Boston Celtics Were Not Built For Playoff Contention
So we are all sitting here a day after a 1 seed lost their second straight game to an 8 seed in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The one seed happened to be the Boston Celtics who for some reason never had a chance to beat the Chicago Bulls at TD Garden despite being the Eastern Conference one seed.
Many might look at the Celtics and say they looked lost, or Brad Stevens mishandled their rotations, and to be frank both of those points would be correct. But what really is going on is beyond this, in fact, it goes beneath the surface.
Take a step back and ask yourself who is the best player in this series, the answer you should have gotten is Jimmy Butler. If the Celtics got by the Bulls and played the Washington Wizards who is the best player? John Wall.
In the NBA generally, the team with the best player is the one that ends up winning the series. In the regular season that isn’t the case, but when you have a player that can take the game over like a Jimmy Butler, you are set up for success. Of course, many of you may point to Isaiah Thomas and say he is our superstar. Well, he is indeed a great player going through some issues here clearly in the loss of his sister, but even at his top, he is not the same player as a Jimmy Butler.
If the Celtics manage to find a way to beat the Bulls it will be a miracle, but on paper, the Bulls simply have a more talented top half of their roster. Below is how I would rank the top players in this series so you can see what I mean.
Now where Lopez is ranked I would actually like to put Al Horford, but comparing apples to apples I would say Lopez is a better player on the contract that he is on than Horford is on his max deal. But clearly looking at the list you see Butler at the top being the best player in the series. Of course, this is all opinion based and Bradley could be higher than Wade, but looking at what Wade was able to do in game 2 shows why he is a better player than Bradley despite his age.
The Celtics roster has depth, is it being utilized properly by Stevens? That’s just too tough to say, but what is easy to say is the roster was not built for a playoff run. Despite IT’s breakout into stardom, he is not good enough to be the sole piece of a championship team in the NBA. If he is paired with another star then maybe we are talking, many thought Horford was the answer, but unfortunately, he wasn’t.
Even if the Celtics pull this 0-2 deficit off they have a lot to think about this offseason, do they draft another 19-year-old who is four years away, or do they go out and land the superstar that could put this franchise back into the driver seat.