Last night the Celtics had one of their worst losses in recent memory. I honestly can’t tell you the last time the Celtics blew such a big lead. They blew a 24-point lead to the New Orleans Pelicans in their most embarrassing loss this season.
Look, I have eyes. I know the game of basketball. I can see this team doesn’t have what it takes to win. Whether that is a down year or the team that Ainge currently assembled isn’t it. I am going to go with a mix of the both. Looking at their offense from last year to this year, it is down a little bit but not enough to see an extremely noticeable difference in play. I find it hard to believe that Tatum and Brown’s numbers are up which in reality should equate to more wins. But it’s not. So then is it coaching? Is Brad Stevens the issue?
I have been very critical of Stevens this year for his lack of motivating the guys to perform and to get them to listen/buy into the philosophy. I am sorry to say this but that ship has sailed and anyone defending Stevens needs to take a closer look. No team wants to fire a guy who has been to 3/4 ECF. Granted they were all losing efforts but the reality is that the Celtics have hit their ceiling with Stevens leading them. I think he’s a great coach when he’s able to development young talent and push a rebuild along. But this is the big boy league and we need a big boy coach, or do we? I can’t tell you someone off the top of my head who would be an ideal fit. My first thought is a former player such as Tim Duncan or say a Betty Hamon. You could get controversial and bring in either Mike D’Antoni or Jason Kidd, or go with a solid pick in David Fizdale or Nate McMillan. There are coaches out there that can work and bring in a different philosophy to get them motivated. Brad Stevens isn’t the end all be all for the Celtics success. Maybe this is what they need. Firing a coach doesn’t always mean they failed but rather it just isn’t what they need to win right now.
After finding a new coach, your next task is to fully build around Tatum and Brown. I don’t give a fuck what you have to move or who’s soul you have to sell, but make it happen. Ainge loves holding onto draft picks that he misses on anyway, so why not just trade them for established NBA talent to actually compliment your two stars. If that means trading Marcus Smart, so be it. If that means you have to give up more to send Kemba away, then do it. But you can’t sit here and tell Celtics fans to relax while we see what this team is capable of. They really are only a big move away from making The Finals. Whether that big move is firing Stevens or a big trade, but something or someone needs to happen. The bench hasn’t been bad, either. I know that was a worry going into this year but they have held their own. Teague is an absolutely terrible signing but Nesmith isn’t bad and Pritchard is a borderline starter. Not to mention, Rob Williams is the most improved player and he looks awesome. There is some hope, not a lot, but some hope for the bench.
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