2016-17 NBA Season Weekly Recap: Boston Celtics
The Celtics attended their own funeral last night, and unfortunately I had to be there to witness it. Honestly, I thought it was going to be a repeat of when the Texans came to Foxboro donning Letterman jackets for a regular season game a few years ago. I thought they were going to end up thinking too much about the quasi "beef" behind this game and get blown out by us. But they actually backed up the shit that they talked, and it was their backcourt that put the nail in the coffin. John Wall and Bradley Beal were hooping last night, and we didn't have Avery Bradley to stop them. Anytime the Celts went on a little run, they would give up a 3 or turn the ball over to shift the momentum back in Washington's favor. This game was pretty much lost before it was even played.
I saw someone tweet something very true last night: IT's defense is not the problem, the rest of the roster is just not made to make up for his specific shortcomings. In other words, we're going to have to live with the fact that there are probably 25 other starting PG's in the league that can drive by Isaiah whenever they want to. That's just the reality when you have a 5'9" PG. But if you're going to have a 5'9" PG, then your second line of defense better be solid and stacked with rim protectors, and ours just isn't. So what happens is IT doesn't stay in front of the ball, our big men down low rotate over to help, the driver makes the right pass, and we give up a layup. It's not just Isaiah; our starting PF and C are both 6'10", and our starting 2 guard is 6'2", we're just a short team in general. We have two 7 footers on our team, but they're Kelly Olynyk (soft as fuck) and Tyler Zeller (weak as fuck). So with our lack of rim protection coupled with our atrocious rebounding, our biggest need is clearly Frontcourt help.
We were finally hitting our groove, winning 11 out of 12 before this 3 game skid that we're in right now. In large part, we have Avery Bradley's injury to thank for that. He's our second leading scorer, a much better 3 point shooter than Smart, and arguably the best on ball wing defender not named Kawhi Leonard. Not only that, but Jae Crowder hasn't really been the same defensively as he has been in the past. I fully expect us to turn it back around like we did already this season, but the question is what Danny plans to do with the trade deadline fast approaching. Does he take the "wait and see" approach, which will consist of holding onto our Nets pick this year and continuing on the draft and develop track. Will he look to find some immediate help and make a big splash (like he's been trying to do for the past 3 years) by landing a superstar? Or will he just try to find a serviceable veteran big man (hello Andrew Bogut) to help get us to the Eastern Conference Finals? One thing that's for sure is that the defense the Celtics have grown to have a reputation for just isn't there anymore.
Tonight, matters might get even worse when we face James Harden and the surprisingly good Houston Rockets. Hopefully Smart and Crowder can have a bounce back game defensively and make things difficult for The Beard, or else he's going to make a mockery of us as well. Few other points to think about:
· IT got screwed in the All Star voting, he deserves to start…the players and the coaches voted him to start but since the dumbass fans have 50% of the vote Kyrie and Derozan were picked over him
· Although it's a slower approach, I would actually rather see us use at least one of these Nets picks over the next two years as opposed to trading them…unless we can get a Boogie Cousins or an Anthony Davis, it's best to just wait until LeBron's reign is over so we can be contenders for years to come
If we are going to use one of those picks, we should definitely use it this year because this draft is stacked…it's no secret this is a very top heavy draft, and if the Nets give us the #1 pick (like they're projected to) we could get a franchise changer like Fultz, Ball, or Smith