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Charles Barkley does serious finger-pointing at Celtics lackluster season

Charles Barkley rarely holds back on his analysis on what is going on in the NBA. His commentary is as flamboyant as his former play in the League. And this time, he squarely put the blame for the Celtics lackluster season on boss, Danny Ainge, and coach Brad Stevens.

“Danny Ainge is a good friend of mine, but he’s not done a good job with all those draft picks he had,” Barkley said. “He hasn’t done a good job because he made a mistake with Kyrie Irving, I think he made a mistake with Kemba Walker, and, um, that team is not very good at all.”

That's Sir Charles' take. Here's mine:

Kyrie Irving - Right player, wrong person, wrong outcome
Danny Ainge and his multitude of front-office folks were privy to a lot more inside info than fans and media with regards to the level of arrogance possessed by Irving. No one can deny his superior skills on the court, but he comes up short as a model citizen in the NBA. He wanted to be "The Guy" in Beantown, and that may have been the death knell for his fit with the Celtics.

Gordon Hayward  -  Right player, right person, wrong outcome
Gordon was a potentially valuable pickup. A do-everything, crafty, unselfish player to stabilize a young crew. Who knew the injury bug would strike five minutes into his Celtics career. And it never let up. And in similar fashion to Irving, Hayward wanted to play a major role in Boston. The clash between the two became apparent when Kyrie publicly chided Gordon for inbounding the ball to Jayson Tatum for a final shot. Did I mention Kyrie's arrogance?

Al HorfordRight player, right person, wrong outcome

Al seemed a perfect fit in Boston - respected individual, team guy, versatile. He did fit in initially, facilitating the offense from the top of the key and mentoring the younger guys on the sidelines. Horford never got involved in any power struggles with the Celtics, .but in the end, he chose not to stay and headed to Philadelphia for supposed greener pastures. That didn't work out for Al or the team he abandoned.

Kemba Walker - Wrong player, right person, outcome in question

It appeared that Ainge saw the need to fill the gap left by Kyrie's departure, and the very-likable Kemba was available. The only question that remains is - why acquire a 6', shoot-first point guard when Brad Stevens would appear to favor an all-wing lineup composed of players in the 6'6"-6'9" range who can effectively defend multiple positions?

Walker plays his heart out on the court, but he may not be the right guy to orchestrate the Celtics offense. Barkley may have been right on his overall take on Danny Ainge - and perhaps Brad Stevens. The Boston Celtics are not clicking as a team, and changes need to be made. 

Ainge has openly taken the blame for his team's woes, citing the fact that he assembled the current troops. But it also may be true that Stevens has not used the players he was given to the best advantage of the team's success. Look for changes this off-season. 


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