A mere two hours before yesterday’s trade deadline, Celtics reporters were all stating the same thing – expect Danny Ainge and his crew to stand firm and let the deadline pass with no moves. Think again! In the dying stages of the 3pm cut-off, the Celtics got involved in a very productive way.
With the first half of the season gone, and the Celtics possessing a similar record to that of last year, the same questions are being asked, what is better for the team: playoffs or lottery?
When Ainge traded away both Rondo and Green for future assets, it was assumed that the Celtics would waive the white flag this season in hopes of a high lottery pick – but after a stirring victory against the East-leading Atlanta Hawks going into the all-star break, the unlikely thought of playoffs for these stubborn Celtics in 2015 is now starting to become a reality. But what is best for this team? To make the playoffs or to blow it up even further for a better draft pick to keep building? There is a valid argument to be made for both camps.
An unlikely run to the playoffs could have a greatly positive effect for this young Celtics team. For starters, it would mean that our young core has stepped up, increasing their value to the team and around the league – this is especially important considering Ainge’s history of drafting/developing young talent, and then trading for a superstar. It would also mean that Coach Brad Stevens will add another feather to his cap and pick up some valuable playoff experience whilst gaining even more recognition for the job that he has done. Having a successful culture within the team is also critical with free agency on the horizon as potential free agents would factor this in to their decisions.
If the Celtics were to sputter down the home stretch and only make the playoffs because the lack of competition in the East, then there could be a negative effect for this team. The team could miss out on a potential lottery pick/quality young player, they could be stuck in the dreaded land of mediocrity, or there could even be a false sense of where this team is really at.
We have all been down this road before – Ainge guts the team, and lets them free-fall into the lottery, where we cross our fingers, cross our toes, clutch on to a rabbits foot or a four-leaf clover in hope for at least a top 3 pick in the draft. In theory, this is a great idea, especially when the draft class is tipped to yield some potentially great players, it is a great way to acquire a franchise-altering player without having to sacrifice money/players/assets for them.
The reality is however, unless the team is bad enough (bottom 2, which the Celtics have no chance of being) – there is no guarantee that you could end up with a top 5 pick, let alone a top 3 pick. This strategy can be flawed as the team would be relying on luck over anything else, and for the Celtics, luck has not been on their side when it comes to the lottery balls.
“I would love to see our team in the playoffs, but I don’t want to see us back into the playoffs with a really bad record and not even have a fighting chance. If our team can keep getting better by developing, if we can make some deals at the trade deadline that put us in position to actually get into the playoffs and have a chance to win a playoff series, I think that would be a lot of fun.” – Danny Ainge, January 30th, 2015
Danny Ainge has nailed exactly how I feel with this quote. I would love to see the Celtics reload at the trade deadline, and make a serious run for the playoffs. Given that the Celtics have already won 20 games, and has the most games remaining against teams that are sub .500, the chance to increase lottery odds may prove quite difficult – especially with Lakers, Knicks, 76ers and Timberwolves all on 13 wins or under. What I do not want to see however, is a team that makes the playoffs due to inferior competition, and then in turn, gets swept by a higher seed.
With the trade deadline rumours swirling all around the NBA and the Celtics in particular, it seems like it is a real possibility that the Celtics may actually pick up a piece or two to assist in a push for the playoffs which is a far cry from what direction everyone thought the team was going after trading Rondo and Green within a month of each other.
Given the position we are in, I would love to see a young, feisty team fighting all the way through for the second half of the season – we have tried to be lottery players in the past with no high picks to show for it. As a fan, it is so much fun to watch a competitive, scrappy team fight hard and play for something meaningful every night rather than watching a lot of moral victories. Not wanting to be mediocre is one thing, but wanting to either contend or have one of the worst records with no in between is too extreme. Let the young guys learn, play and earn playoff experience.
What do you think is best for this Celtics team? Would you like to see them make a run into the playoffs, or would you like to see them try their luck at a higher lottery pick? Leave your comment below.
As an avid Celtics fan since 2009, Rajon Rondo was (and will continue to be) my favourite player to wear that green jersey. I could write a book about why I like this guy – but we’ll keep it down to a few highlights for the time being.
‘Playoff Rondo’ is a magical individual. Basketball magic in its purest form.
That is what I will miss the most. With the news coming through yesterday that Rajon Rondo would be traded to Dallas my first thought was that I will never get to see ‘Playoff Rondo’ take over games in green again. This sad realisation was heartbreaking for a self-confessed Rondo lover and defender.
This 2014-15 season is looking like it will be a tough one for the Celtics. The extremely frustrating loses are starting to pile up, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the kicks being rocked by the C’s.
Each month I will compile a top 3 kicks of the month list. So here is November’s list, in no particular order.
The rumours never end. Ever. Rajon Rondo has been the point guard of the Boston Celtics since 2006, and has repeatedly attracted trade speculation over the bulk of his career. And yet, here he is, a rarity in the league as a player who has remained with the same team since his rookie year, eight years on.
Then you realise why the rumours have been around for so long. To put it simply, he has immense talent, an NBA championship, and plays the game to make his teammates better by sharing the ball – an uncommon trait for point guards in the NBA. Then when you dig even further, you are reminded of his ability to step up his game in the postseason, of his drive to win at all costs, to sacrifice life and limb (literally) for his team. Of course other teams would be interested, there’s no doubt about that.
