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Boston Celtics Achieved A Lot This Season, Now Is The Time To Look To Future

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Boston Celtics Achieved A Lot This NBA Season, But Now Is The Time To Look To Future In What Could Be The Next Boston Dynasty

The 2016-17 Boston Celtics achieved all that was expected of them.

Going into this season the goal set forth upon the Celtics by fans and by experts was to win just over 50 games in the regular season and in theory make it to the Eastern Conference Finals based off of the talent on teams in their conference. Both of these were accomplished by the Celtics paired with the fact that they ended up being the number 1 seed in the East.

Now with the season behind them after losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-1 in the East Finals, it is time to reflect on this past seasons success while also looking towards the future.

This post-season was the third in the Brad Stevens era, two seasons ago they lost to Cleveland in round 1, and then last season they lost in the first to Al Horford’s Atlanta Hawks. This time around the Celtics defeated the Chicago Bulls in the first round after starting the series down 0-2, then in the second round Boston defeated the Washington Wizards in a tightly contested series many around the NBA thought they were going to lose.

In the Eastern Conference Finals with all the cards stacked against them the Celtics managed to do what no other team was able to do to the Cavs, and that was winning a game. They achieved that win without star guard Isaiah Thomas, which has begged the ridiculous question “Are the Boston Celtics better without Thomas?”.

The Thomas talk will continue to build as the two-time all-star is set to be a free agent after next season, and with the number 1 overall pick potentially being a guard, Thomas’s time in Boston could be limited.

There are plenty of questions that Danny Ainge and company have to answer, but the most important one is how will they take a 53-win team and make it better than Cleveland, and more importantly, the Golden State Warriors.

That question is the big picture one with the Thomas question residing underneath. The options in front of Ainge are vast, use the draft pick on Fultz and then decide on whether to keep Thomas or Avery Bradley (free agent after next season), or potentially move on from both in favor of Marcus Smart and a player like Fultz.

Another option is to trade the pick in favor of a legitimate NBA star like a Jimmy Butler, or in a bigger trade a Anthony Davis type piece.

In addition to either of those choices, Boston still needs to upgrade their roster at the small forward position as the abilities of Jae Crowder do not hold up against the best small forwards in the league. There is the rumor of former Butler forward and Brad Stevens student Gordon Hayward.

Another option instead of Hayward would be a trade that would bring Paul George to Boston in exchange for next year’s Nets pick.

Ainge has plenty of choices ahead of him, and the decisions he makes this offseason will determine the fate of the Celtics for the next 10-15 years. The wrong move here could be catastrophic to all the growth that has occurred in the last four seasons.

This past Cleveland series showed that Boston is easily two legitimate star players away from the Cavs, and on top of that a role player who can rebound the basketball to compete with Tristan Thompson. Boston has all the assets they need to make multiple moves to compete with Cleveland next season.

The question will be does Ainge take the short-term play (trade pick) or the long-term play (draft with pick). Everything this year’s Celtics team accomplished has been amazing, they have shown immense growth and players like Jaylen Brown emerged as a star in the near future. Now is the time to start thinking of the future and what could be another Celtics team that could compete for multiple NBA championships.

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

Boston Celtics

The Good, the Better and the Best

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Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Well if this wasn’t the worst week in Boston Sports history then I don’t what is. Now that I think of it, this month of October has arguably been the worst month ever, for Boston fans. The Sox are done, the Pats are neck-and-neck with the Jets in the AFC East and the Celtics are currently 0-2. There’s just no salvation to be found!

By now, all of us have fully absorbed the magnitude of Gordon Hayward’s injury. And the prognosis will certainly not put a smile on your face, nor will the trajectory of this Celtics team, as they are still searching for their first win. If that’s not frustrating enough for you, Marcus Smart is out for tonight’s game with an ankle injury.

Man, New England is in dire need of a pick-me-up. Have no fear. I am here to answer the call.

Rather than doing another installment of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly (where I mostly enumerate the worst things in Boston Sports) let’s do something a little more positive. This city needs a big injection of enthusiasm and I’ve come to provide it.

It’s time for the first ever (and probably only) edition of The Good, the Better and the Best.

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Boston Celtics

Gordon Hayward Likely Out For Season, Celtics Looking For Answers

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Gordon Hayward

Not a shock, but it is looking like Gordon Hayward‘s season is over.

After the completion of his surgery in Boston on Wednesday night, it was being reported that Hayward would likely miss the entire season with his ankle injury.

According to Hayward’s agent Mark Bartelstein Hayward is unlikely to return this season, but that he is expected to ” make a full recovery and return to his All-Star form.”

Of course, there is the chance he returns in some type of playoff-bound scenario, but that thought has to be a long ways away. For the moment it is important to figure out what this team can do this season without an all-star forward in the mix.

This will mean added pressure to superstar guard Kyrie Irving and the longest tenured Celtic Marcus Smart. Even without Hayward this Celtics team still should be in the top of the Eastern Conference conversation like they were last season. They are essentially last years team now with a better point guard.

There will be an overreliance on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. But if those two young players can pull through you could see a Celtics team that could be set up better over the long haul than if Hayward was healthy.

Unfortunately for Brad Stevens and company the Boston Celtics have opened their campaign 0-2 and will now look to find themselves moving forward.

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Boston Celtics

The “Green” Lining

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Boston Celtics

Not to understate the solemnity of Gordon Hayward‘s injury, but the Boston Celtics are going to be just fine.

Saying, that without one player, the C’s are done for presupposes that this team is short on talent. It’s not.

When a newly acquired superstar goes down, it’s hard for fans to manufacture any positivity. Especially when such a thing happens during the first quarter of the season-opener. But let’s try to take a look at the implications of Hayward’s injury, without myopic jumpiness.

The 2017-18 season is very far from over for the Celtics. Gordon Hayward dislocating his ankle did not fracture Boston’s playoff hopes.

There are a few reassuring abstractions to be made from the box score of Tuesday night’s game, in which Hayward suffered the gruesome left leg injury.

Yes, the C’s lost to the Cavs 99-102, but this team passionately competed. And they mustered up the resolve to do so with one of their best players being escorted to the hospital.

This fact alone suggests that there are guys on this team who are willing, and able, to attempt to fill Gordon Hayward’s Nikes.

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