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Enforcer/teammate-protector/bruiser: Do the Celtics need one?

 It seems the Boston Celtics have always had one of them - a big, strong guy that can joust with the giants of the NBA and offer protection to the little guys and stars. But they seem to lack one on the current 2022-23 roster.

It started with 6'5", 215-lb. Bob Brannum. Bob Cousy needed someone to have his back in the early 50's, and that was Brannum. In the late 50's and early 60's, it was 6'5", 220-lb. Jim Loscutoff. They didn't call him "Jungle Jim" for nothing.

The late 60's saw 6'8", 240-lb. Wayne Embry come on board in Boston. Part of his duties was to take some of the heat off Bill Russell, particularly when the Celtics faced Wilt Chamberlain. But "Wayne The Wall" was also a ready "protector of teammates".

I am putting 6'8.5", 230-lb. Dave Cowens into this mix, because "Big Red" backed down to nobody and had his share of rumbles. Opponents were a bit afraid of Cowens. They never knew what he was capable of doing to them.

Kendrick Perkins is in there. At 6'10" and 270 pounds, he was definitely the "Celtics Enforcer". And down the road, 6'10", 260-lb. Aron Baynes didn't really have the designation of "enforcer", but he played a rugged game, and going into the paint against him had consequences.

Back to the present. It appears Boston's closest answer to an enforcer is 6'3", 220-lb. Marcus Smart. Even tough Marcus can "play big" - even covering the pivot at times - the team could still use a larger specimen in that role.

Stay tuned.


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