Saturday, November 18, 2017

State of the Celtics

The state of the Celtics right now is fantastic! Fresh off a beating of the World Champion Golden State Warriors - Boston now has a 14-game winning streak going. Not only did the Celtics beat Golden State -they held the high scoring Warriors to just 88 points! In a now "3 and D" league nobody in playing better "D" than Boston.

The team was led the other night by second-year star in the making Jalyen Brown who turns out was playing despite the fact his best friend committed suicide the night before. Danny Ainge took a lot of heat for taking Brown with the 3rd overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft but Brown is shaking out to be at least the clear 3rd best player from that draft class and an argument can be made that he's the best overall with many preferring him over the second pick Brandon Ingram and 1st pick Ben Simmons not yet showing he's durable enough for the NBA. (Don't sleep on Milwaukee's Malcolm Brogdon who was the 36th pick in that draft either.)

Ainge should also be praised for clearly winning the trade that brought Kyrie Irving to Boston. Even if the Nets pick ends up being number 1 overall in this year's NBA Draft and even if Isiah Thomas returns from injury to once again be an All-Star - Kyrie Irving has been the perfect fit for Boston on and off the court. How can you not like a guy who picks number 11 for his uniform to honor his dad whose number 11 is retired by Boston University. A dad who insists on letting his son be the "big baller" on the court while he quietly supports his son from the stands.

Oh and about that Nets pick - right now the Lakers (6-10) actually have a worse record than Brooklyn (6-9) and the Celtics own LA's pick. There's currently 8 NBA teams with a worse record than the Nets. Danny Ainge knew what he was doing.

Speaking of Ainge knowing what he's doing - how about Jayson Tatum? Tatum was the 3rd pick in this year's draft but he's easily been the best player out of that draft so far. Trading the first overall pick for Tatum and the Lakers' number one next year is making people think of the Joe Barry Carroll trade for Parrish and McHale. Ainge knows what he's doing.

Ainge clearly knew what he was doing when he signed Brad Stevens to be the coach. You cannot mention the best coaches in the NBA without bringing up Stevens' name. Players now want to come to Boston because they know Stevens will make them better players.

I'm going to end this State of the Celtics by bringing up Al Horford. This is not an afterthought. Horford to me is to the Celtics what Phil Hartman was to SNL. He's the glue that holds the show together. Al Horford quietly does so many things well - 15.5 points per game, 9 rebounds and 4.4 assists - that he's easy to overlook. Celtics fans know his importance and how good an overall player Al is. And we appreciate that as a free agent he chose to play here.

The State of the Celtics right now is fantastic! Danny Ainge knows what he's doing.

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