I don’t know how many times I have to say this for us as a fanbase to finally get it through our thick green skulls, but: The Boston Celtics are not a good basketball team. Both by the eye test and actual definition. They are less than average. And that’s putting it nicely.
And again, like I say every time I criticize this team, I AM A CELTICS FAN. I watched Paul Pierce almost break his back trying to drag this team to success. I watched the Big 3 show up and inexplicably only win ONE title together. I cried tears for Isaiah Thomas too just like we all did. And now I am forced night in and night out to watch this slop presented to us. There is no joy watching the Celtics anymore. I’d rather watch that mess of a final season of Game of Thrones than sit through another full Celtics game. And there hasn’t been for quite some time. This isn’t a new thing. And every year there’s a different excuse.
“They’re young”…”They don’t have any veteran leadership”…”They don’t have any scorers”…”At least they’re gaining experience”…”INJURIES!”
BUT NOW: They’re grown up, they have veterans, they have multiple scorers, the experience is there, and every team deals with injuries so throw that out the window. Now what?
I’m done with it. I’m fed up. And every single one of you Celtics fans who actually care about this team should feel the same way. Jason Tatum. Jaylen Brown. Kemba Walker. Marcus Smart. Brad Stevens. You’re telling me you can’t even muster a record ABOVE .500 with those guys!? With the first two being considered “stars” in this league? That is an embarrassment to the entire region of New England.
I’m not oblivious though. Kemba was working his way back in. Smart was out. COVID sucks. But that’s not an excuse for how disappointing this team has been. That’s when your best players carry your team. It’s when one or two role players step up to lighten the load. It’s literally how stars are made and how teams level up. But the Celtics simply refused to evolve. Instead they settle for end of game iso’s, bitching to the refs more or looking like they don’t even care to try on any given night. It’s coaching. It’s players. It’s how this team has been built. It’s everyone at this point.
But Danny Ainge has gotten hardly any real heat during this multi-year stretch of underachieving. It’s like this fanbase is either afraid or too oblivious to actually criticize him. This year it seemed like the tide was turning a bit, but he signed Evan Fournier and now all of the sudden it’s, “SEE! SEE! Danny cares! He makes movies! It’s not his fault!” So it’s that easy for him to satisfy you guys huh? Fournier was touted as this great movie and everyone wanted to give Ainge SO MUCH credit, but at the end of the day Danny didn’t improve this team by much. But no one wants to see that.
They’re right to an extent though, it’s not his fault that Tatum and Brown seem to go missing during stretches where they need to show up. It’s not his fault that Smart does…what Smart does. It’s not his fault that Brad Stevens sometimes acts like he was never taught what a timeout is. It’s not his fault their ONE BIG TRADE DEADLINE SIGNING goes scoreless in 33 minutes.
Since we’re on last night’s game, let’s dive in for a minute. Tatum scored 16 points in the first and 14 in the 4th but pulled a disappearing act in between. That’s your star? This is becoming a pattern. Marcus Smart has seemingly reverted to risking it for steals and flopping more than ever which, in case you haven’t noticed, isn’t working. When your “heart and soul” is becoming a liability, that’s not great. Letting a team shoot over 50% from 3 when they’ve been HORRIBLE at it the entire season, great! Oh, and Marcus Smart:
And while Williams is continuously looking like a future star and Kornet was a welcome surprise, this team is still just more of the same. Can’t win late in games. But hey, playoffs!
Oh, I can’t forget Fournier. It’s fine to be livid with his performance Monday night, but let’s not act like he’ll do that night in and night out. The guy is a veteran who can score. He just got wrapped up in the Celtics tornado of suck and fell victim to it. Maybe if you didn’t saddle him with that hideous #94, he would’ve scored at least ONE point. But while I think Fournier was a good signing, the Celtics didn’t get marginally better by bringing JUST him in. They needed at least another piece to really feel the impact. But that, of course, didn’t happen. So we’re left with a sub .500 team who barely got better at the trade deadline.
This brings me back to Danny. We’ve criticized the players. We’ve picked apart the coaching. It’s time to ask why the hell these Celtics teams always fall victim to the same thing the past few years. Different players cycle in and out each year, but yet it’s the same old bullshit. Can’t score. Spotty defense. And late game collapses like you read about. I’m not saying this is ALL on Danny, let me again say that. But A LOT of it now falls on his shoulders.
But whenever I get upset about the Celtics, I always come to the same conclusion: I have no idea how you fix this team.
Firing Danny Ainge isn’t the answer. Shipping off Brad won’t do ya any good. Trading Brown or Tatum would bring back a HAUL for sure, but you’re hurting your team if you do that. You could’ve traded away Smart, but would the return really have made a difference? At the end of the day, no matter which path you go down, the Boston Celtics are still the team that makes the playoffs, but you KNOW has zero chance of contending for a championship. It’s an extremely tough pill to swallow, but we all have to take our medicine at this point.
This team keeps putting bandaids on broken bones and it just doesn’t work. I don’t know what needs to be done, you don’t know what needs to be done, but that’s why we don’t get paid to make such decisions. The Celtics organization needs to be better. Whatever it takes to do so, at this point, I’m in.