How are we supposed to gauge this Boston Celtics team?
The Boston Celtics got a must needed victory at TD Garden Friday night against the Hornets, preventing a four game losing streak. The Eastern Conference playoff race is tight and although the Celtics are currently sitting at the third seed, only one game separates them from the 8th seed.
After missing four consecutive games, Isaiah Thomas scored 26 points in 35 minutes in his return, and also added five assists. The Celtics missed him dearly in losses to Toronto, Oklahoma City, and San Antonio. The Celtics didn’t have a go-to guy in the fourth quarter when they needed a bucket most. Trade rumors have circled around Boston involving Thomas recently, but Thomas continues to prove that he is the Celtics number one option. He can flat out score, and as Tommy Heinsohn put it last night, the Celtics need to “ride the little guy.”
Despite the star power from Thomas, it still seems as though the Celtics are missing a piece (maybe even two). The Cavaliers are still in a league of their own, and the Raptors continue to show us that they are the second best team in the East. The Celtics are stuck in a group with teams like the Hawks, Hornets, Pistons, Bulls, and even a few others.
People keep preaching that we need to give this Celtics team time to develop and prosper, but how much time should we give them? When do we come to the realization that this team may not make it out of the first round of the playoffs for a third consecutive season?
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The Celtics have a bunch of good, solid players. Thomas and Al Horford are all-star type players, but not superstars. Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder are nice pieces, but they aren’t stars by any means, and then there is a handful of complementary pieces. The Celtics are still a superstar away from contending in the East. It still ponders the question of when Danny Ainge will make that move.
Danny Ainge via Mass Live:
“I feel the pressure to get our team better, for our players, coaches and fans,” he said. “My staff, we work tirelessly. We talk every day collectively. If we’re traveling or out scouting college games, we’re sending texts and emails with ideas and things about how we can make our team better. It’s a daily discussion, so I do feel that (pressure).”
Ainge is still stuck between being patient, and jumping on a trade. He obviously would like a big name to come to Boston, but those names are hard to get and are not always available. Sitting at 14-12, the Celtics haven’t made a considerable jump from last season. When is it time for the Celtics to make that big time move?