When you put all of this together, you really wonder why ‘experts’ are so keen to offload a player of this calibre. Allow me to analyse exactly why the captain of the most storied franchise in the game will remain in Boston not only for this season, but long enough to see that number 9 hanging in the rafters next to Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
Unless you’ve being living under a rock, there’s a great chance you’ve seen the now infamous photo of a Boston Celtics fan wearing a green “LeBron is a Bitch” t-shirt, whilst standing next to All-Star Celtics point guard, Rajon Rondo. Well, the lady in that great photo is none other than Ms Samantha May, a lady who could just as easily tear you a new one, as enjoy a great game at the TD Garden watching her beloved Boston Celtics. Sam is an amazing, head-strong person, and we’re honoured to have her feature in ‘Green Runs Deep’. -AusCelticsFan
How did you first become a fan of the Boston Celtics?:
When I was little, I used to watch Celtics games with my grandmother. Her passion for this group of guys just playing Basketball was mind blowing to me. When she passed away, she was buried in a Larry Bird jersey. The Celtics are more then an NBA team to me now; they’re in a way affiliated with her, and I wholeheartedly understand and have attained her sense of passion for this group of guys just playing Basketball.
When did you first see the Celtics play (television)? When did you manage to see your first live Celtics game?
I’m going to be real honest. I grew up in the ‘90s. Outside all the time. Watched my occasional Basketball game here and there, but it escaped me for a few years until I found out about Allen Iverson. I was obsessed with the way he played. So for my sweet 16th birthday, my parents bought me tickets to the Celtics vs. 76ers game so I could watch him live. When we got to the game, Iverson was injured & it was announced that he wasn’t going to play.
I was devastated. My parents asked if I wanted to leave, but we stayed regardless, and I watched this other man. This guy had an ‘aura’ around him. He was the star of the game. I watched the fans eyes fill with the same passion my grandmothers did when she watched Larry Bird play. Every time this man that wore #34 sunk a bucket, the Fleet Center (at that time) went crazy. Paul Pierce single-handedly made me fall in love with the Celtics from that day on.
Who is your favorite Celtics player? Past? And present? And what do they/have they meant to you?
Favorite Celtic? Of all time? Easily: Paul Pierce… I’ve watch this man since I was 16… Grow… Cry… Struggle… Succeed… And I felt all of these things with him… Ball really is life lol …. Oh then there is KG. The intensity this man brought to the garden every game… His passion… He if he epitomized ‘bleeding Green’ to me… A few honorable mentions I would have to say Tony Allen, Perk, Dooling… Oh…and you all can’t expect me to forget Rondo, where do I start.?! My god…. I just adore him. Period.
Australia has such a tight-knit Celtics ‘family’, as do so many countries around the world. But obviously, the greatest Boston Celtics community is in the great city of Boston itself. Can you tell us about how these Celtics communities, whether globally, or in Boston, make you feel a part of such a large, and loving sisterhood/brotherhood?
Doc said it best… “This is such a neat place. People don’t get Boston. They don’t understand. It is a special, different place. They cheer for their teams . . . It’s just such a classy place”. It’s hard to describe the camaraderie and unity Boston sports teams have… It’s such a passion and love. It’s just amazing to be a part of. Nothing compares to being at a game and everyone is up and dancing and cheering and yelling because we win… a game… One game…(not a practice .. A game) It’s just fantastic.
Can you tell us about your proudest, or most memorable moment that’s occurred whilst being such a loyal member of the Boston Celtics fan base?
I’ve had several moments in being a fan… I have one fan contests at games… Walked on the parquet floor… And met several players… But honest to God, the one thing I am most blessed for experiencing is meeting these other people on Twitter that share the same passion that I do for this team. I met amazing people but no one can compare to Olivia… I have to mention her in this as she has been one of the best things to ever happen in my life… All because of the Celtics… I love you little sister!!
Whilst already being a well-known, and well-liked person, did you feel that your exposure from wearing your “LeBron is a Bitch” t-shirt in a photo with Rajon Rondo has increased your admirers on Twitter, or even in the public domain?
That picture. (*Shaking my head). I still can’t believe it went viral. I wish I got paid for that haha!! I have clearly received my fair amount of Twitter ‘fame’ and hype from that picture, from daily marriage proposals to daily death threats from bitter LeBron fans, it blew up far more than I ever thought possible. It was everywhere. But I believe the reason I have all these followers is not really due to that pic, I think it has to do with my smart mouth, my unfiltered attitude. And being a female that actually knows a thing or two about basketball is a rarity these days.
Can you tell us your experience being a female fan in a mostly male-dominated Sports industry? My understanding is you’re as strong and as confident as they come. Any interesting stories you care to share with our readers?
I love being immediately disregarded from any sports knowledge considering the fact that I’m a woman… It makes it so much better when I completely ‘own’ these ignorant people in a basketball discussion.
How do you see the team holding up over 82 games, against tougher opponents? Which team match-ups are you looking forward to?
The home opener was amazing… I was sitting back & enjoying every minute of that blowout… And seeing KG didn’t hurt either (actually it did) I think the Celtics need to learn how to be consistent… We always go in so hot and then lose our lead in the second half… We’ve been doing that for a long time now and we really got to figure it out haha we absolutely struggle with any west team which is immensely concerning to me… Thank God all will be around next year too, because this year will be tough.
Can you share your thoughts on our Celtics community down here? Do you see a lot of the Celtic Pride in our many members? Any plans to visit us one day? You’ll be welcomed with open arms by all.
When my picture with Rondo went viral, The Celtics fam from down under were one of the biggest supporters. I’m so proud of y’all for the way you rep in this team… Makes me proud that were in the same C’s fam :)
My partner and I are planning our trip to Boston. Care to show us the local Pub and have a drink with us?
Let me know when you’re around! Of course! :) Thank you!!! Xo!!