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The Celtics Thing In the Boston Issue

 

God, this lockout is awful. Has anyone figured out a way to handle it? I went to see Drive yesterday and sort of freaked out when Ryan Gosling turned a Clippers-Raptors game on his car radio. This is so stupid. I should be trying and failing to recruit friends to go to preseason games with me right now.

Instead I have to read “The Boston Issue,” an issue of ESPN the Magazine designed to make everyone hate Boston sports more than they already do. Along with a serious piece of journalism about how to rob Fenway Park, there is one relevant Celtics article in the issue, and it’s about how the Perkins trade was a smart move for the Celtics’ future. The article is Insider-only, but maybe don’t subscribe just to read it, because the future they predict for the Celtics is pretty disappointing, even as they try to make it seem like a good thing.

Here’s what the Celtics are positioned to accomplish because of the trade, according to some guy quoted in the article:

“Fiscally, that should make keeping Green even easier, and a nucleus of Green, Rondo and Pierce “is definitely a playoff team, especially in the East,” says an Eastern Conference executive.” (italics mine)

Wow!!! An Eastern Conference playoff team? Like the 76ers and the Pacers? Like the legendary 2008 Wizards and, dare I say it, the 2007 Raptors? The opportunity to be one of the eight teams competing for a Conference championship…how exciting! Because you know what they say about playoff teams: “They each have a one in eight chance of winning (the Conference championship)!”

No, sorry, no. Nobody has said that ever. Because everyone knows there are only a handful of teams with a chance at an NBA championship in a given season, and every single one of them is led by a brilliant shining superstar. That one in eight (12.5 percent) chance of even getting to the Finals is closer to 1 in 50 if you’re not top-three, and even then you have to beat one of the best teams in the better conference to get the big trophy. Being a low-level playoff team in the East for four years in a row, or however long they sign Jeff Green for, would not be that much fun.

But let’s let the nameless executive (my guess is Hawks Assistant GM T. Scott Wilkinson; it just reads like him) finish his argument:

“Outside of Miami and *maybe Chicago*, who has a better core than that?” (stars mine)

“Maybe” Chicago? As in, like, not definitely? Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Luol Deng/Taj Gibson isn’t definitely better than Rondo, Jeff Green, and old Pierce? I think you are “maybe” insane.

Okay, so based on core alone, this guy’s basically saying the Celtics are the third-best team in the East. Except, when you think about it, possibly Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, and Kris Humphries. Or Stoudemire, Carmelo, and Landry Fields. Or Dwight Howard and two dogs. If I’m being honest, I would take any of those combinations over Rondo, Green, and Paul Pierce ages 34 through 37. So maybe the six seed is closer to what we’re looking at here?

Either way, all this talk about “core” is pretty scary. Because it’s very possible that Ainge’s plan basically comes down to this: bring in a bunch of decent-but-not-great players to build around Rondo. Not to be a pessimist, but that plan has basically never worked, and pretty much every other time it’s been attempted, the point guard could score.

Ryan DeGama and I have discussed a couple times our shared fear that the Celtics’ rebuilding plan is going to take the kind of shape described above. Neither one of us really believes that Rondo is capable of carrying a championship team. To have an actual chance at a title in the next decade, somebody’s going to have to be replaced in that “nucleus.” You are invited to disagree below.

  • Zee

    I agree for the most part, if not all.

  • http://twitter.com/smk73 @smk73

    Maybe this unnamed executive would be interested in Jeff Green, to improve his team's Eastern Conference core.

    Also, there's no need to rob Fenway Park these days, the Red Sox are just giving it away.

    • janos

      Sign at Boston park say "Tampon Bay" but Red Sox is one bleeding?

  • janos

    Hey Haynes, is Janos.
    Thank you for invite, I make reply .
    I dont have inside account for EPSN, I get once free trial but then forgot make read one week?
    Stupid right??
    I never seen you get fire up for email post reply, you got celtic passion ! I like celtic too!

    Please post site when lockedout over ok.

  • I_Love_Green

    Yeah I agree on basically all of that. Although if Jeff Green becomes something, (yeah I know) I think we'd be probably a 4 or 5 seed with the improvement of Rondo as well as the decline of Pierce.

