…but the natives are getting restless. Especially after this uninspiring 3 game stretch for the Boston Celtics following the NBA trading deadline.
The “told ya so” was for the fact I didn’t expect Danny Ainge to do anything last Thursday. I wish he did something…at least get some sort of big man who could get a few rebounds. But certainly not surprised he didn’t. Just had that hunch all along.
To reiterate from the last piece, I do not blame Danny for standing pat. The names you heard that were the targets, primarily Paul George and Jimmy Butler, carried plenty of risks. First of all, the Pacers and Bulls, respectively, really did not want to trade those players by all indications. So apparently they were asking for the sun, the moon and the stars. Which I would do too under those circumstances. But Ainge was smart in not giving it to them. Whatever was left on the C’s roster if they made a deal like that still may not have been enough to supplant the Cavs, so what’s the point?
Then…the Brooklyn picks. The more I hear about the 2017 draft, the more I hear that there could be several great players coming out of it. Who really knows with all these college guys, but it seems to be a deeper draft than last year. And a draft that could produce some studs. We’ll see, but if you are not going to get past the Cavaliers under almost any scenario, why would you rush to give one of those picks up?
So the “big deal” not happening didn’t disappoint me. But the “minor deal” not being struck kind of bothered me. Sure, this type of deal would not have made the Celtics champions. But if the deal brought in some size and rebounding skill, it certainly wouldn’t have hurt. Some of the lesser players acquired went for cheap as well. Nerlens Noel, P.J. Tucker, Taj Gibson to name a couple. Tucker’s not a giant, but appears to be good for 6 plus rebounds a game in his career. I’m not sure why Noel’s stock had plummeted in Philly. But he seemed like a pretty good fit for the C’s. And the Sixers kind of gave him away. I don’t know…
To me, there is a lot of dead weight at the back-end of the Celtics roster. Danny and Wyc Grousbeck keep chirping about the “#10-#15 on the roster” being important and contributing and blah blah blah. They can’t really believe that, right?
Demetrius Jackson has played 17 MINUTES this season. Ssssoooo…completely forgotten by the team…and also by me…that I actually couldn’t remember his first name right off the bat. Jordan Mickey and James Young have barely played. Tyler Zeller, Gerald Green and Jonas Jerebko are equal parts fungible and…useless. I don’t see how these guys have been so valuable.
Furthermore, of the aforementioned six players, maybe Jackson is here next year on potential, but that’s no guarantee. There’s a pretty good chance NONE of the other five are here next year. If they are not truly contributing here this year and they won’t be here next year, why do we care about “#10-#15” on the roster the rest of the year?
Take any of these guys, any of the numerous non-Brooklyn picks upcoming and whatever else and get a Noel. Just seemed like something that could be done fairly easily…especially in hindsight for us, seeing as the cost wasn’t high. Hindsight for us, but Danny knew what the cost was. And even at a low one, he still didn’t do it. Hard to figure.
In any event, the Celtics have come out after the deadline and played pretty brutal. Tonight’s game against the Hawks was tough to watch. A loss to Toronto after having a 17 point lead. And a win against Detroit that probably only was a win because the Pistons couldn’t hit free throws, or hit layups or dunks…well, mostly Andre Drummond was to blame for most of those, but still. Not a great win.
Perhaps the players let down a little because the front office didn’t come through? They saw other teams around them improve, but Ainge did nothing? They think management wants to still stay on the long-term course while they are ready to take the next step forward now? Can’t rule any of that out. But it would kind of be a poor reflection on the players. And of course it’s only a three game sample. So we will just have to see how that plays out over the next several games.
Either way, it appears that Ainge and the rest of management have determined that they cannot take that next step this year. I think that was made loud and clear at the deadline.
As the Blowhard has referenced many times recently, let’s just hope those “fireworks” that Celtics ownership promised long ago actually happen this upcoming offseason. I mean, is there any way we can speed this whole thing up? Please?