The Celtics are not a great basketball team. They have talent. They have players with a ton of potential. They have a good head coach. But when you put it all together, this is still an average at best NBA team.
Don’t believe me? They’re current record is 13-13. The definition of average.
But if you’re someone who doesn’t pay attention to NBA records until you get closer to the end of the season or you’ve been distracted due to the NFL like I have, you’d think the Celtics were world beaters. Top of the conference with multiple superstars. The reality is you have an overrated team with two potential stars who, just like the team they’re on, are still inconsistent.
There’s a weird standard we refuse to hold the Celtics to that we hold every other New England team to. The Patriots went 7-9 last year after losing Brady and fans were calling for Belichick’s head. The Red Sox trade away Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi in back to back offseasons while being lifeless on the field and people want John Henry to sell the team and Chaim Bloom to resign not even a year into his tenure. The Bruins were on the verge of the Stanley Cup Finals last year before COVID screwed everything up and lost in 7 IN the Stanley Cup Finals two years ago but yet you won’t see one single Bruins fan say “Oh well, they were still fun to watch!”
Unfair or not, to paraphrase the great Coach Boone from Remember The Titans, we demand perfection. But when it comes to the Boston Celtics, there’s a line of Green Teamers ready to make excuses that’s so long, it’s only rivaled by the line of people who are making excuses for Mahomes performance in this years Super Bowl. Championships are the goal, but for the Celts, eeehhhhhhh as long as their fun to watch right?
Fun fact: Out of the 4 major New England teams, the Celtics have the longest drought without not only a Championship, but even an appearance in the finals of their respective sport. But sure, let’s go easy on THAT team.
And i’m not pulling this from my ass either. Celtics media members and fans will chastise you for every being correctly overly critical of this team, it’s coach or the sacred cow that is Danny Ainge. And it’s always the same damn excuses:
- “They’ree a young/inexperienced team!” – You know what’s funny about “young/inexperienced” players? Due to the fact that time does in fact keep moving forward, eventually these players AREN’T SO YOUNG AND INEXPERIENCED ANYMORE! How many years do Tatum and Brown need to be in the league before we talk about them just like any other player? If they are to be these superstars they’ve shown potential to be, we can’t use this excuse anymore. Yes, they players they JUST drafted are young and inexperienced, but are you trying to tell me no other NBA team deal with rookie’s/second year players and is STILL successful? This is the worst excuse the Green Teamers throw at you.
- “Well what do you expect, they’re dealing with injuries!” – Who knew that the Celtics were the only team who had to deal with injuries to important players, huh? Kemba being hurt isn’t an excuse. Smart being hurt isn’t an excuse. tatum missing time due to COVID isn’t an excuse. If your team crumbles because one and SOMETIMES two players are out, you don’t have a good team. Of course the on court play may look a bit disjointed at times, but it’s almost as if the Celtics want to use the injury bug as an excuse as to why they lose games. It’s insanity.
- “They just have to make it to the trade deadline, that’s it. Danny will make a move!” – The name “Trader Danny” deserves to be buried UNDER the Garden. This isn’t to say that Ainge hasn’t brought players to Boston, don’t get me wrong. Kemba Walker was and still is a really good signing. Gordon Hayward didn’t work out because he snapped his leg in half and never seemed to get back in his groove. But regardless, if you think one or MAYBE two trade deadline names are going to get this Celtics team over the hump, you’re drinking the Kool-Aid my friend. And let’s not pretend Danny would even make a move in the first place, but we’ll get to that later.
- “They shouldn’t even have gotten as far as they did!/At least they were fun to watch!” – I put these two together because they normally accompany each other when trying to explain away whatever collapse the Celtics gave us that night. Listen, you can’t say you have all this talent and that you’re one of the best teams in the East and simultaneously say “Yeah but who expected them to get this far?” when they let you down at the end of the season. Can’t do it. And oh, they were fun to watch? You know what’s really fun to watch? Confetti fall on your team as they celebrate winning a title.
Because that’s still what Celtics fans want right? I just want to make sure.
Excuse after excuse after excuse. It’s embarrassing for me as a Celtics fan to see the lengths some of you are willing to go to explain away mediocrity.
And this brings me to the one and only, Danny Ainge.
How many times do we hear the Celtics were “in” on a player, but the price became too steep? Or how about Danny not wanting to part with his precious draft picks? I’ve never seen someone value draft picks like they’re fucking dragon eggs in my life.
“I don’t think I’m looking at any short-term urgency to trade away all my young assets to get some veteran player.” This quote frustrates me to no end. It was from January of last year when Danny was asked about his thought process approaching the trade deadline. It upsets me because Danny, buddy, no one is asking you to trade away the farm! He says this so he has something to fall back on when he inevitably sits with his thumb up his ass as the trade deadline comes and goes.
Again, no one wants you to trade away Brown, Tatum, Smart, and every pick under the sun. But guess what Danny, scared money don’t make money. And Danny is scared shitless to move anyone or anything unless the deal is a clear win for his team. That’s just not a realistic way to approach anything in life. Sometimes to have to take a risk. Albeit a calculated one, but still, RISK!
Then there was this gem from earlier in the week:
Oh yeah? Will you, as the General Manager of the Celtics, take responsibility for the constant shortcomings and failures? Wow, how nice of you!
NO SHIT you should be taking responsibility. You’ve continued to construct teams that either can’t sustain leads, can’t close games or don’t come out ready to play at tip off. And in most cases it’s a combination of at least two of those things.
Sidenote: I understand Brad Steve a deserves blame here too. But he has to work with the players he’s given. And while he can certainly use timeouts better and isn’t perfect in his own right, he’s a Top 10 coach in this league.
Ainge needs to stop relying on his aura of always making a trade when he clearly comes out on top as the winner and start taking chances. Trading talent for talent. Trading potential with picks for current skilled players who can help now. Otherwise you’re going to waste and probably stunt the growth of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum who, if they keep progressing, should both be franchise players in this league for a looooong time.
And I promise you, Tristan Thompson and Jeff Teague aren’t going to get you over the hump. Even though I was told over and over how “underrated” and “sneaky brilliant” these signings were.
Oh, and to the Green Teamers, stop going easy on Ainge and this team. We expect greatness from all of our teams. The Celtics aren’t exempt.