Celtics have to make a move if they want a change from last year
The Boston Celtics have won five games in a row and are currently tied for fourth place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. The Celtics have an All-Star in Isiah Thomas and a rising star in Marcus Smart. They are and have been a team that Boston fans can rally around for the past two years. The sentiment around the area when you engage in conversation about the Celtics is, “a fun team to watch” and nothing else more. Nobody, even the most die hard green-teamers believe that this team can be an Eastern Conference contender.
All Celtic fans saw last year what it means to have talent when heading into the postseason. The team was riding high at the tail end of last year. They won with solid team basketball and playing hard for four quarters. However, when they ran into the eventual Eastern Conference champions, with Lebron James and company they were dominated in a four-game sweep. They had zero shot and even pushing that series to five games simply because of their lack of talent.
This year, the Celtics have virtually the same line up. Kelly Olynk, Isiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, and Evan Turner are the leaders of the team. For the time being it is great to watch, and they very well may win a playoff series and possibly get home court in that series. Nevertheless, this Celtics roster would not strike fear into a series conference contender such as Cleveland or Toronto. If they are serious about doing so this year they need to make a move before the February 18th trade deadline.
It is evident when you watch the Celtics this season that they need a legitimate rim protector on the inside. To much of their game is played from the outside, and their number one issue in last year’s postseason was protecting the hoop and getting rebounds. There has been a lot of chatter of late about the possibility of Celtics general manager Danny Ainge trading for Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. He stands at 6-11, 270 pounds and is averaging 11.2 rebounds per game along with 27.2 points per game this season.
Of course, as is the case with most stars in the NBA, Cousins comes with some baggage. He has had an attitude issue for the better part of his career and that comes as no surprise seeing how he is a John Calipari Kentucky product. This has lead to some Celtics fans having zero interest in Cousins, which is a bit idiotic. If the Celtics are to be a serious contender in the near future, they will need to take on some attitudes. Brad Stevens can’t go his whole career with, “role players.” Cousins also has a very good relationship with Isiah Thomas which could help him adjust in Boston.
ESPN NBA insider Marc Stein reported this past week that Danny Ainge has been, “quietly aggressive” of late as the trade deadline approaches. In addition, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbek said on the Felger and Mazz program on 98.5 the Sports Hub this past Friday, “I think we’ll do something. Will it be transformative? I don’t know. There are only a few players we’d be willing to make a transformative move for because the picks could be good. I think the odds are pretty slim you do a transformative trade.”
In the end, the Celtics most likely won’t do anything flashy in three weeks when the trade deadline approaches. Expect the team to keep up its solid play and allow Boston fans to have something to root for in April and possibly early May. This June when the Celtics learn where their Brooklyn Nets pick will fall is where things could get interesting.