    We don't know what Danny has in store though. I could see him pulling off a crazy trade, a big signing, or doing nothing big at all. We just gotta wait and see.

    • Batman

      Jeff Green is the next Lebron…..didn't you hear?

      • I_Love_Green

        I must have missed that article…

      • Zee

        They said that on SNL or something?

        • I_Love_Green

          I actually I heard about that in DA's blog. No wonder he made that deal.

  • http://www.nobloodnofoul.com No Blood No Foul

    I agree that the ESPN article misses the boat, but why isn't anyone talking about the fact that Rajon Rondo is the best piece of CP3 trade bait on the market? He's the only "gettable" talent that even comes close to comparing to Chris Paul, and the Hornets would have to consider a package that included Rondo, Jeff Green, and a future 1st rounder or two.

    Of course I'm assuming that Westbrook isn't available and I'm also assuming that CP3 wants to leave New Orleans.

    Obviously, other teams are in the running for a CP3 trade, but I like Boston's chances in the CP3 sweepstakes. Rondo isn't a bad CP3 consolation prize…he's young, he's still got room to grow, and he would be a top 3 point guard in his conference if he were sent to the Hornets in exchange for CP3. Considering how important PGs are these days, that isn't anything to sniff at.

    • Zee

      CP3 doesn't want to come to Boston.

  • Pesqueraf

    well I think the only way Rondo can be a top pg is if he is surrounded by top tier talent. keeping him to feed jeff green and von wafer really doesn't seem to make any sense. the best plan for the c's is blowing it up, making a run for cp3 or howard (or both…why not?) and if that does not work, don't desperate and start a prudent rebuilding process.

  • Zee

    Do any of you think Rondo could've done what CP3 did against the Lakers last year?

    • PGfan

      anybody could have did that to the Lakers…Gasol was mentally out of it…he was letting CP3 get in the paint whenever he wanted and the same thing happened when they played Dallas…JJ Barea was all in the paint…so i'm quite sure Rondo could have made his way in the paint and scored some points along with dishing out assists and rebounding the ball…now don't get me wrong CP3 was amazing against the Lakers…but i'm just saying the Lakers was not same 2009 & 2010 Lakers

      • Morpheus

        Wrong. When you have the best shooting big man in the world(Dirk) setting your picks, it makes life so much easier. Rondo wouldn't have had that against the Lakers and he certainly can't kill teams off p&rs like CP3 can.

  • John

    Though I'm not a longtime fan (I've only followed the Celtics since the 2002 Conference Finals), I agree with Hayes regarding the "maybe Chicago" quote. I don't see Jeff Green as being a dynamic player who can create his own shots on a regular basis. At best he could be a so-so 6th man, probably nothing more. After watching the pre-Big 3 years and the sluggish 44 to 47 win seasons with Walker/Jefferson/Payton/etc, a core of Rondo, Green, and a declining Pierce is not exactly an exciting future. Ainge has pulled off crazy transactions in the past, but I don't see anything big happening unless it involves moving Rondo, Allen, and or Green.

  • Lakers Fan (Duke)

    Don't know if you watch baseball ( I don't ) . . . Red Sox can suck it …. more importantly BOSTON SPORTS FANS can suck it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( btw . . . why is it sox and not socks . . . or sucks :) ? )

    Anyway hope the season gets started so we can hate each other on a more meaningful level (sigh)

    Best wishes on what's hopefully been a cool summer . . . from L.A.

    • Lakers Fans are Gay

      fag

      • Duke

        impressive

    • Morpheus

      Cool story bro

    • http://twitter.com/faithb4fear617 @faithb4fear617

      It must hurt to see kobe fading away, Gasol chocking and bynum 1 injury away from being done. Boston Americas most dominant sport city.

  • Jeff

    If you watch the workprint version of the film DRIVE, he's actually listening to the CELTICS vs the clippers. and the clips end up making the playoffs with the victory over the C's.

  • Bill

    In my opinion, Ainge has never intended to keep Green for the long-term. Perk’s contract was up and Ainge knew that some team would overpay him. Perk was leaving after this year. So, at risk of getting nothing in return, he moved him for a tradeable asset. Green will be part of a trade package.

