Thank You Celtics
What a season! All the way to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Whoda thunk it?? Specifically, as the whole world knows, without their best two players? Just a crazy ride…and a helluva fun one.
Sure, if anyone on the team could throw the ball in the ocean in Game 7 against the Cavs, we’d all be looking at a Finals matchup with the Warriors. But who can really complain? The future is bright, my friends. Let’s enjoy this year for now, as the expectations will now soar for the future. This year, I was not feeling anything going into Game 7, figuring even getting to that point was gravy.
Next year? Us fans will be expecting more. As we should. And if they disappoint, we will sing a different tune for sure.
The Blowhard has a slew of thoughts about everything Celtics. Truth be told, they were part of an e-mail response to friends two days ago. So let’s make that a blog post!! Nothing like repurposing some content. But hey, it is what it is. Of course, we have to tidy some things up. And likely add some more. But here’s my favorite bullet point format, in no particular order:
*Some may be disappointed that the C’s are not facing Golden State in the NBA Finals and that it would be interesting to see how they match up against the best of the best. I am not sure I agree that it would have been great to see them keep playing…they would have gotten steamrolled/demolished/bludgeoned by the Warriors. Game 7 was surely a disappointing loss, but I think a silver lining COULD be that these guys know they should have won this series. This MAY light a little fire under the players this summer to work even harder than they already would have, knowing the missed opportunity that they had.
There is the possibility that if they won Game 7 and got to the Finals and then got smoked by Golden State maybe some players get their confidence shaken? Or even worse, knew they wouldn’t beat the Warriors, mailed it in to some degree, happy to at least get to the Finals without Kyrie and Gordon, and all along telling themselves that if they did have those two, they would have won the whole enchilada.
I don’t know, maybe I’m reaching. But I know for sure I would not have enjoyed them getting swept in the Finals, likely by large margins, at least in California.
*Many in the local area thought that if Houston was able to knock off Golden State, the Celtics would have a real chance to be NBA Champions if they got by the Cavs. I think that is kind of a dubious assumption. Even if the Rockets were to be without Chris Paul. The series would have been closer. But maybe 5 games instead of a sweep? Perhaps I am wrong about all of the above. But I feel like the train would have come to a screeching halt against either team.
*LeBron was LeBron in Game 7 and really, the whole series. In all ways. Punk move when he “blocked” (fouled) Rozier on the dunk attempt (dumb move by Rozier, by the way), then stood still and stared at what? The guy is one of the best players ever, maybe the best. But sorry, an absolute arseclown. It’s antics like this that make me despise him. Sure, all the greats have their “things”. Although generally a homer, I did not care for whenever Paul Pierce did stuff like this…wheelchair, bandages and all that. But LeBron takes these things to the next level with what he says, his mannerisms and everything all around. And of course, I will never forgive him for that ridiculous circus called “The Decision”.
*There were too many unnecessary switches in this series by the Celtics defense. And they all seemed to eventually end with Terry Rozier guarding LeBron. There has to be a better way.
*We have to all agree that it was a nice playoff run for the C’s. But we cannot discount the fact that the East was WEAK. My opinion, and perhaps my opinion alone. But…Cleveland WAS LeBron. Toronto choked, per usual. Philly fattened up their record at the end of the season against a slew of noncontenders. Miami, Milwaukee, Washington, Indy? Meh. There are some good players spread out over all of those teams. But any one of them could beat any one of them. I wasn’t impressed anyway.
*I have no doubt Danny Ainge won’t sit still this offseason. This team does still need some tweaks (and HAS to have some tweaks, kind of), even with the return of Irving and Hayward (and Daniel Theis and Shane Larkin, if you wish). I’m not saying he needs to make MAJOR moves, but I’m not ruling that out either if the right deal crosses his plate. I’m not talking just Anthony Davis or Karl Anthony Towns or any superstar along those lines. I’m talking any “right deal”. Of course, anyone would do the right deal, so this is not a big stretch. But still. Most people want Danny to just bring back the same team next year because they went so far this year without two horses. And I’m thinking he still may have one more huge one up his sleeve.
