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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 appears Brad Stevens is using him sparingly due to a hip issue. As with Nesmith, we should see more of Williams III post-All-Star break.

This team urgently needs Marcus Smart back on the court, but rushing him back could be a major error. His calf/Achilles issue could end up with Marcus on the sidelines for the post-season if not handled with care. Smart has no knowledge of the meaning of "restrained effort". His all-out effort and strong physique often result in powerful muscular actions that yield injuries. 

Celtics fans will still see both Payton Pritchard and Semi Ojeleye with significant minutes post-break. But the main question is whether we see some new faces on the roster prior to the Trade Deadline. As Danny Ainge indicated, "If it comes to that." In other words, if the current crop can't get it right and start winning games, a trade or other type of acquisition(s) could occur. 

Right now, this crop of Celtics players exhibits anti-synergism, meaning lack of collaboration and the absence of cooperation. There is no word I know of as an antonym for synergy, so I will go with discord. Is it fixable? Absolutely! But if it is not repaired, we will see a new face or two after March 25.



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