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Playoff seeding unimportant for Celtics this season


Has anyone else noticed that this is a totally-different NBA season? That fact may call for a different approach for GMs and coaches - and that includes Celtics boss, Danny Ainge.

Let's start with the one-time alteration in the playoff format. The top-10 teams in each conference now have a shot at eventually getting to the Finals. No fans in attendance, or limited seating, means less impact for for the so-called home-court advantage. And injuries which have plagued Boston in the past several seasons may just infect rival teams this time around. The Champion Lakers have to be concerned about Anthony Davis' Achilles/calf issue.

So generally, seeding no longer has the importance it once held, at least for this season. Ainge has called for "urgency" from his crew, but he really needs to take a step back. He may already be on that pull-back road by not making any seemingly-urgent moves. 

Ace Gambler Danny has three face cards in his hand in the form of Traded Player Exceptions (TPE). How and when he uses them may well define the Celtics future. Going all-in this season may not be the answer. Using one or both of the lesser TPE's ($5 M and $2.6 M) in the near future on a player or players that can upgrade the current roster, while holding on to the big prize ($26.5 M) for the off-season may be the correct path.

Playing the kids and keeping the stars healthy this season should be Ainge's plan - seeding be damned. Getting into the playoff picture is the way to go, and anything can happen. The 1969 Celtics barely made the playoffs and took it all from the strong Los Angeles Lakers, despite finishing the Regular Season as the fourth seed in the East. And they did it on the road in front of a vibrant LA crowd. That was a veteran crew that included Bill Russell and Sam Jones, but it can happen again with two younger stars in the Jay Team. 

My fear is that Danny Ainge, approaching 62 years of age with two heart attacks in his past, may have urgency to win now - this season. His present team can still do that with more floor time for the youngsters - and a tweak or two. The current Celtics squad is better than they have shown, and pushing for a higher seeding, at least for this season, lacks the importance of the past - and perhaps the future.


 


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