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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 Celtics Have a Bench Problem

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Jayson Tatum

With the Celtics suffering a nonplussing loss at the hands of the Utah Jazz, it’s become apparent: This bench is gonna need some help. And they’re going to have to find this help from within themselves.

Ever since he was acquired from the Pistons, Marcus Morris was expected to be the most talented asset on the Celtics bench. Morris has the skills to be a secondary powerhouse in the NBA. Just last season, for Detroit, Morris averaged 14.0 PPG and just about 5 RPG.

But unfortunately his young tenure in Boston has deteriorated into “what ifs”.

Marcus has been afflicted with a lancinating and unrelenting pain in his left knee. Not only did he miss the start of the season, but he’s been sidelined yet again by this tenacious problem.

Without Morris on the court, Boston’s bench lacks that veteran’s heart and wisdom that he provides. They also are mathematically short in the scoring department, without the versatile big man.

As we saw Friday night at the Garden, somebody is going to need to step up – and fast.

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Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum’s Patience: The Deciding Factor

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Jayson Tatum

There is currently a preponderance of NBA rookies who are dominating the league. We’re talking about 20-somethings (some even younger than that) leading their teams in nearly every statistical category.

This is no longer your father’s NBA.

Gone are the days of “earning your stripes”. In today’s game, if a player has the talent he’s going to be encouraged to use it.

Our favorite youngling, here in Boston, is unanimously Jayson Tatum. This 19-year-old kid has stormed the Garden like some new-school Larry BirdPaul Pierce hybrid. He’s the futuristic embodiment of “Celtics Basketball” – the silhouette for Boston’s modern logo.

But Tatum’s not even the superlative of this year’s rookie class!

Many “Green Teamers” would argue the cockeyed contention that Jayson Tatum is a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year. As heartening as it may be for the flourishing freshman to hear such high praise, it still stems from unchecked fandom.

I swear, there must be something circulating around the Charles River. It seems that Boston has become more and more generous, in recent years, when it comes to appraising young talent.

In every sport, we’re ready to give our kindergarteners their high school diploma, the very second they demonstrate their ability.

The homer expectations, surrounding Jayson Tatum, are in need of an adjustment. Let’s take a look at a few rookies, who are ahead of Tatum in the primary categories.

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Boston Celtics

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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New England is now fully immersed in the brisk whirlwind of the holiday season. This is a conflicted time for sports fans.

The threadbare traditions and awkward reunion of estranged family members only serves to interrupt our connection to our favorite teams. And it happens right when we’re in the thick of things.

How can one prioritize with so many agendas – family or sports? Surely there will come a moment when you’ll have to choose.

But do not worry. Trifecta Sports has your back.

We’re here to abbreviate all of the Boston Sports highlights so that fans can stay tuned in, all while going through the motions of the season. I promise to be even more critical and unforgiving, when eviscerating the play of New England teams.

So do your thing! Put a smile on for the family. And keep coming to Trifecta for sports news, whenever you get a free second to pretend that you’re bathroom.

You already know what this is, folks. It’s time for another perturbed installment of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Walking in Winter Wonderland Edition.

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