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Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics Were Not Built For Playoff Contention

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Boston Celtics

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.

And then if they happened to face the Cleveland Cavaliers? LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and even Kevin Love are better than anything the Celtics have.

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.

  1. Jimmy Butler
  2. Isaiah Thomas
  3. Dwyane Wade
  4. Avery Bradley
  5. Rajon Rondo
  6. Robin Lopez

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.

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

Kyrie Irving Wants To Win Without LeBron James

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Kyrie Irving

Newly minted Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving had a public fallout with LeBron James. This fallout caused Irving to request a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers and ended up getting him to Boston.

In his first media appearance as a Celtic, he took to ESPN’s First Take to tackle a number of issues including LeBron James. In regards to James, Irving doesn’t care about the future hall of famers feelings and didn’t even tell him he wanted out of “Believeland”.

Smith: “Did you speak to LeBron James or talk to LeBron James before you or your representatives met with ownership to let them know that you wanted out?”

Irving: “No.”

Smith: “Why not?”

Irving: “Why would I have to?”

Smith: “If you don’t speak to someone about it, they might take it personally.”

Irving: “Yeah.”

Smith: “Do you care about that at all?”

Irving: “No.”

When Irving requested out of Cleveland the Cavs handled the situation poorly and leaked the request to members of the media. For that, Irving was even more at ends with them.

“I felt like the timing was impeccable if you ask me,” Irving explained. “I think how ironic it was that I was on my China trip and how my trade rumors all of a sudden just came out publicly. And it was hurtful because I knew how professional I had kept it throughout the whole entire process, and how strategic it was. Because I knew it was going to be madness, and it turned out to be like that. And when you’re living in a reality-based (world) and I’m a very awake individual and you have all these exterior forces trying to change or skew everyone else’s opinion, and I’m not able to say anything, and I’m sitting back and being very, very patient, it became something that I didn’t understand because of the amount of moments that we had together as a team. .. It was hurtful to see that a lot of the reports, and a lot of things that were happening, there was minimal truth to it.”

When it came down to it though, the culture and environment surrounding Cleveland was a driving factor in making him want out. Part of it admittedly was likely the departure of former GM David Griffen and James’s controlling factor.

“When you think about the journey, and you also put things into perspective for what they really are, it’s a truthful environment. And I wasn’t getting that (in Cleveland). And that’s where it really stands,” he explained.

Despite being considered one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference this season Irving understands a lot of work will need to be put into making the Celtics compete.

“That’s the kind of difficult question that will be asked throughout the entire season until we form our identity,” Irving said when asked about expectations. “Only four guys from last year’s team are returning. It’s totally a new journey. I have high expectations and we share that as a group.”

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Boston Celtics

Isaiah Thomas Only a Ploy in Trade with Cavs

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Celtics

Isaiah Thomas Only a Ploy in Trade with Cavs

We’ve been bamboozled (to quote Burgermeister Meisterburger). Yes, the nerve-racking Celtics-Cavaliers trade is finally done! You can now exhale. But when we dig through the convoluted pile of permutations and appraisals of this deal, doesn’t it all seem highly questionable? Come on, this thing was announced a week before it was completed, a bonafide Woj-bomb. Why the delay? I’ll tell you. There is one person who is responsible for all this controversy, albeit through inadvertence. That man would be none other than “the little guy” Isaiah Thomas.

That’s right, the undisputed fan-favorite and beloved underdog: Isaiah Thomas. Bless his heart; we all know that he’s done a great deal of good for the Celtics. Surely, we’re grateful for the fearless pony-up player he has been for us.

Since last Wednesday, the Celtics and the Cavaliers have been in a gridlocked game of tug-of-war. Thomas has undoubtedly played the threadbare rope, in the middle of all this. Through no fault of his own, he was misrepresented as the centerpiece of the C’s offer for Kyrie Irving. Maybe cockeyed “homer” fans accept this fallacy to be true. But make no mistake, both organizations knew Thomas’ true value the entire time. He is nothing more than a damaged fringe-superstar whose purpose is to be parlayed into draft picks.

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Boston Celtics

Trade For Irving Now Complete

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Kyrie Irving

Trade For Irving Now Complete, Celtics And Cavs Can Move On

In the least shocking news of the year, the trade between the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers is now complete.

After Cleveland extorted the Celtics for extra compensation in the deal the Celtics conceded and sent the Cavs its 2020 second round pick it acquired via the Miami Heat.

Now that the deal is complete the official structure of the trade is as follows.

Celtics Recieve:

Cavs Recieve

Cleveland received extra compensation because they believed that the Boston Celtics were not fully transparent about the health of Isaiah Thomas throughout the process.

Even if that is true, the health of Thomas’s hip has been highly publicized and occurred during a series in which Cleveland was playing in.

Boston, on the other hand, believes they were completely straight forward with Cleveland and that the Thomas status was widely known by everyone in the league. But with the Celtics bent over on the barrel, the Cavs were in the unique position to extort Danny Ainge and company for extra compensation.

It is, of course, worth noting that Thomas isn’t expected to be ready to play day 1. Even he has acknowledged that.

“There’s never been an indication that I wouldn’t be back, and there’s never been an indication that this is something messing up my career,” Thomas told ESPN on Tuesday. “Maybe I am not going to be back as soon this season as everyone wants me to be, but I’m going to be back, and I’m going to be the same player again. No doctor has told me anything different than that.”

With the deal now complete, Boston will look to fill the roster spot that has been created by the trade. Candidates for that include Tony Allen and Andrew Bogut.

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