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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

Reviewing Celtics Trade For Irving

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Reviewing Boston Celtics Trade For Irving

The Boston Celtics traded for Kyrie Irving on Tuesday. This trade sent a shockwave through the Celtics fan base and throughout the entire NBA community.

Irving is a 25-year-old point guard with two years left on his deal with the third year being a player option.

In exchange for Irving, the Celtics sent Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the 18 Nets pick to Cleveland. Many will debate if this is indeed a good trade, or even makes the Celtics better.

But in terms of Irving and Isaiah, their stats tell similar stories. But with term left on his deal, a younger age of 4 years, and growth potential, Irving over Thomas is a smart pick in terms of the future.

Losing Crowder isn’t a big deal. Boston already has Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum locked up at that position.

Zizic is still a big man prospect but left a lot to be desired in Celtics Summer League action. The real question here is the Net’s pick. The 18 Brooklyn pick is a reason to be concerned with no restrictions on it. On paper, the Net’s are a better team than they were last year.

But losing the Net’s pick means that Boston has lost their largest trading pick. One could argue Ainge should have included a Tatum or a Brown before the Net’s pick. Because of the Net’s pick, symbolized a potential to land a big man superstar like Anthony Davis.

But when it comes down to it, getting Irving was real, Davis? Not so much.

Ainge made the smart play for the long term on a player that seems committed to staying in Boston. If I were in his shoes, this move is a no brainer. It is easy to get sentimental about Thomas.

IT helped turn Boston into a contender and his personality fit right in. His play style, attitude, and the way Celtics fans showed their love and support for him after losing his sister in the playoffs will go down as one of the most emotional times in Boston sports. By no means should trading Thomas mean that we should degrade him as a player. Thomas is a top 5 guard in the NBA, an all-star, and an MVP type player.

But when it comes to sports, business is king.

Thank you IT.

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas stands by himself during team introductions before a first-round NBA playoff basketball game against the Chicago Bulls Sunday, April 16, 2017, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

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Danny Ainge Addresses Trade For Irving

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Danny Ainge Addresses Trade For Irving

Late Tuesday night, Danny Ainge addressed the media with a fiscally callous tone. On this conference call, Ainge expanded on the complicated circumstances regarding the acquisition of superstar Kyrie Irving. There was a certain steady melancholy to Ainge’s voice that betrayed the truth. This was not an easy trade to make for the veteran Celtics general manager.

Isaiah Thomas (the little guy), Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic now play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. And barring a trade so does the Nets 1st round selection in the 2018 draft. Ainge stammered when trying to communicate the misgivings he had with trading those players. But it was a well-weighted decision. He added, “at the same time we got one of the best offensive players in the league.”

Certainly, letting go of a franchise-face like Isaiah Thomas is a recalcitrant option to flesh out in the war room. Celtics management really ruminated on the trade proposal, before pulling the trigger.

Danny Ainge disclosed to the media members on the conference call that “this deal was not available a month ago.” According to the Celtics GM, the C’s had been in deliberations with the Cavaliers for quite a while. It’s safe to conjecture that the two teams had been aggressively spitballing with each other for the nearly the entire offseason.

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Sully Is Back To Give His Take On The Irving Trade

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