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Should Celtics "wing" it or go big?

The question was recently raised on an NBA TV broadcast. Should the Celtics trade for a big man like Kevin Love or hit the post-season with the assortment of wings they now have? Including Marcus Smart into the mix, Boston has a total of four talented, veteran wings at their disposal. The Jay Team isn't going anywhere soon, but to make the money work, either Gordon Hayward or Smart would have to go to bring in a talented big.

Granted, last night's loss to the injury-depleted Raptors was disappointing - but that's all it is. Toronto came out with energy - the Celtics couldn't hit their 3-pointers - and the game was lost. I expect that to happen periodically to the best of teams. The game isn't played by robots - at least so far.

I like the crew the Celtics put on the floor right now. They are winning, and they are different. I like different - if it works. And this is. Smart can play 1-through-5, and when was the last time you saw a 6'3" NBA player exhibit that? Hayward can play all five positions if needed. Kemba Walker can play either guard position, and Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are certainly multi-positional.


Fans tend to over-analyze long-term injuries to their own players, and that fact has the Celtics faithful plugging for Danny Ainge to trade Hayward and Smart. Too injury-prone is what we hear. Marcus' ferocious play will cause him to suffer injuries. We know that, and hopefully they will be short-term. Gordon has just plain been unlucky from the start of his Celtics career. That can end soon. He doesn't rely on supreme athleticism to produce, and that should help him remain injury free.

On the subject of toughness, Danny Ainge's mentor, Red Auerbach loved his enforcers. First he had Bob Brannum, and then came Jim Loscutoff. They protected the little guys like Bob Cousy. They were big by 1950's standards, but mostly they were tough. Brad Stevens doesn't have that. His only enforcer may be 6'3" Marcus Smart. And at the 5-spot, Stevens admitted that he "doesn't have a lot of guys with that old-school center strength" after the Celtics got bullied by Joel Embiid. Daniel Theis, and even Enes Kanter, can get bullied down low, but thus far they have performed well. What Brad does have is a plethora of skilled, versatile wings. No other team can quite match that. And that may be enough to go far in the post-season. Why trade Gordon for Kevin Love? That would make the Celtics like most other NBA teams. Who wants that?!?!

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @CausewayStreet and Facebook



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