Skip to main content

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.

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 Williams saw meaningful minutes late in the fourth quarter and in the overtime period.

Nesmith was on the floor for 27 minutes, scoring 10 points on 3-of-4 from the field, 1-of-2 on treys and 3-of-3 from the foul stripe. Williams III wowed the announcers with his 21 minutes of play. He notched eight points on 4-of-6 shooting, in addition to 13 rebounds (6 offensive), three assists and four blocks. Jaylen Brown had this to say after the game:

''We played exceptionally well for a large part of the time,'' Brown said. ''We just got to mature and grow up.''

"We just got to mature and grow up" voices exactly what Danny and Brad are trying to accomplish. Putting the kids to a real test by inserting them into a game at critical junctures is not "punting" - and certainly not "tanking" - but rather a way to determine what moves, if any, need to be made for the near future of the Celtics franchise, and not merely for any given game on any specific date.

Am I the only one taking this positive stance on a team now entrenched in the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference. I know about the lack of effort and urgency exhibited by this team, in addition to their taking weaker teams lightly and not having the killer instinct needed for a serious post-season run. But I will accept all of that - for now. 

Let's hope that "maturity" happens soon!



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

Marcus Smart: The gentle side of a ferocious competitor

Marcus Smart's ferocity strikes fear into most of his opponents, but he has a tender side. The same dogged defender that harasses opponents into making mistakes and picks up floor burns diving on the floor for loose balls took the time to comfort my family when we were hosted at TD Garden on Saturday, February 29, 2020. This all started following the November death of my granddaughter, Courtney, after a 25-year battle with cystic fibrosis. She left behind my great grandson, Carson Thomas Lane, and I made a very simple request to Carson's namesake, Celtics rookie Carsen Edwards. My Twitter followers stepped up immediately with countless retweets and notifications. Edwards responded promptly via Twitter, as did Marcus Smart, who prompted Twitter followers to "send mail that uplifts & showers this kid with love" . Carson Thomas Lane- I lost my mom recently to. But it’s people like ur great grandpa who will get u thru the tough times as you grow up. Much love youn

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