    I agree that Ainge’s plan is likely to trade Rondo for Chris Paul. It makes sense for both sides. Both players are young and good, and for a smaller market, Rondo’s very reasonable contract makes good business. Green will likely be part of the package.

    The next move will be to go after Howard. At the MIT sports conference, Celtics ownership said that their business plan was to to always have atleast three all stars, one being a superstar (KG). They believed this was required to win a championship.

    Ainge stated before last season that he would never start from scratch again like before Garnett and Allen, building from the ground up. It was too hard.

    So, the only way Ainge can accomplish his goals and be consistent with ownership’s business plan is to make a big trade now.

    I don’t know if he can pull it off, but Howard and Chris Paul ate both likely targets.

  • Flyw

    Look ESPN is a no longer relevant. ESPN's best days passed about 12 yrs ago. And during the 2010 off-season, ESPN embarrassed and tarnished their reputation of the Lebron James free-agency coverage. During the 2010-2011 they jumped off and on the Heat and Celtics band-wagon. Until the C's made the Perkins trade, ESPN quickly jumped on the Heat band-wagon and declared them to win it all which wasn't the case. So we can't take ESPN serious.

    Celtics vs Heat 2011 Playoffs:
    Celtics lost the Heat series because of the Celtics. The Celtics limped into the post-season with inconsistency, new players late in the season transforms to lack of chemistry, bad injuries to S.O'Neal, Rondo, Nenad, JO, poor bench production and etc. The Celtics never took the fight to the Heat, and made them look better than they really are.

    Heat vs Bulls Playoffs 2011:
    Facts:
    Heat figured out a defensive strategy for D.Rose
    Rose is the only go to scorer
    Heat was the better offensive team
    Refs gave Heat a lot of give away calls during games 2 and 5.
    Bulls didn't have a 2 or 3rd option scorer to counter Wade, James, and Bosh.

    Mavs vs Heat 2011 Finals:
    Regardless of what sports writers predicted we all knew the Mavs were better, experienced team that destroyed the 2x during the regular 2011 season, but media chooses to intentionally ignore the facts of Mavs being a better team than the Heat. The Heat failed and the media again got it wrong about the Heat.

  • david.m

    “Outside of Miami and *maybe Chicago*, who has a better core than that?” (stars mine)

    Celtics:
    Rondo, Pierce, Allen and Garnett

    Lakers:
    Bryant, Gasol, Bynum and Odom

    Thunder:
    Durant, Westbrook, Perkins and Harden

    Mavericks:
    Nowitzki, Terry, Kidd, and Chandler

  • Fey

    I have nothing against Wade, Bosh and James despite all 3 having egos, but they're not that great the way some in media portray them. I guess in today's media culture with blogs, 24/7 news, social networks and etc; one can beat the drum about a certain topic, person or etc. ESPN has to really grasp the idea of sports fans not giving a "rats ass" about the Miami Heat.

    No one cares about Heat's roster changes, off-season plans or the so-called Big 3. It seems every team has a big three since Garnett, Allen and Pierce teamed up. But not the Heat, Bulls or Knicks can do what the Celtics Big 3 did for the league and Celtics organization.

    Right now the Celtics core players are getting older and eventually Danny, Doc are going to have to shape-up the C's roster for the 2012-2013 if they're going to compete every again. The Celtics will have to get younger. I can't imagine KG, PP, RA, or JO in their late 30's still playing together to compete with younger and fresher legs for a title shot. It will be very to replace KG, PP, and RA because players like them will no longer exists.

  • John

    Very true regarding the difficulty of replacing any of the big 3, especially Garnett. I'm not even sure I can think of another current NBA player who matches his level of intensity.

  • NHBluesMan

    even though i know it would never happen, i feel like the closest thing to a Garnett replacement would be Serge Ibaka from the Thunder… i'd love to see him in Green

  • Chris O

    You realize they would be adding at least on more GOOD player to that *core*. Considering almost regardless of what the cap situation and rules are they are going to be looking a lot better financially then most other teams….but year lets just assume its those three with scrubs.

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