*I’d personally start by dealing Rozier…selling high if he didn’t torpedo any value he built up during the playoffs during his putrid Game 7. Or if teams look closer at his road splits. He is no more than a third guard to me. And I choose Marcus Smart as my third guard. Though Brad Stevens has to absolutely rein Smart in from shooting as much next year if he returns. This is a must.
I don’t hate Rozier. I don’t love him either…although I do love the way he rebounds as a guard. I am also not giving him away for nothing. But I’m thinking you can’t keep both him and Smart next season. Rozier did take a huge step up this year and I think they can package him with something else for something of value in return.
Now, I realize “Scary Terry” is a mere 3 million next year and also that Smart thinks he is worth more than 14 million. But Smart is a restricted free agent this offseason and Rozier will be restricted next season. With Irving and Hayward coming back, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum deserving some more minutes next season as well, Marcus Morris and Al Horford also deserving of a decent amount of time…doesn’t something have to give?
Of course. And I think Rozier may have the most value of the guys listed above, that would be available I would say. And if somehow both he and Smart return next season, and Terry is only getting 18-20 minutes a game, that may not end up well either.
If someone pays Smart what he wants, then all of the above is moot I guess…he won’t be here. But I’m thinking teams will not pay him and he will be back. I’ve been wrong before though…
*I’m also not sure Morris a lock to return. I was just told that he is kind of like a mentor and big brother to Brown and Tatum though (thanks Mike F.!). I had not heard this before. And quite frankly, this scares the bejesus out of me. Morris is a good player and had a good year. But he is a lunatic. Certifiably insane. Not sure he is the guy that I want mentoring my young studs. But maybe he is a softie in the locker room, I don’t know.
*Aron Baynes is absolutely brutal. Worst rebounding form I think I may have ever seen from a big man. Horrible touch around the basket (what’s his percentage on tip-ins? 33%?). Defense? Mediocre as far as I am concerned. I simply can’t watch him. And whose great idea was it to have him start shooting threes? Cuz he made a couple against Philly? Ugh…maybe I am being harsh. But I’m thinking you can find someone with his skill set for less than the 4.328 mil he made this year.
*I’m not trading Tatum, under any circumstances. It would be hard for me to trade Brown at this point, despite his ups and downs. But there is room on Players #5-#17 (#18?) to make some moves to help the team, however minor if “minor” is the way that Danny ends up going. Although “Player #5” would be Al Horford and I suppose if they were working him into a deal, his max contract isn’t exactly “minor”.
*If they want to fill a back-end roster spot, I’d re-sign that Jonathan Gibson dude that shot the lights out the last couple of games of the regular season. If all this team wants to do is shoot threes, that guys shooting ability has to mean more to the C’s than a lot of other things, no?
*I’m not sure why Greg Monroe got buried as the playoffs went on. I know, he doesn’t play D. But he scores and rebounds. Could have used a few of each. Couldn’t he have played decent D against someone like Tristan Thompson in this series to “hide” him in that regard? Some may think he looked completely lost when he was out there. But I think they could’ve thrown him in there for a few minutes at a time and he could have been all right.
That’s about it…for now, anyway. Great run and yet again it will be another interesting offseason. Does Danny bring everyone back? Does he just make minor moves? Or is one more big splash in the offing? He could go in any direction and no one really knows.
But with rumors milling around already about Ainge trying to move up in the draft and get a big guy or some other top talent it seems we are off to a flying start to the offseason!
Posted on May 31, 2018, in Uncategorized and tagged Al Horford, Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens, Cleveland Cavaliers, Danny Ainge, Golden State Warriors, Gordon Hayward, Houston Rockets, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Kyrie Irving, Marcus Morris, Marcus Smart, NBA draft, NBA Finals, offseason, Terry Rozier. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.