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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

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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