Skip to main content

Are Celtics "one year away" - or one player away - from serious contention?

In this morning's NBA TV broadcast, analyst Candace Parker gave her thoughts on the Eastern Conference race, specifically between the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks. Parker indicated that Boston could certainly give Milwaukee a scare in the post-season, with their cast of defenders' ability to effectively slow down Giannis Antetokounmpo. But Candace added that she still felt that the Celtics were "one year away" from serious contention for a Championship.


After Boston's 118-106 win over the Portland Trailblazers last night, the Celtics sit in third place in the Eastern Conference with a 40-17 record, behind the Bucks at 50-8 and Raptors at 42-16. Parker applauded Boston's ability to cover The Greek Freak, while Shaquille O'Neal thought that stopping all of the other Milwaukee players was the ticket to success.

In the end, the Celtics appear solid one-through-six. They very well may have the strongest top-6 in the NBA in Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward and Daniel Theis. The argument could be made that Boston has a full squad of tough defenders to handle both Giannis and his accomplices. Brad Stevens continually inserts his subs into games - not only in garbage time, but during critical points in the game, but The results have been inconsistent.

Enes Kanter has seemingly taken a step backwards - Romeo Langford has shown signs of defensive expertise, but the sample is too small to rush to any conclusions. The issue is that the back-ups just can't seem to put points on the board. Boston's bench scoring was 28th in the League when last checked.

The two mainstays of the Boston bench used to be Smart and Kanter. Marcus has been forced to take a starting role with Kemba Walker on the shelf, and we already talked about Kanter's regression. Is Parker right about the Celtics being "one year away", or are they one player away?

In today's NBA, injuries are a given factor. They will happen. Boston's strength one-through-six is impressive, but things get iffy beyond that. One current Celtic (beyond the top-6) needs to prove his potential worth in a long, post-season run, and a free-agent or buyout pick-up may be a necessity. Evan Turner could possibly be bought out by the Timberwolves, and Isaiah Thomas remains a free agent. Danny Ainge may be reluctant to rock the boat, but an acquisition seems mandatory.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @CausewayStreet and Facebook



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sign the Petition! Let's honor Tommy Heinsohn

  No longtime Celtics fan can watch games this year without a somewhat heavy heart. For the last 50 plus years, we have been blessed as a franchise to have Tommy Heinsohn, Mr. Celtic himself, as a part of the organization. Whether it be as a player, coach, or commentator, Tommy has been an instrumental figure for the green, and his presence is missed on every broadcast. Nobody embodied what it meant to be a Celtic more than Tommy, and I know I miss his energy and ferocity every time Scal claims the refs "made the right call" against the Cs. While Tommy obviously belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Celtics, he is often overlooked in his place among the greats of NBA history. Looking back upon his life, one would be hard pressed to find someone with a bigger impact on NBA basketball than Mr. Celtic. For those who are unfamiliar, let's do a quick review. Tommy is one of 2 people to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as both a player and coach (the other being the indomitable Len

We may be glad Danny Ainge rolled the dice on Theis

Frankly, I was not sure if Danny Ainge would ink Daniel Theis to a new deal, but it looks like a good move. Theis is signed for two years at a total of $10 million, with the second year non-guaranteed. With the departure of big men Al Horford and Aron Baynes, rolling the dice on Theis could work very well. In his first season in Boston, Daniel just kept improving. For the pre-All-Star stretch, he averaged 14.5 minutes/Game, 5.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG while shooting 52% on field goals and 30% on treys. Post-All-Star his minutes increased to 18.4 per game, his points to 7.8/game and his boards to 5.3/game. And he shot 68% on field goals and 40% on 3-pointers. Then a meniscus tear shut him down. His minutes and production took a hit last season, in part most likely due to lagging recovery from the injury. Right now he is playing on German's entry in the FIBA World Cup. In a game versus The Czech Rebublic, he scored 17 points, grabbed six rebounds, passed off for three assists and blocked tw

What Jeff Teague can bring to the Celtics offense

Bringing in Jeff Teague as some guard depth this year could end up being a monumental move for this year's Celtics team. Teague is a well respected veteran in the league, and having gone to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2015 with the Atlanta Hawks, knows what it takes to win tough games. Here's a brief look at why I think Jeff will be a great fit with the C's Every Celtics fan loves Marcus Smart , due to everything he brings to the table, from the defensive intensity to scoring outbursts. For all the good things he does, Marcus excels off ball, and can have his effectiveness diminished when he is forced to be a primary ball handler. He is often pigeon-holed into that role with the second unit (or when Kemba is out), and Teague's addition will hopefully allow him to play more off-ball and maximize his abilities.  At the deadline last year, Teague was traded to the Atlanta Hawks to play alongside Trae Young. His usage rate and effectiveness dipped considerably, as he