gets at least something useful from guys like Amir Johnson, Jonas Jerebko and Gerald Green from time to time. James Young has actually finally shown a little bit in the last couple of weeks. 37-20 and only 3 games behind Cleveland. Really can’t complain.
Isaiah Thomas: A++++++++++. Almost 30 points a game. Sick 4th quarter stats. Over 90% from the line, where he gets to a lot. Almost 40% from three. 6.3 assists even. Sure, he may not be an A+ defender, or even a “C” one, but who cares? Hopefully he does not wear down as the season progresses. And yeah, he hasn’t proven a thing in the playoffs…yet. But how can you give him anything less of a grade for this season?
Avery Bradley: B+. Having his best season, but too many games missed. Something that has been all too common in his career. Costs him an “A” grade this year anyway. Love the rebounding numbers. Still steady on D. Team is not better without him, but to this point really hasn’t missed a beat with him on the shelf.
Al Horford: B-. Al doing what Al typically does, I would have to say. But for 26.5 mil, I guess I’d like to see more. That’s just me.
Jae Crowder: B. Numbers up pretty much all around from last year, especially three-point field goal percentage. Steady player. Leader. Maybe could have gone “B+” here, I don’t know. I always have the feeling though that this is about the ceiling with Jae. Not horrible. But not great either.
Marcus Smart: B. Still shoots too much for someone who can’t shoot. But at least it’s improved a smidge. I think you have to measure his impact in other ways however. He has been getting plenty of accolades for his defense and overall game. So we will go with that for now. Glad to see he seems to keep developing though. With any luck, he has stopped flopping too.
Kelly Olynyk: B-. Everyone knows my disdain for this guy. I want my 7-footers to be dirty under the boards, not hanging out by the three-point line. But this is the way the C’s play. This is what they ask him to do. And he has stepped up offensively it appears. So…whatever.
Terry Rozier: C+. 4th guard getting more time with the Bradley injury. Shows flashes, but inconsistent. I somehow expected more from him this year, based on the end of last year really.
Amir Johnson: B-. Doesn’t really hurt you, but doesn’t really help you either. Still in the starting lineup, so must be doing something right. If they could move Horford to power forward and start a real center though…
Jonas Jerebko: C. I don’t understand the infatuation and never will. Sure, he hustles all over the court. That doesn’t make him any good.
Jaylen Brown: C+. They are bringing the kid along slowly. But you can see glimpses. He’s barely 20 years old. He’s certainly shooting better than I think everyone expected. It may take some time, but he’s a keeper. Now watch him be traded in a package for an established superstar…
Gerald Green: C. I never understood this signing. Can provide instant offense, but doesn’t necessarily do it every game. Doesn’t even play in some. Should just be giving Brown his minutes.
Tyler Zeller: D. Does nothing for me.
James Young: C-. Hasn’t played a whole ton until recently. Not sure if they are “showcasing” him for the trading deadline to free up a roster spot or something. Maybe try to get something for him in return after using a mid-first round pick on him 3 years ago. Still only 21 years old. Something about Young intrigues me and I can’t figure it out.
Jordan Mickey: F. Not sure he has played enough to deserve an actual grade. But this one is based on expectations as well. I expected Mickey to really battle for minutes based on the fact that this team needs rebounders. Sure, at 6’8″ he is undersized. But people have talked about his rebounding ability, I thought he may take another step up this year. But no…he played some at the beginning, but barely does now. Disappointing.
Demetrius Jackson: Incomplete. Only played 4 games. Deep on the depth chart. Maybe someday, kid.
Posted on February 21, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged Al Horford, Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens, Brooklyn pick, Cleveland Cavaliers, Danny Ainge, Easter Conference, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder Kelly Olynyk, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, NBA, NBA All-Star Game, NBA playoffs, NBA trading deadline. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.