Thursday, 18 May 2017 22:38

    Why did anyone like the Celtics? Featured

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    NBA playoffs throw out another dud series

    The Eastern Conference finals are a game in and three games from being done, and it got me thinking about the Boston Celtics.

    The day they're awarded the No. 1 pick, they looked like a team that deserved a No. 1 pick in losing to the Cleveland Cavs 117-104 - a score that appears closer than the game actually was.

    The problem with the Celtics (brace yourselves for a Game 1 overreaction) is that we believe they're pretty good. I mean, they're a series away from the NBA Finals. But, when breaking it down, they're like those finger paintings you brougth home - not any good (shameless Happy Gilmore reference).

    I like Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder. They're scrappy workhorses (did I just call two black guys that?) and come cheap. But they're fourth, fifth options on a contending team.

    Isaiah Thomas is interesting in his ability to do what he does at 5-foot-6, 5-8 or however tall he actually is. But, he's pretty worthless as the go-to player when defenses can just double him. And, he can't defend a soul. 

    Horford is a nice center now. Not sure the soon-to-be 31-year-old is worth the $27-30 million he's making over the next three years. And, he's also a fourth-fifth option.

    The Celtics aren't a piece away - like Paul George or Jimmy Butler - from being a contender. They're two pieces away, which is curious, if you believe you need two superstars (so to speak) to contend.

    In other words, they have one less piece than the Milwaukee Bucks.

    But, I guess Boston could acquire those pieces - sign one (Gordon Hayward?) and trade the No. 1 pick for another.

    The best, most realistic, scenario for that seems to be signing Hayward, getting Jimmy Butler and losing nothing else.

    So here we are, the top seed in the East, and they're nothing but a regular-season fraud.

    Every guy is a fourth option. They needed a 10-for-14, 26-point effort from Kelly Olynk in Game 7 to get past Washington.

    It's twice now, that fans are cheated out of potentially exciting series in the East. The Bucks looked horrendous after the series with Toronto was tied 2-2, so it's doubtful a Bucks-Cavs series would have been better, but a Giannis Antetokounmpo-LeBron James matchup had to have been more interesting than the poop the Toronto Raptors left on the court in being swept.

    And a Washington Wizards-Cavs matchup seemingly looks better than whatever we saw Tuesday at Boston.

    But back to the Celtics being this team with assets that's so close to contending with the Golden State Warriors. They're lucky to have Brad Stevens as their coach. He will be the sole reason for acquiring Hayward for nothing in free agency, as is the rumor (Stevens was Hayward's coach at Butler). If that doesn't happen, Boston won't be relevant.

    No other free agents turn the tide enough for Boston to trade that first pick for another superstar. Blake Griffin, a possible free-agent acquisition, is not the answer. They have no outside shooting, either. Seems to be the fad now in the NBA, that thing called shooting.

    Thomas doesn't seem to be tradeable unless a team like the Raptors, who will lose Lowry, want to get out from under DeMar DeRozan's five-year, $139-million contract. That way, Boston could get someone like DeRozan, trade the first pick for Butler/George, and, possibly, still land a big-name free agent if they do things in the correct order to stay below the salary cap.

    But why anyone thought they could contend with the Cavs (even they didn't think it was possible at the trade deadline) is beyond me?

    So, here we are, watching another disappointing NBA playoffs series. It's three years running now that the majority of the playoffs have been unwatchable.

    And we're gearing up for another Cavs-Warriors Finals, which sounds exciting but, if you remember, despite it going seven last year, those games were all pretty uninteresting, as well.

    Read 437 times Last modified on Friday, 23 June 2017 00:33

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