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Celtics reality check for tonight - the season - and the near future

 If you are gloom and doom about the Boston Celtics, stop reading. I won't change your mind. But here are some enlightening facts from a 6-decade fan of The Green that tend to evade negativity and focus on the real picture.


The Celtics have won roughly 25% of all available Titles in the past 60 years.

The Green took 9-out-of-10 Championships in the 60's, 2-of-10 in the 70's, 3-of-10 in the 80's., and the final one (for now) in 2008. Granted, with only nine teams in the 60's, and Bill Russell on board, taking the trophy 90% of the time was easier. Much harder now with 30 teams. Celtics fans may be a bit spoiled.

Red Auerbach's rule of his team was close to that of a dictator

Sam Jones said it. "Red treated everyone the same -- badly." Not totally true. Auerbach was brutal with Tommy Heinsohn but handled Russell "with kid gloves". All others were recipients of Red's wrath. It is now a player's League. That type of team rule won't fly anymore. 

Danny Ainge claims he, Brad Stevens, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are locks. I believe him.

Don't expect any of that quartet to be among the missing next season. All four have intelligence and are skilled at what they do. 

In the dog-eat-dog world of the NBA, Tatum is the alpha of this team

Jayson has repeatedly proven that he has achieved superstar status. Jaylen is close - but not there yet. The only way Brown could be sent packing is if he can't accept his Kevin McHale-type role next to Tatum's Larry Bird-like alpha status. If a GM had to build a team around any two young stars, the Celtics Jay Team would be involved in any initial discussions.

Ainge needs to prioritize "FIT" for any future additions to his team

Hindsight is easy, but Danny should have done better with his signings of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. It became obvious that both were focused on having a top role in acquiring Banner #18. They clearly clashed. Both are gone. Injuries to both - and the ascension of the Jay Team - squelched any hopes of a proper fit in Boston for both stars. 

Title hopes this season went out the window with Brown's wrist injury

But admittedly, even with a 70%-effective Jaylen on the court, this just ain't Boston's year. Having the surgery now was the correct move for everyone concerned. 

I was content with Celtics performance in Game 1 vs. Nets. Hope for the same in Game 2.

Boston lost Game 1 but fought hard for most of the contest. With Jaylen out - and Daniel Theis no longer on board, the Celtics are vastly over-matched. A hard-fought game is all most true Celtics fans want from their guys.

Fans need to rock the Garden for Games 3 & 4 in Boston - if warranted

Boston fans can be tough. Danny Ainge knows this from long experience in Beantown. More filled seats are planned for the home games, and raucous support for The Green should echo from the rafters adorned with past reminders of success. But we all know that raucous cheers can turn to boos if the attendees see a less-than-full commitment from their guys.

In a slog-through-mud season, firm ground is within sight

Boston has one of the top young wing pairs in existence in Tatum and Brown. Beantown also has one of the sharpest leadership pairs in the league in Ainge and Stevens. If he can stay healthy, Rob Williams will be the near-perfect center/power forward for The Green. I saw a slight let-down from Marcus Smart in a few games, but this tough young man is not impervious to disappointment. But this group needs him and what he brings. Roster changes are coming - make no mistake about that. Did I mention prioritizing "FIT" in any new acquisitions?


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