What Are The Celtics Missing?
The Boston Celtics got absolutely destroyed on Sunday night by a young and gritty Denver Nuggets team at TD Garden. This has a lot of Celtics fans and others around the team questioning the team’s toughness, even going as far as to call the team “soft”. Isaiah Thomas said it best following the loss that the team is “All Talk” right now and he is not wrong. While one would absolutely have to take into account the absence of Al Horford, Jae Crowder, and Kelly Olynyk as a large reason to why the team is underperforming, there still seems to be something missing.
The elite teams in the NBA, for as long as I can remember, have always had that one veteran guy who oozes toughness and intimidation. The 2004 Pistons had Ben Wallace, the 2011 Mavericks has Tyson Chandler, and the 2008 version of the Celtics had the likes of Kevin Garnett. But I’m not saying the Celtics need to go and get a franchise changing player like the ones above (because at this point everyone that we’ve been rumored to get has either stayed on his team or is starting for the Warriors), but even just getting someone like a Tony Allen or a PJ Brown would be something to give these young Celtics an edge. Now I am not trying to discredit the toughness that is on the team currently, as Jae Crowder, IT, and Horford are undoubtedly some of the toughest guys in the league. But we need someone that is either going to be a presence, or help to mold one of the younger players like Mickey or Brown into one.
since he entered the league and is a large reason to why he is so revered as a defender. I believe Smart can channel this into the type of energy and toughness that the team needs in the absence of Crowder and Horford. As for Isaiah Thomas, this type of energy and leadership is what you expect from your starting point guard and your best player. These next few games will be big in helping Thomas cement his role as the leader of this team and helping to get them through this rough patch early in the season.
Brad Stevens was angry, to put it nicely, following the poor showing his team had on Sunday against the Nuggets. The C’s were booed off the court at halftime and this did not sit well with Stevens. Coach Stevens said that the Celtics are playing like a “finesse team” and that we need some toughness. He also said that players who are currently not getting minutes will be getting time going forward, so I expect to see more of the likes of Jordan Mickey and Demetrius Jackson specifically. Hopefully this juggling of minutes will be enough to convince the team to start playing with a little bit of an edge. Stevens said on Monday that he has no idea what the team’s rotation will look like when they take on the Wizards on Wednesday and also that he may mix up the starting line up.
All of the negativity coming from the Nuggets game needs to be taken with a grain of salt, as it is still early on in the season and the full Celtics team has yet to take the court together yet. Have patience C’s fans! Everything will be just fine.
Written by: Jarrott Brown (jarrott_brown)