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Current Celtics roster lacks strength and physicality

There is no question that the present Celtics corps is extremely skilled, but they are mostly a finesse team. What they generally lack are physical strength and the will and ability to manhandle opposing players. I long for the days when Kareem Abdul Jabbar used to complain about being physically abused by Celtics center, Dave Cowens, with allegedly little notice by officials.


Marcus Smart is the exception here. He is a darker, shorter version of Big Red, and Marcus takes no nonsense, physical or otherwise, from any member of the opposition.

Bumping and grinding to gain position on offense or defense can be exhausting. Bill Russell once commented that repeatedly jumping for an elusive rebound tired him more than any other task on the hardwood. Cowens could quickly cover the guards on the perimeter, and get back to his man to battle underneath. Marcus Smart does the same, and the height, weight and toughness of his opponent makes no difference.

The Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler and the Lakers' Lebron James and Anthony Davis all played tough, physical basketball in their Finals matchup. Neither team is going away anytime soon, and Boston may have to contend with both teams to beat out the Lakers for Banner #18. Other than Semi Ojeleye and Smart, there is no current member of The Green that would not benefit from a concentrated strength program this off-season. And the right trade, draft move or free-agent acquisition focused on toughness wouldn't hurt either.

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