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Danny Ainge's "new-faces-if-it-comes-to-that" scenario has emerged

Celtics fans can remain angry about the departure of Al Horford and Gordon Hayward , but they really should admit The Green sorely miss what that pair supplied. Conversely, it was quickly apparent that the Kyrie Irving -in-Boston experiment was a failure - partly due to him not being the best of teammates - but also the fact that Celtics team was simply a bad mix. We may be looking at that once again. Hordford was brought on board in 2016, followed by Irving and Hayward in 2017. All three left Boston of their own volition, but Irving's acquisition was a mistake. Not so with Gordon and Al. Boston misses them. The current Celtics crew is mired in 9th place in the East with a 15-17 record - the same as the lowly Knicks. That last stat alone merits roster (or higher-level) changes. Youth, injuries and Covid aside, we are looking at a bad mix of players . There is no synergy - no coordination - no cooperation . There will be no spontaneous fix here. Some type of change is needed. What
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Expect a different Celtics team post-All-Star break

The Celtics remain mired in sixth place in the East with a losing (15-16) record. Expect things to change after the All-Star break, and certainly post-Trade-Deadline (March 25). That change could be in the form of different lineups, tweaks to the style or pace - or finally, some new faces. Boston's rotation is suddenly solidifying. Jeff Teague's appearances are dwindling, but Tristan Thompson seems to be finding his niche.  Rookie Aaron Nesmith has emerged from the mist, averaging 22.7 minutes per game over the last five contests. Over that span, he has hit 7-of-14 from the field - 4-of-10 on 3-pointers - and collected an encouraging 4.2 rebounds per game. Expect to see more of the ever-moving sharp-shooter after the break. Grant Williams seems to fading into the mist from whence Nesmith emerged, playing only seven minutes in Boston's loss to the Mavericks last night. Rob Williams? He saw 14 minutes in the loss, and despite some very-obvious improvement in his game, it

Are we seeing a replay of the Isaiah Thomas saga with Kemba Walker?

CelticsSentinel's Erich Ryan broached the Kemba Walker conundrum back on February 10, and the issue remains in question.  Danny Ainge shipped Isaiah Thomas out of town in damaged condition after the diminutive guard had literally saved Boston's 2016-17 season with his heroic play.  The latest questions surround another undersized point guard, Kemba Walker. On a recent Colin Cowherd Podcast , NBA analyst Ric Bucher stated that Celtics boss, Danny Ainge "tried like Hell to move Kemba at the beginning of the season" . Bucher added that Walker's knee injury and lack of size are one of the reasons "they (Celtics) are not a Championship contending team" .  I share these concerns for the Boston Celtics. Like IT, Kemba's lack of size is magnified when significant injuries hamper the quick, evasive movements shared by both players.  Walker was given stem cell therapy for his knee issue in the off-season, and it just may be that the treatment was really a &qu

Celtics anointment of a captain is needed - and soon.

One of our writers, Steven Mayer, has repeatedly suggested that Brad Stevens put an NBA-seasoned ex-player on the bench next to him as an assistant to energize the Celtics. I have endlessly proposed the need for a captain to finally be anointed. The former issue will be addressed in a later article, but the Captaincy is urgent. But who should it be? An on-floor leader needs to be skilled enough to play starter-type minutes - tough enough to yell at his comrades (and himself) - fair enough to distribute the admonishments and accolades equitably - and brave enough to tell Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge that he doesn't agree with them on certain issues. Sometimes, in years gone by, the choice of Captain was obvious, and I present Bill Russell and Larry Bird as Exhibits A and B. This is not one of those times. I have broached Marcus Smart in the past as the floor leader, and I am sticking with that. Jaylen Brown would be my second choice, and I have none after that. The well is dry. Jays

Danny Ainge is punting - sort of

Danny Ainge is not known for taking a step or two back, or punting, when there is a chance to make a major score. But that is exactly what he is doing in this first-half of a tumultuous 2020-21 season. Agree on all of those points. I will add "not to take weak teams lightly". But Brad keeping the youngsters in at critical points (as in, end of close games) is fine with me in the first half of the season. No killer instinct yet in this crew. https://t.co/rMZQZHWTZE — Tom Lane (@CelticsSentinel) February 21, 2021 We know all the negatives of the season, and particularly last night's 120-115 OT loss to the Pelicans. Taking weaker teams likely. Not holding on to big leads - as in "24-point-lead" vs. New Orleans. Not having what Ainge terms "urgency" to win every game.  But putting the young guys into tight situations this early in the season is exactly what Danny and Brad Stevens need to do. We saw it last night when both rookie Aaron Nesmith and Rob Will

Who takes center spot for Top-5 All-Time NBA?

My previous article on the Top 5 NBA players of all-time drew a lot of controversy, and I expect this one will do the same. I am solid and unmovable on my choices at the guard and forward slots - Larry Bird and Lebron James take the two front court positions, while Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan occupy the guards slots. 2001 MVP Shaq was the best center I have ever seen in th league. He was literally unstoppable I remember thinking there was no way his team could lose because he COULD NOT BE STOPPED except by fouling him. Such a tough decision to take Shaq over Kareem but he gets the edge... — Matty Vegas (@MattyVegas22) February 21, 2021 Younger responders will often tend to go with more-recent stars, and that showed in the Twitter posts. The major question seems to "center" around the five spot. The names of Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O"Neal all showed up in the discussion. I find it hard to argue with those that pick Wilt, Sha

Don't think Larry Bird is Top-5 All-Time? His overall skill set gets him there.

For those skeptics who feel Larry Bird should not be rated Top-5 All-Time, I present the following from September 20, 2020 ( per The Sacramento Bee's Joe Davidson ): OUR ALL-TIME NBA STARTING 5, PLUS A FEW MORE If I’m picking an all-time NBA starting lineup, here’s who I hit the floor with: Point guard: Magic Johnson  — The ultimate floor leader, ball handler, passer, leader, personality and champion. Magic led the Lakers to nine NBA Finals, winning five. He could play any position. Shooting guard: Michael Jordan  — Relentless in scoring, in defending, in leadership and winning. Jordan and the Chicago Bulls went 6-0 in the NBA Finals while owning the 1990s. Small forward: LeBron James  — Ageless, timeless, relentless. James at 35 can score inside and out, handle the ball, finish with the ball, and has his third team in the Finals. Power forward: Larry Bird  — Yes, he could also play small forward, and James would be seamless at power forward, but in this game, just unleash your fiv