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The Boston Celtics’ “C” Grade Offseason

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The Boston Celtics’ “C” Grade Offseason

Despite landing arguably the most valuable free agent on the market this offseason, the Boston Celtics have not found their four-leaf clover. In fact, they’ve overlooked the proverbial lucky clover which they’ve had under their thumb for quite some time now (no it’s not the damn mascot who does trampoline assisted dunks during halftime). Now they have all but squandered said clover with myopic planning and misplaced confidence.

The petals of Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier, and Jaylen Brown were on the verge of flowering into a young cohesive unit, one the Celtics organization has been working to cultivate for years. This group’s potential was illustrated by their play in game 3 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, when Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley lead the team to an 111-108 nail-biter of a victory, with 27 and 20 points respectively. But what was the difference maker in game 3? The C’s got spanked in games 1 and 2!

Well, it could have been the emphasized role that veteran facilitator Al Horford played, feeding the hungry young talent that was now posturing in the spotlight. Or it could have been the absence of a certain “centerpiece” whom Boston sports fans may be familiar with…

Rather than coddling this dirty-water fed budding crop of youth to fruition, Danny Ainge and his trusting gaggle of subordinates have chosen to pander to a singular show-pony of a superstar: Isaiah Thomas. The little man: just the type of inspirational underdog story that Boston fans are so susceptible to. Now, underdogs come with their inherent defects. That’s what makes them so gosh darn lovable right? To compensate for Thomas’ defensive ineptitude and his gross proclivity for ball-hogging, the Celtics acquired free agent All NBA buffer of a pseudo-star: Gordon Hayward.

To the cockeyed “green teamer” demography, the acquisition of Hayward renders their beloved C’s an NBA Championship contender. But mathematically, the acquisition leaves the Celtics in a nonplussing middle-road position as merely an interloper to the battle that will be waged against the Golden State Warriors for the next 4-5 years. Sure, Hayward augments the play of Allen Iverson impersonator Isaiah Thomas (Iverson won a total of 0 titles during his time in the league). But this only furthers the team’s deviation from the rebuilding process, a path they resignedly vowed to follow a few seasons back in the aftermath of dismantling the “Big 3”.

The hasty discarding of Avery Bradley, a critical piece to the aforementioned rebuilding process, to make cap space for Hayward implies that this team is looking to steal an NBA Championship during the Cavaliers-Warriors saga. This chase for ephemeral success, which may not even climax as a title for the C’s, comes at the cost of squandered draft picks and young talent. This organization should have prepared themselves, through patient development, to supplant the in-vogue Warriors when they inevitably abdicate the throne they’ve held for so long. After all, Boston fans are accustomed to long-winded dynasties, not exorbitantly priced mercenaries who make jabs at glory. Red Auerbach is rolling over in his cigar-fumigated grave.

Columnist operating out of Manchester, NH. Retired pitcher (unprofessional not amateur). Voracious consumer of all things Celtics and Red Sox. Sometimes I produce content as well.

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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