First things first:
Celts still eager/open to all types of moves, but no dance partner YET. And don’t even get us started on non-talks w/Houston… — Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) February 20, 2014
So, did everyone spend the night with one eye on the game and another on their twitter feed, hoping for some indication that the Celtics were about to do something?
You weren’t alone. Even as Brandon Bass put up a big 18/8 night and Jeff Green scored 17 points of his own, I was watching the game focused less on the x’s and o’s and more on how I would miss them when they’re traded tomorrow. Now that may not happen and there’s probably no chance of me ever missing Green, but it was tough to watch Boston’s competitive 100-94 loss to Phoenix without thinking about the potential dissolution of this group within 24 hours. Right now, this Boston team is a paradox, simultaneously more than the sum of its parts (credit Brad Stevens for his ability to unify this surely distracted group) and less (credit Danny Ainge, who’s more than willing to break it up for scrap). Those thoughts of impermanence were reinforced by the on-court presence of Gerald Green, once such a promising piece of Boston fool’s gold, before being jettisoned to Minneapolis seven years ago for the real prize the Celtics had been seeking.
This was a holding pattern game. But it was a fun first half with good pace and some opportunistic offense from both sides. And then a second half where the Celtics fell down hard and then couldn’t recover.
And of course, there was Rondo. Our kid, now nearly 28, shook off a bit more rust on his way to another near-triple double. You saw flashes of the once-dominant playoff performer in his 18-10-7 line but also the grisly shooting that has made him so polarizing a figure the last few years, in terms of how fully the Celtics should commit to him as the core of his future.
So does it matter that Kelly Olynyk had a bad night or Markieff Morris a good one?
Nope. Tonight was all precursor to tomorrow where we either go forward with Rondo and some semblance of his current supporting cast or Ainge scatters his core to the NBA winds, another reminder that this Celtics team is just a cloud of dust held together, if only briefly, by the failure of the weather to shift.